Tonight I roasted heirloom root vegetables from Wild Carrot Farm bartered with some Toffee-Almond Bark. Fresh and delicious! I’m excited to be back at the Litchfield Hills Farm Fresh Market. It’s my 3rd season here and I’m humbled to be among farmers and artisans who are so passionate and good at what they do. I feel like I’m among the royalty of Litchfield County’s farm to table movement…and I am!
It is here that I’ve met some very important people in my chocolate life. Kay Carroll is our market master who is responsible for running things when she is not tending to her maple syrup farm, Brookside Farm II. It is her rich robust dark amber syrup that popped my Sugar Shed Maple Truffle, which eventually led to it taking 3rd place at the CT Specialty Food Awards this year.
And this is where I met my friend Jim Baker while he was helping his mom Janet set up her honey table (Berry Ledges Apiary). Jim is the brilliant wine master at Hopkins Vineyard. Our meeting led to co-developing a luxurious Cab Franc truffle that opened the door to meeting the wonderful folks at Hopkins Vineyard. I’ve had many good times there.
It is here that I met Howard Rosenfeld, owner of The Smithy Store in New Preston and Chef Brendon from At The Corner in Litchfield who both frequent the market as friend and guest chef respectively. PlumBrook Chocolate is now on the shelves in both of these shops!
Ron and Fran, my kitchen landlords at Winding Drive Jams & Jelly are here and it is there seedless fresh jam that gives my Raspberry Truffle its vibrant flavor. I could fill a page with interesting people who frequent the Market on Saturdays!
This is definitely not your run of the mill farmers market, thanks to Kay’s creativity and attention to detail. Cooking Light Magazine named it one of the 50 best markets nationwide and after a visit or two it is obvious why. In addition to incredible farmers and artisans who offer fresh produce, jams, pickles, breads, maple syrup, honey, natural bison and beef, and more, there is often a guest chef and talented musicians to add spice.
Vendor requirements are very specific with emphasis placed on local, fresh and high quality with a willingness to engage and educate customers about your product. (This is right up my alley since I love to talk about chocolate!) Everyone is so knowledgeable and an expert in their field. I aspire to live up to their expectations and am honored to be in their presence.
My fellow vendors readily share their expertise and support each other. Regular and new customers visit my table each week and I meet so many wonderful and diverse people. From 9 to 96 years old, it is fun to talk about chocolate with everyone.
It has been said that “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. I am fortunate to have new teachers every week in my fellow vendors and market customers. It is yet another road in which this amazing journey of chocolate has led me. One of making new friends, gaining a deeper knowledge of the rich farm to table culture in Litchfield County and how it has become such a important and popular movement.
Please visit all of us at the Litchfield Hills Farm Fresh Indoor Market this season and take home some of the best that Connecticut has to offer. Hope to see you there!
Click here to see when Plum Brook Chocolate is at the market.