NEWINGTON - Olive oil grown in Greece, pies both sweet and savory, homemade preserves, and Connecticut-grown fruits and veggies - all found here.
There are about a dozen vendors participating in the 2019 Newington Farmer’s Market, set to begin June 29 and continue every Saturday through Oct. 26. Not every vendor will be present every market day, but people can expect to find a variety of fresh foods and wares during any given visit.
The outdoor event takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Constitution Square, the rear municipal parking lot located behind Market Square and East Cedar Street in Newington. It continues in rain or shine, though bad weather may deter some sellers. Anyone is welcome to set up a booth at no cost, as long as they can present insurance coverage.
“There will be at least four to six vendors at the market every week, and as the season progresses, more will show up,” explained Maura Casey, wife of Market Master Pete Panzarella.
The pair lives on their farm in North Franklin, where they grow fruits, vegetables and flowers. As summer cools into fall, different varieties of each will arrive in their booth.
“We are pesticide-free; the only thing that’s been on our veggies is rain,” Casey pointed out.
Panzarella is known for offering at least half-a-dozen kinds of garlic alone. He also plans on bringing organically grown berries, honey, melons, kale, lettuce, radishes, carrots, tomatoes and squash. Fresh flowers come in mixed bouquets for $5 apiece.
Rocky Hill-based food truck owner and fellow vendor Michael Kurasinski sells lunches and homemade relishes from his truck, Jammed 4 Thyme.
Another specialty vendor is Ariston Olive Oils and Balsamics, from a Connecticut family that owns olive orchards in the Kalamata region of Greece.
“Think way beyond extra virgin olive oil, although she has that,” Casey said. “There’s olive oil for pizza, chocolate olive oil, orange infused olive oil, basil oil, lemon oil, rosemary oil, etc. I worked in New York for years, and this olive oil is not only excellent but is on a par with much more expensive products.”
Casey also frequents the booth of Maria’s Kitchen Krafts, offering baked goods and pastries.
“They are all outstanding and I blame her for any weight gain I experience during the summer,” she said of owner Maria Peplau.
If they’re lucky, visitors will catch Job’s Hill Provisions Company one Saturday. Owner Jeff Stigliano of Ellington is known for his homemade marinara and other specialty items.
“We’re a guest vendor; we come a few times a year,” Stigliano said.
The market began over a decade ago, the brainchild of Newington resident Val Ginn. Last spring, she recounted for the Town Crier her idea and how it came to fruition.
“I started this small market for the good of the town, as a way to give back,” Ginn said. “I can’t believe it’s already been ten years.”
Since the beginning, the market has been popular among local restaurateurs, known to stop by and pick up a few of the latest offerings to feature on menus that same evening.
It’s also become a destination for seniors. Newington Human Services provides those in need with coupons to use. The State Department of Agriculture’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program serves adults over 60 in congregate housing.
Although it’s the biggest seller, food isn’t the only market fare. Several booths this summer are expected to feature vintage clothing and accessories, handcrafted bags, homemade cosmetics, and unique home décor. One of these vendors is Angelina Kandra, from Quilting After Dark, based in New Britain.
“If it can be sewn, she can make it,” said Casey, calling Kandra’s booth her “go-to stop for Christmas presents.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.