Selections of fresh agricultural products under sunny skies. Cool summer breezes as you peruse a selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The people who grew the food right there before you, happy to answer any questions you may have. And a few extra surprises to discover, like a local musician performing nearby or the local library setting up a children’s craft.
These are just some of the ways farmers’ markets work to make getting your food an experience, not just an errand.
We previously discussed how CT Grown farmers’ markets offer a terrific opportunity to find new products, learn from local farmers, and find great deals on fresh, nutritious, locally grown food. They’re also a great way to connect with your community. Not only can you meet your local farmers, but also artisans, musicians, and representatives from nonprofit organizations.
Farmers’ markets are often held in venues that open the door to further exploration, such as beautiful parks or downtown areas that let you visit Main Street businesses. Purchases at a farmers’ market help keep your money close by, which strengthens the local economy overall.
Discover Connecticut farmers’ markets
Each farmers’ market has its own unique appeal, but this brief guide offers an overview of some of this year’s farmers’ markets in Connecticut and how they can be a destination for you and your family:
CitySeed Farmers Markets: CitySeed hosts farmers’ markets at locations throughout New Haven. You can explore the 123 acres of Edgewood Park while visiting the market there, or visit the heart of the city while stopping at the Wooster Square or Dixwell-Q House markets. Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m., through Oct. 25th at Dixwell-Q House; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Dec. 16th at Wooster Square; Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Nov. 19th at Edgewood Park.
Danbury Farmers’ Market: This market holds regular nutrition workshops to ensure that you’re getting the healthiest meals out of the items you buy from local farmers, and visitors get two hours of complimentary parking at a nearby parking garage. The Danbury Farmers’ Market also has a ton of fun activities for families, including a veggie treasure hunt and a Family Fun Zone with crafts, games, and balloon twisting. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through Oct. 28th.
Ellington Farmers’ Market: Each weekly market includes a different theme with special activities and demonstrations. Some upcoming events include a blueberry festival on July 15th, a “Zucchini 500” drag race on July 22nd, and an edible animal contest on Aug. 19th. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., through Oct. 28th.
Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market: This market regularly invites featured guests to share their talents and expertise with visitors. These guests have included chefs, musicians, artists, and nonprofit leaders. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 21st.
Monroe Farmers Market: Special events take place each month at this market, including a pickle festival on July 14th and a potato festival on Sept. 22nd. It also hosts a Hometown Table welcoming representatives from local nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations, as well as Market Minis programs for children that include scavenger hunts, planting projects, and the “Two-Bite Challenge” encouraging kids to try new fruits and vegetables. Fridays, 3-6 p.m., through Oct. 20th.
Niantic Farmers Market: In addition to a set of regular vendors, the Niantic Farmers Market welcomes a vibrant set of rotating guest vendors who bring new variety to the event every week. Each market also includes a featured food truck. Thursdays, 3-6 p.m., through Oct. 12th.
Old State House Farmers Market: The market at this historic site continues a tradition first established in 1643, when the General Court of Connecticut established a weekly market in Hartford. The market includes a free outdoor concert and the opportunity to visit the nearby Old State House, which features restored House and Senate chambers as well as a unique Museum of Curiosities. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through Oct. 13th.
Reservoir Community Farm Farmers Market: This urban farm in Bridgeport grows produce for the community and hosts a community garden network. The farmers’ market coincides with open volunteer hours and special events, including a garlic harvest on July 8th and urban gardening workshops on July 29th. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through Oct. 28th.
Storrs Farmers Market: The first market of the month is celebrated with a special occasion, including a major market celebration in September. There is also a special Halloween-themed market at the end of October. Saturdays, 3-5 p.m., through Nov. 19th.
Walnut Beach Farmers Market: Connecticut’s only farmers’ market on the beach! Enjoy the beautiful seascape from the Walnut Beach Pavilion while perusing CT Grown items and listening to live music. Thursdays, 4-7 p.m., through Sept. 21st.
For more farmers’ markets, visit the CT Grown calendar or this site, which includes all authorized redemption locations for eligible WIC and Senior participants in the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
Connecticut Open House Day will be celebrated on June 10, 2023, and we’re delighted to see so many CT Grown attractions on the list of participants! Check out what’s going on at Connecticut’s farms, farmers’ markets, wineries, breweries, and distilleries during the day. Several museums and historic sites are also showcasing how agriculture has played a vital role in the state’s history.
Farms and producers
Ambler Farm, Wilton — Farmstand and Transplant Sale: Visitors are invited to check out Ambler Farm’s farmstand and transplant sale, which runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All seeds are grown in the greenhouse using an organic, compost based, biologically active potting soil and then tended to by Ambler Farm’s farmers and dedicated volunteers.
Boho Farm, East Haddam — Open House: Visit the farm animals, walk through the garden, visit the shop, and bring a lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables. Runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bradley Mountain Farm, Southington — Walking Tours: This historic farm will offer walking tours of its trails and pastures at 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. After the tours, you can view the babies and goat families playing and relaxing.
Chakana Sky Alpacas, Chester — Visitors Welcome: Say hello to the farm’s 17 alpacas and share some treats with them. Visitors are also invited to stop by the “Pacatique” farm store. Runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Creamery Brook Bison, Brooklyn — Festival at the Farm: The Festival at the Farm features wagon rides to visit the farm’s bison, donkey rides, food trucks, craft vendors, and more. Admission is $5 per person. No dogs.
Glendale Farms, Milford — Visitors Welcome: Glendale Farms is a flower and horse farm specializing in flowering annuals and vegetable plants. The farm is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and welcoming visitors on Connecticut Open House Day.
Hogan’s Cider Mill, Burlington — Free Round of Mini-Golf: PGA golf pro Chet Dunlop and his wife Theresa Clifford Dunlop preserved this historic cider mill when they established the New England School of Golf on the back of the property, and it continues to produce sweet and hard ciders. Hogan’s Cider Mill is offering a free round of miniature golf to all visitors on Connecticut Open House Day.
Husky Meadows Farm, Norfolk — Guided Tours: Farmer Brett Ellis leads behind-the-scenes tours of the farm, including the farm kitchen and guest rooms of their Seed & Spoon Farm Stays.
Lyman Orchards, Middlefield — Free Children’s Program: Oboist Fing-Fei Khan and English hornist Charles Huang play a short concert at 10 a.m., inspired by poems, folk tales, folk songs, myths, and fables from around the world. At 11 a.m., they’ll perform an interactive concert (designed for ages 6 to 13) based on the fable of the Cricket and the Ant, teaching children the fundamental elements of music (tempo, pitch, and dynamics) through active listening, imagination, and interaction with the performers.
Smyth’s Trinity Farm, Enfield — Guided Tours: A walking tour of a fourth-generation farm that cares for a herd of 40 cows and bottles their own milk in glass. The tour visits the barns, pastures, and bottling facility.
Starberry Farm, Washington Depot — Visitors Welcome: Take a walk through this beautiful hilltop orchard and learn more about integrated pest management and tree fruit.
Stone Acres Farm/Yellow Farmhouse Education Center, Stonington — Culinary Demonstration and Tasting: The Stone Acres Farmstead provides a culinary tasting and demonstration between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., then offers a guided tour of the property from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
Strong Family Farm, Vernon — Tours and Tag Sale: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this nonprofit community farm —the last active historic farm in Vernon — will offer tours and have a “Junk in the Trunk” tag sale. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., tours of the property will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. No pets.
White Gate Farm, East Lyme — Visitors Welcome, and Giveaway: Visitors are invited to explore the farm’s growing fields, beehives, trails, and tractors; you can also feed the lambs, hens, and chicks. The first 15 new people spending $25 or more at the farmstand (open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) will receive a free bag of White Gate Farm’s washed organic salad greens or a similar item. Please supervise children climbing on tractors.
Litchfield Farmers Market, Litchfield — Saturday Market: The Litchfield Farmers Market will be open on Connecticut Open House Day with more than 15 vendors offering fresh local produce and goods. The market is held year-round, and this event will be the last indoor market of the season at the Litchfield Community Center.
Breweries, distilleries, and wineries
Aquila’s Nest Vineyards, Sandy Hook — Guided Tours: This vineyard and event venue is offering guided tours of the 40-acre grounds with the owner and winemaker. Tours will take place at noon and 6 p.m.
Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford — Free 4×4 Rides: Groups of up to five can enjoy a free 4×4 vehicle ride to tour the grounds of Gouveia Vineyards.
Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen — Discounts: Sunset Meadow Vineyards is offering a 10 percent discount on the purchase of 12 bottles, and is offering wine slushies for $10.
Two Roads Brewing, Stratford — Guided Tours and Vendors: Free brewery tours and taster glasses are available for visitors ages 21 and older. Two Roads Brewing will also have an outdoor vendor market and an evening concert featuring The C-Sides.
Waypoint Spirits, Bloomfield — Tours and Tastings: This distillery will be offering free tours and tastings of its Connecticut-made spirits.
Westford Hill Distillers, Ashford — Guided Tours and Discounts: Reserve a tour of this 200-acre property, New England’s first craft distillery, and enjoy a 50 percent discount on a tasting. Picnic lunches are welcome, but pets are not allowed.
Paradise Hills Vineyard, Wallingford – Discounts – Paradise Hill Vineyards, in honor of National Rosé Day, is offering a 10 percent discount on the purchase of their of Rosé selection: Washington Trail Rosé and La Bella Rosa.
Museums and historical societies
Atwood Farm Museum at Joshua’s Trust, Mansfield — Demonstrations: Learn more about 19th century farming at this historic farmstead. Demonstrations are ongoing from noon to 4 p.m.
Blue Slope Country Museum, Franklin — Free Admission: Open 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Free admission. See historical agricultural tools and implements. Learn about the many aspects of farming and rural living from 1600s to 1950s. No dogs.
Brookside Farm Museum, East Lyme — Guided Tours: This museum gives a historical view of agriculture and domestic life between 1845 and 1955. On Connecticut Open House Day, it will be offering guided tours and a chance to meet the new curator.
Cheshire Historical Society, Cheshire — Strawberry Festival and Farming History: This house museum is located on the First Congregational Church Green, which will be hosting a strawberry festival on Connecticut Open House Day. Visitors are invited to see the museum for free and learn more about the town’s farming history.
Deacon John Grave House and Grounds, Madison — Antique Farming Equipment: Guided tours of this 1685 house, its gardens, and its Native Plant Walk will be provided between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The event will also feature a hearth cooking demonstration and display of Colonial farm tools.
The Dudley Farm Museum, Guilford — Visitors Welcome: This historic homestead maintains a small working farm with chickens, flower and herb gardens, and a community garden. Visitors are invited to tour the property and check out the weekly farmers’ market, running 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friends of the Valley Falls, Vernon — Heritage Center Opening: A nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to improving Valley Falls Park and Valley Falls Park, Friends of the Valley Falls will debut its heritage center on Connecticut Open House Day. Explore the history of the “Gentleman’s Farm” and its historic buildings, including a stable, dairy barn, root cellar, piggery, and more.
Hands-On History & Free Family Fun, Lebanon — Agricultural Activities: Numerous hands-on activities are taking place at the Lebanon Historical Society Museum & Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. These include agricultural activities like grinding corn and churning butter.
Harwinton Historical Society, Harwinton — Antique Farming Equipment: The Harwinton Historical Society will be opening their 1840 one-room schoolhouse and barn to visitors, with antique farming equipment on display at the barn.
Hilltop Farm, Suffield — Open Barn Event: The Friends of Hilltop Farm welcomes visitors to explore this farmstead and its enormous white barn. Activities include a beekeeping demonstration by the Hampden County Beekeepers Association, an agriscience program on caring for chickens from Suffield Chicks, a vintage baseball game, and a scavenger hunt.
Nellie McKnight Museum, Ellington — Barnyard Babies Farm Day: Get an up-close look at baby farm animals. The museum also includes an exhibit on the farming history of Ellington. No dogs.
Shelton Historical Society, Shelton — Plant a Pumpkin Patch: Free admission from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors are invited to be a farmer for a day and help plant the pumpkin patch the old-fashioned way, then take home a seedling to nurture.
Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington — Garden Tours and Cooking Demonstrations: A historical interpreter at this c. 1720 historic house will present different styles of Colonial cooking throughout the day. The Dooryard Garden Society will also be on hand to talk about indigenous and colonial plants and how they were used for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Thankful Arnold House Museum, Haddam — Lavender Activity: Stop by this historic house and herb garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and learn how Widow Thankful Arnold used herbs, vegetables, and plants in her cooking, dyeing, fragrance, and medicine. Visitors will also have the opportunity to make a lavender sachet.
Windsor Historical Society, Windsor — Herb Garden Q&A: In addition to free tours, the Windsor Historical Society is presenting an “Herb Garden Q&A” from 10 a.m. to noon. Becky Hendricks, a culinary expert and herb gardener, will discuss commonly used herbs in early Connecticut.
A full list of this year’s participating organizations can be found on CT Visit.