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'The Less Distance ... Between People & Their Food, the Better'

Jeff Borofsky, owner of Skinny Pines Brick Oven Pizza.
Jeff Borofsky, owner of Skinny Pines Brick Oven Pizza.
Fruits and vegetables bought in the supermarket can be grown in countries as far away as Mexico, Italy and China, before being shipped or flown to the United States, then driven hundreds of miles to get to Fairfield County.

More and more people are opting for fresh, locally grown produce bought at farmers' markets. The Monroe, Easton, Redding and Weston farmers' markets already closed for the season, but Benedict's Home & Garden, 480 Purdy Hill Road, recently opened its second annual Winter Farmers' Market.

Even though it snowed on opening day, Jan. 10, Market Master Karen Demont said there was a good turnout. The market also attracted a steady crowd on Friday.

"The less distance you put between people and their food, the better," Demont said. "People get that now. The tide is shifting. It's not about convenience now."

Benedict's Winter Farmers' Market is held every Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. through March 7.

Meet the Vendors

Jeff Borofsky of Easton made pepperoni, cheese and mushroom pies from his Skinny Pines Brick Oven Pizza truck outside Benedict's entrance with help from his seven-year-old daughters, Lillian and Sydney.

Inside, tables of vendors filled the back room.

Frank Schrodl Jr. of Waterview Farm in Monroe took a carton of eggs from a cooler for one customer. He also sold yarn made from the coat of his alpaca.

Lolly Dunworth of Bethel owns Whistle Stop Bakery. She sold apple pie, chocolate bourbon pecan pie and a naturally gluten-free chocolate pie.

Mark Nicyper of Redding worked with Dunworth on Friday. "All the apples are from Salinger's Orchards on the New York border," he said of the apple pies.

Aside from baked goods, Nicyper said Dunworth has added beef empanadas and chicken pot pie with organic Bell & Evans chicken to her offerings. 

"She's been doing this literally for 30 years," he said. "Her building is a 100-year-old train station in Branchville — at the Branchville Train Station on Route 7 in Ridgefield."

Next to Whistle Stop Bakery's table was Andrew Gibson of Connecticut Gourmet selling freshly baked loaves of bread. Then there was the Olive Oil Factory and Pepe's Cream of the Crop.

Pepe's sells shellfish from its farm on Long Island Sound and specializes in clams. On Friday, Ed Popadic Jr. served up free samples of red and white seafood chowder and scungilli salad.

Nancy Moore of Moorefield Herb Farm of Trumbull sold her fresh herbs nearby.

Rowanwood Farm Llama Hiking Adventures didn't have its animals with them indoors, but sold fabric made from their coats.

Daffodil Hill Growers at Woodside Farm was represented, along with Fresh Pastabilities, Savor Fine Foods, Arcadia Farm (which sells organic beef, eggs and maple syrup), Guy's Eco-Garden, Carrot Top Kitchens, Huckleberries Artisan Pastries, Gazy Bros. Farm and Dague Popcorn.

Mari O'Rourke and her sister Barbara Dague's popcorn business pops and bags salted caramel, chocolate drizzle and plain popcorn.

Garden Fresh Baby makes organic baby food and toddler meals. Katy Morris said the business was started by Westport mom, Marna Altman, last spring. It recently expanded from baby food to include biscotti and hot cereals, according to Morris.

Chris Hamilton of Molly & Murphy All Natural Irish Horse & Dog Biscuits out of Trumbull was back for a second year. He had the healthy, organic Coconut, Pumpkin and Carrot flavors, but also brought a new offering.

"It's a game changer," Hamilton said, "the Peanut Butter and Bacon Dog Biscuit."
Susanne Krivit January 21, 2014 at 04:28 PM
A winter farmers market sounds great! Too bad it is held during the work day when many of us can't be there.

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