If ever you’re traveling through Westport on the last Saturday of the month between now and April, be sure to stop in to the Winter Farmers Market in Westport. You don’t need directions - you’ll see all the cars parked along the edges of Main Street in front of the Heritage House.
I stumbled upon it quite by accident while out on a drive to battle a little case of cabin fever - it turned out to be the perfect cure for what ailed me. We saw the cars and decided to stop and see what the hubbub was about. The building itself is a historical treasure that dates to 1877 and is a wonderfully intact example of gothic architecture. If you’re into that kind of thing, as I am, it alone is worth the trip.
The sign will confirm you’re at the right spot- head on in!
Everything an indoor farmers market should have is here in spades… maple syrup, loads of fresh veggies and herbs, locally raised meats, soaps, and soups…
… even fresh baked bread!
The energetic woman running the show is Curdie Gardner. She has done a spectacular job at making this happen. Ms. Gardner had a lot on her plate when we were there, but she took time to give us the rundown of the vendors and even a mini-tour of the church - the sanctuary is a braced vault that is a wonder of craftsmanship and houses some historical displays that the public can view.
Master Gardner Carla Hendrix was on hand to offer gardening tips and - hooray! - the tree and shrub order forms are here! Is this the year I put in some blueberry bushes?
Adam Reed from Tangleroot Farm had some mighty fine veggies on display.
These lovely handmade soaps, micro greens, and crocheted items were available from Little Hills Farm.
This industrious entrepreneur wants you to wear your good shoes when you come - he can’t polish wellies or sneakers.
It was impossible to pass up some local pasture-raised bacon that Ann Lamb of Willow Wood Farm had for sale. (Mmm, I already know what I'm going to do with this! Ready to try out my bacon breakfast special?)
Suddenly I realized how hungry I was. The reason turned out to be DaCy Meadow Farm’s corn chowder steaming away nearby and the aroma was very enticing. Cynthia Johnston had many delicious things for the crowd, including some maple pecan cookies we bought for the ride home.
When we tasted them, I wanted to stop the car and go back for all they had.
South Farm’s table was so popular that I had to stick the camera through the crowd. “Grass-fed organic Black Angus Beef”... makes me wonder just how much snow is on that grill at home.
If it’s jam you’re wanting, Mary Fielder of Bert's Jams can fix you up with any number of flavors, all made from handed-down family recipes.
Andrea Connor’s “Seed to Table” program has been a huge success for Mountain Lake Services. Andrea was assisted at the farmer’s market by Jessica Meehan and Mike Harrison, who were proud to show off their apple sauce and apple juice, and rightly so.
Reber Rock Farms had lots of neat things, including a tincture of St Johns Wort that I picked up. St Johns Wort is a true tonic for cabin fever in my book. And, if you’re looking for pickled scapes (and who isn’t), now you know where to find them.
Mary Beth Sayre from North Hill Maple Farm and Sheera Broderick from Spring Hill Farm had a fine selection of locally made maple syrup for sale. An Adirondack cooking essential!
Chris Cannone from Buster Hill Farm in Crown Point is well known for his pasture-raised Icelandic sheep. He was there with some of his lamb products. Like a kid at the fair, I began to regret having spent all my money before looking around at all there was. Next time that rib rack is coming home with me to make a very swanky crown roast.
Noted author and herb authority Jo Ann Gardner was on hand and we had the honor of purchasing some of her seeds. It was a toss up between red poppies and pink hollyhocks, in the end the hollyhocks won out. Spring can’t be too far off now, right?
Ashlee Kleinhammer from North Country Creamery was very busy handing out samples of their tasty cheese and yogurt.
Is there anything better with strong black coffee than a crispy biscotti? The answer is “no.” If you don’t believe me, Angie Tipaldos of Biscotti Kitchen fame will back me up on this.
Another table that was hard to get to because of the crowd was the bread display from Triple Green Jade Farms. When things quieted down a bit Dan Rivera was happy to show me one of his loaves.
Lard?! Yes, Please! Thanks to the Full and By Farm there will be some light and flaky pie crusts in my future.
Well, for going out on a lark we came home with a nice little haul that will help us enjoy the remainder of winter and get us excited for spring. We will definitely head back to the remaining Winter Farmers Markets in Westport, and if you’re suffering from cabin fever then I highly recommend that you don’t miss them either.