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There’s a lot more than vegetables at the Bozrah Farmers Market

In late morning on Friday, July 16, the tents began to pop up in Maples Farm Park, and the vans and the trucks full of produce and crafts pulled into their assigned spaces.

The food trucks were parked and ready to serve by 4 p.m. as the Bozrah Farmers Market was finally open for its long-awaited 13th season.

The 12th season in 2020 had been a disappointment. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the market organizers, an all-volunteer subcommittee of the Maples Farm Park Commission, had scrambled to make sure farmers and artisans had some sort of outlet for their produce and products. Their ingenuity resulted in a drive-through affair, nothing like the festive community atmosphere Bozrah Farmers Market has been known for since 2008.

The market opening this year was delayed for a week by tropical storm Elsa. But even the threat of thundershowers couldn’t keep fans of Connecticut-grown produce and Connecticut-made crafts away on July 16. The market is open every Friday from July through Oct. 8 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The vegetables are colorful and fresh, but there is much more. Shoppers are also offered hand-made goat milk soaps, honey, soy candles, pickles, wooden signs, jewelry, pet treats and screen-printed clothing to name a few.

You can buy locally produced wine, cider and beer at the market, thanks to Staehly Farms Winery and Yankee Cider Company from East Haddam and These Guys Brewing Company from Norwich. But you can also get a wooden wine caddy that holds three bottles and eight glasses, crafted by Katie Galipeau, who runs Cabin Furniture Designs out of Gilman, one of Bozrah’s three villages. Making country-style furniture and wooden home decor has been Galipeau’s hobby and passion for many years. Like many people in southeastern Connecticut, her job and day care disappeared during the pandemic, so last year she decided to turn her hobby into a business.

While Galipeau is among newcomers to the market, some of the vendors, such as Collins Farm from Oakdale and Brush Hill Dairy, owned by the Brush-Moon family of Bozrah, have been in farming for generations and have sold produce at the market since it began.

Every week has a theme, and this week was all about vintage and antique tractors. Local people displayed their tractor collections, allowing children and adults not only to touch them but also to sit on the tractors.

When a passerby asked Justin Collins of Bozrah if all the tractors were his, he replied with a sheepish grin, “No, just three of them.”

Some market-goers brought their dogs. According to Miria Gray of the Maples Farm Park Commission, dogs are welcome if they are well-behaved around people and other dogs, if they are on a leash and if owners clean up after them. Bags for that purpose are available at the market if you forget to bring one.

And don’t forget to stop and chat about your pet with Bob and Heather Tripp of Treatzles, who sell hand-made, all-natural treats for dogs and cats.

Other folks strolled around sampling cheeses and baked goods and marveling at the delicate faux flower arrangements made by Lisa Herring for her company, For His Glory. And when the kids were hot, tired and ready for a melt-down, families found a shady spot to sit, rehydrate and enjoy their ice cream.

The Bozrah Farmers Market cancellations for severe weather are announced on the website bozrahfarmersmarket.org.

 

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