Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summertime at the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market

Summer begins for me when the lilacs bloom, and their scent fills the air on sunny afternoons. The peas are up, but I become anxious to plant the tomatoes, peppers, and squash. The days are getting longer, and I enjoy weeding the flower garden or sitting out on the lawn in the evening, soaking in the last rays of sunshine each day. As the weather warms, all of my neighbors appear like magic: walking, running, and biking. There is a feeling of lightness, and a smile always just below the surface when the weather becomes sunny and the breezes are warm. In the Islands, summer means music, ice cream, long bike rides, and celebrations!

Long before June arrives, I am ready my favorite part of summer, the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market! Twice a week, all summer long, I can find fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious breads and pies, great picnic meals, and yummy treats at the farmers’ market. When the long row of tents pops up, and vendors set out their wares, I know that summer has arrived! I can wander down the row, touching beautiful wool and yarns from local sheep, goats, and llamas. I can smell handcrafted soaps and lotions that will smooth out my gardening calluses and be great gifts for summer guests. Unique jewelry, clothing, and other artisan crafts make special gifts and treats for me to take home. Local farmers recommend their favorite varieties of tomatoes, tempt me with fresh asparagus & spinach, or let me sample the first strawberries of the season. I can find cinnamon rolls and scones for my breakfast, fresh pasta and vegetable tarts for dinner, and crusty breads or artisan wraps for lunch. I can even find seeds and seedlings for my garden, just in time for planting. And while I meander from tent to tent, I can visit with all of my neighbors and friends who have come out to the farmers’ market. I hope that I’ll see you there too!

The Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market kicks off the summer season Memorial Day Weekend. The Grand Isle Market held every Saturday at St. Joseph’s Church from 10:00 am-2:00pm, will begin May 29th. The South Hero Market, held every Wednesday at St. Rose of Lima Church from 4:00-7:00pm, will begin June 2nd. Come celebrate summer with us!

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