When it’s summer in New England, you can’t go very far without tripping over a farmer’s market. So when a farmers market is regularly called the best in New England, it had better be able to back up the claim.
To be clear, the Coventry Farmers Market doesn’t call itself the best farmer’s market or one of the top summer attractions in New England- they leave that to Yankee Magazine, the Boston Globe, and their thousands of regular visitors. But they do describe themselves as ‘A country fair every Saturday,’ – another claim I didn’t believe until I went there myself.
The market is located in the ‘quiet corner’ of Connecticut, at the Nathan Hale homestead – family home to CT’s state hero, the revolutionary war spy who regretted he only had but one life to give for his country. You get there by driving down what seems an endless series of side roads through quiet woods with occasional stone fences. You’ll have to go slowly and be prepared to break for deer. Basically, there is no way this place could be any more charmingly New England.
Let’s start with the basics: like most farmers markets, it’s a great place to stock up on fresh produce. But you can go beyond basic veggies – there’s cheese and meat, honey, herbs, homemade soaps and teas, breads and crafts.
And then there are the food vendors. Oh, the food vendors. You’ll find some of the best food trucks in the region, as well as representatives from restaurants all over the state.
Weekly themes range from ‘Dog Days’ to ‘BBQ and Moonshine,’ and they bring in special activities, entertainment, and vendors. Cheesefest, for example, featured tastings and cheesemaking demonstrations, while the Bluegrass week was a mini music festival.
Earlier this year, it looked like this season would be the market’s last. Fortunately, thanks to a campaign by the market’s devoted fanbase, it will continue under new management. So the next time you want fresh potatoes, local cheese, or Toblerone cupcakes, you know where to go.