- Picnics on Sandy Point
- Watching the sun set at Whalen’s Wharf
- Getting the New York Times at Tom’s Newstand
- And going to the Farmer’s Market at the Town Docks.
But what’s a girl to do in the wintertime? It is too cold to go to Sandy Point and Whalen’s Wharf. I still need my NY Times and Tom’s is great, but that isn’t enough. Thank goodness the Farmer’s Market is still running throughout the winter at the Velvet Mill (Bayview Avenue, Stonington, CT). This bustling Saturday event is a cornucopia (heh, heh – sometimes I just make myself laugh) of food, crafts, music, neighbors, and beer. Fun times!
Did you just say “beer?”
Yup, sure did. Keep reading. . .
Last Saturday, I decided to take my son, who was visiting from Philly – one of my favorite cities – over to the mill to show him all the fun. He used to live
in Brooklyn and I thought that he might enjoy the Market at the Mill since it definitely has a “Brooklyny” (is that a word?) aura to it. With an empty growler in hand, we took the short walk from our home to see what treasures would be there this week.
As we entered the mill, we heard a trio of musicians playing jaunty, olde timey music. What fun! The tune added a festive tone to the event that both adults and children seemed to enjoy. And they were selling their own CDs which would make great stocking stuffers! While that was enjoyable, that was not our goal. We needed food. It was time to move on.
Although there weren’t as many vendors as usual, probably because of the holiday weekend, the assortment of products available was varied and plentiful. Our first stop was at the bread table to purchase a rustic loaf of country bread. I felt quite lucky to get it since the previous week, by the time I had gotten there, the vendor had packed up, having sold out. The line is usually long, so as I have learned my lesson – get there early.
Next on the list was our quest for fresh veggies. Sadly, my vendor that sells sun chokes was not there, so I had to fulfill my veggie purchases with locally grown garlic and stone milled corn from the oldest farm in CT – Davis Farm (see a short video about the farm here). Pretty cool, huh. Since my larder was already full of fall apples, squash, and leeks from Thanksgiving, I didn’t need a lot. That’s okay though, just gives me a reason to return this weekend.
Lastly, we went to Stoney Ledge Farm, the local meat purveyor, and bought a package of oxtails for soup (recipe to come soon). They have a great selection of local, organic frozen meats that are top quality. They also sell produce, eggs, and preserved fruits. With at least three generations working the booth, they are a true family farm.
By this time, Doug and I were getting a little parched so we strolled over to Beer’d Brewery for some beer
tasting. As you can see by the picture, we had quite a few tastings and they were all quite different and delicious. Now Tim would have been happy to attend this event with us, which we do almost every week, but he was brewing his own beer at home, so it was our job, poor us, to choose the beer for our weekly growler. After much sipping, Doug chose Midnight Oil Stout – it had a low ABV with a luscious mouth feel. Tim approved.
What I like the most about this Winter’s Farmer’s Market is that it has that city-feel that I so love. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is cool to have it down at the Town Docks in the summer, but to have it in a Velvet Mill, just down the road from my house is pretty awesome too. The vibe at the mill is much more urban and since I love cities, it gratifies me greatly. And from the attendance at these Saturday markets, it seems to satisfy many others as well.
So, all I can say is that if you have about an hour to kill and want to spend some time in Stonington, why not try the Farmer’s Market. We, along with many others, feel it is a Do Again. Look for me this Saturday. I am sure I will be there!