By Kimberly Griffin
If you spend any time in Rutland on Saturdays or if you are a regular reader of this column, you are well aware of our fantastic farmers market in downtown Rutland. One of the few farmers markets in Vermont to run 52 weeks a year, it has a wide selection of growers, producers, makers, prepared foods, local artisans, and always a musician or two. We are fortunate to have such a strong and vibrant local foods and goods scene each and every week.
Something you might not be as aware of is that a smaller, yet just as diverse, farmers market occurs mid-week. And, yes, this too happens each and every week, 52 weeks a year.
The Wednesday market, which until last year occurred on Tuesdays, is held in the same spot as the Saturday version - within Depot Park at the intersection of Merchant Row and Evelyn Street. Just like the weekend counterpart, this market moves indoors to the Vermont Farmers Food Center (VFFC) on West Street when the weather turns colder.
Although there are certainly fewer tents present mid-week, the selection is quite varied, from freshly picked vegetables to prepared foods, baked goods, hand-crafted fashion, and even some grow-it-yourself options of herbs and decorative plants.
Here is a quick run-down of who was present and what they had for sale last Wednesday:
Boardman Hill Farm currently has the full rainbow of the season: herbs, beets, carrots, lettuce, Swiss chard, cabbage, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, scallions, snap peas, and zucchini. They also have frozen meats and veggies.
Brookside Farm and their notable “Belties” sell grassfed beef, cheese, and honey.
Brown’s Orchard has more than apples, of course. While we patiently wait for blossoms to turn to fruit to turn to fall pickings, they have sweet corn, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, cider donuts, pies, breads, green beans, summer squash, zucchini, maple syrup, and honey to keep you satisfied.
Grabowski Farm sells sweet corn my favorite way: right out of the back of a pickup truck! They also have summer squash, zucchini, and cucumbers with tomatoes, pumpkins and winter squash to come!
Gran’ma Anna’s Pierogi’s: You might have noticed this simple, aromatic booth on Saturdays, tucked in near Enchanted Flora. Offering up a traditional Eastern European dish, their perogies come two ways: packed for you to take home and share or hot and ready to be devoured on site! On Wednesdays they keep it easy with a traditional potato filling. On Saturdays you can get sauerkraut.
Good Vibes Tie Dye has tie dye for all – from onsies for little ones to shirts for adults, socks, and bandanas. They are happy to fill custom orders and can be booked to do parties and events.
Judy Dark has a passion for plants inside and out. She has a wonderful offering of herbs, annuals, and succulents.
Rays of Sunshine has unique breads and spreads that you are sure to enjoy. His stuffed breads and seasoned loafs are full of flavor and are sourced either from his own garden or from his fellow local growers.
Story Time Foods brings out the flavors of the Mediterranean through their phyllo rolls, triangles with spinach, tomato, olive or fig and brie, and Muhammarra spread. If you haven’t tried this brightly colored, flavorful spread, you are missing out on a taste bud celebration!
Thai Pan rounds out the prepared food selection with tea, Thai ravioli, chicken satay, pad Thai, curry and more. Don’t know what to eat for Wednesday supper? If you don’t want to cook up any of the above mentioned delicious veggies, bring home some Thai.
3 Bears Bakery pares back a bit midweek but still brings the sweets and breakfast offerings to keep you satisfied. Quick loafs, scones, brittle, and cookies can be found at this baker’s booth.
I have a friend who says this of her childhood summertime suppers: “If we were having sweet corn for supper, mom would first put on the pot to boil. Then, just as the bubbles began to form, we would run out to the garden to pick the ears, hurry to get then shucked, then throw them in just as the water started to roll to a boil.”
Sweet corn, like most of the summer’s bounty, is best enjoyed as fresh as possible. Having mid-week access to fresh farm produce means having access to the most flavorful and nutritious food possible.
The Wednesday market runs from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the summer in Depot Park, Downtown Rutland.
Kimberly Griffin is the Farm Manager and Wellness Coordinator at College of St Joseph, working withstaff, faculty, and students to eat, move, and live healthier. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org