In honor of National Farmer’s Day, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and Governor Ned Lamont are asking Connecticut residents to incorporate locally grown and produced items into every meal this fall
This fall, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s (CT DoAg) CT Grown program challenges consumers across the state to “Put CT Grown On Your Plate,” a new program that asks residents to make room on their plates for Connecticut-grown or produced foods at every meal.
This program serves as a reminder to all Connecticut residents that they have the opportunity to incorporate fresh, healthy, and delicious foods into their everyday diets while also supporting the state’s agriculture and aquaculture communities.
“When you eat food that was grown in Connecticut, you are not only getting a nutritious meal, but you are also supporting your neighbors who work in Connecticut’s agriculture industry,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “With more than a hundred farmers’ markets operating across the state and dozens upon dozens of stores selling locally grown food, everyone has the opportunity to support Connecticut farmers.”
Connecticut is home to more than 5,500 farms covering more than 380,000 acres. The state’s agriculture industry supports 22,000 jobs in production, processing, or agribusiness and contributes approximately $4 billion to the state’s economy each year. With more than 100 farmers’ markets operating across the state, Connecticut consumers have access to fresh, local foods year-round. Eating local foods supports farmers and growers, bolsters the state’s economy, and greatly benefits the general public health.
“Adding CT Grown foods to your meal plans is a great way to promote healthy eating habits while supporting our state’s diverse array of farmers and producers,” said Bryan P. Hurlburt, Commissioner of CT DoAg. “Incorporating these locally grown or made foods can be as simple as packing an apple or milk in your child’s lunch box or seeking out the CT Grown logo at your local grocery store or dining venue.”
Through a pair of programs — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), Connecticut Grown food products are accessible to families of all income levels and budgets.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture strongly encourages people who receive SNAP benefits to use them at farmers’ markets. Most markets accept these benefits, allowing them to be used for the purchase of fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey. Some markets help these benefits go even further by doubling benefits for fruit and vegetable purchases.
Most farmers’ markets in Connecticut are affiliated with FMNP, which serves participants of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and seniors over the age of 60 and meets income eligibility guidelines with funds through an app or card to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey. The FMNP program is accessible between July 1 and November 30 each year.
Celebrate Farmers’ Market Week and Support Your Local Farmers
It’s officially National Farmers’ Market Week (Aug. 7-13), the 32nd annual celebration of our farmers and the vital role farmers’ markets play in our food system.
There’s no better time to visit your local farmers’ market — not only to support the farms in your community — but to also enjoy local, fresh and healthy foods and high-quality products available at affordable prices. And with more than 100 certified farmers’ markets and farm stands located throughout Connecticut — you are sure to find a great farmers’ market right in your community.
“Connecticut’s farmers’ markets are a collective effort fostering direct-to-consumer sales, reinforcing the farm to plate connection, and providing a crucial entry point for new and beginning farmers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “Farmers’ markets fuel local economies and provide increased access to nutritious, fresh CT Grown food for our most vulnerable populations.”
Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Underway Through November 30
Need another reason to visit your local farmers’ market? Here’s one!
Farmers’ markets offer food nutrition programs — allowing consumers to stretch their food dollars with the purchase of fresh, locally grown farm products while supporting new and beginning farmers, as well as established producers.
The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, received additional funding through the state legislature for eligible individuals to redeem checks at certified farmers’ markets or farm stands throughout the state. Eligible individuals include seniors over the age of 60 and women, infants, and children (WIC) who meet certain guidelines. Here in Connecticut, eligible WIC and Senior participants can receive up to $32.00 in Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks to purchase fresh Connecticut Grown fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey. Newly added to the list of eligible items this year are eggs.
Many farmers’ markets also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — some even offering double purchasing power. In 2021 alone, over $100 million in federal nutrition benefits were redeemed at farmers’ markets across the nation.
Check Distribution Sites
Check Redemption Sites
Recipe ideas using products from Connecticut farmers’ markets
Need ideas on how to incorporate CT Grown products into your home-cooked meals? Here are some great recipes that are affordable, easy to make, and of course, delicious! The best part, each of these recipes are centered around ingredients grown by Connecticut farmers, and available at a reasonable price.
Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic (Green Bean Market Price: $4.00/quart | Garlic Market Price: $5/head): Snap into a refreshing and zesty summer side dish with locally grown green beans — in season now!
Greek Stuffed Eggplant (Eggplant Market Price: $4.00/quart): Light, yet filling, Connecticut Grown eggplant is the centerpiece of some great healthy recipes — including this Greek inspired dish that can incorporate several other locally grown products (tomatoes, peppers, feta, etc.).
Kale and Peach Smoothie (Kale Market Price: $3.00/bundle | Peach Market Price: $5.00/quart): Healthy and refreshing, this recipe can be made using several locally grown products. Want to make a special treat? Freeze it and make smoothie popsicles — refreshing on a hot summer day.
July 24, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
July 31, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
August 7, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
August 14, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
August 21, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
August 28, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
September 4, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
September 11, 2022 @ 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM