CT Know Your Farmer Fair a Success

      Posted On: March 23, 2018

From Bulletin 225, Feb 2018


Through the winter months, Robin Rouse, of Windham Center, misses the fresh foods and community value of farmers markets.

On Saturday, she headed to the auditorium at Windham Town Hall where she was met by 27 local farmers and hundreds of like-minded residents, eager for the third annual Know Your Farmer Fair.

“I like putting a face to the food I buy,” Rouse said.

Event organizer Libby Tarleton, of Canterbury, said she was inspired to create the event after opening up her own farm, Russo’s Roots, four years ago.

“There are so many farms all over Eastern Connecticut, but it’s a rural area and everyone is so spread out,” she said. “I wanted to talk to other farmers in the area and I wanted to meet people in the community, too.”

The event is organized through Windham Community Food Network. Farmers set up tables to display information and sell fruit, meat, cheese, vegetables, honey, sauces and eggs. There were also demonstrations on lacto-fermenting, bee keeping, seed saving and mushroom growing throughout the day.

This year, organizers added an incentive to motivate attendees to not just purchase from vendors, but to hold conversations with the farmers. Everyone who entered the auditorium was given a card with a list of farms on them. If the attendee spoke with a farmer, the farmer would check off their card. Attendees with 10 checks were entered into a raffle.

“We really want to encourage people to talk with their farmers. That’s the difference from a supermarket,” Tarleton said.