Colchester Farmer's Market Master Jeff Sawitsky.

Colchester Farmer’s Market Master Jeff Savitsky.

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb 016

Now in its fourth year, the Colchester Farmer’s Market is growing and is in a new location on the Colchester Town Green. The expansion is good news for Connecticut grown produce and appears to mirror a statewide trend.

“This is our fourth year. Every year this market has grown twenty-five percent and this year I expect it to grow fifty percent,” said Jeff Savitsky, market master, during an interview July 7.

“Everybody seems to be more interested in their health and people want to know where their food is coming from,” added Savitsky “and its putting money back into the local economy.”

A fourth generation farmer, Savitsky’s farm is called Lake Hayward Farm and is part of Common Ground CSA, which stands for community supported agriculture,a partnership established in 2012 by Savitsky and Jess Stone of Cold Spring Farm which also had a booth on the green -(to learn more about the Common Ground concept go to Savitsky’s parents have a farm of their own in Colchester and they too participate in the weekly farmer’s market. Previously it was located at the Polish Home just down the road but Savitsky noted their new spot on the town green has increased visibility and is drawing in more customers.

One such new customer was Wendy Maranda who recently moved back to Connecticut after living in Vermont for five years. She was on her way to drop her daughter off at Starbucks when she passed the town green and decided to stop.

Wendy Maranda (right) buys a loaf of artisan bread from Doreen Near of Two Dog Baking Company.

Wendy Maranda (right) buys a loaf of artisan bread from Doreen Near of Two Dog Baking Company.

“I love farmer’s markets,” she said as she bought a loaf of artisan bread from Doreen Near of Stonington-based Two Dogs Baking Company.

According to Near, the Colchester Farmer’s Market is one of three where she sells her bread which is baked by wood-fire.Two Dogs Baking Company bakes ten different kinds of artisan breads so described because they are not mass produced, explained Near.

Among the twenty vendors who turned out on this Sunday for the farmer’s market there was a lot of passion expressed for what they do as more than just a livelihood. They also strongly believe in the health benefits of homegrown produce.

'Eat Real Food' is the motto of Cugno's Farm as seen on the t-shirts worn by father and son Darren and Nicholas Cugno of Colchester CT.

‘Eat Real Food’ is the motto of Cugno’s Farm as seen on the t-shirts worn by father and son Darren and Nicholas Cugno of Colchester CT.

“Where do I start?” said Darren Cugno when asked about the value of organically grown vegetables from his family farm on Windham Avenue in Colchester.

“The biggest evil is genetically modified (produce),” he said.

Organic produce from Cugno's Farm.

Organic produce from Cugno’s Farm.

Lovely bouquets of flowers also from Cugno's Farm.

Lovely bouquets of flowers also from Cugno’s Farm.

Even conventionally grown vegetables and fruits do not have a nutrient level matching organic produce according to Cugno. Organic may cost slightly more but its long-term health return makes it a worthwhile investment says Cugno. His philosophy is reflected in the Cugno’s Farm t-shirts worn by Darren and son Nicholas, sporting the slogan ‘Eat Real Food.’ Cugno pointed to the dominance of genetically modified and conventional produce in the American diet as contributing to health issues now plaguing the nation.007

“You see the effects in the rise in obesity, diabetes and autoimmune diseases,” Cugno said.

Cold Spring Farm was there with Sweet Anna’s Organics; in the booth next to them was Country Herb Farm. Available too was Connecticut produced raw honey and maple goods from Sugar Maple Farm in Lebanon and another vendor from the Chaplin/Pomfret area. Fresh fish lovers were making selections from Fresh Catch/Point Judith.

Cold Spring Farm

Cold Spring Farm

Farm fresh cheese aged in a man-made underground cave in Colchester, CT

Farmstead fresh Black Ledge Blue Cheese aged in a man-made underground cave .

On hand with farmstead fresh made cheese was Tim Curtis who was helping his neighbor by manning the booth for Cato Corner Farm, a mother/son operation run by Mark Gilman and his mother Liz. Curtis said they have forty, mostly Jersey cows, which they milk daily. (Visit their website for more information.)

“They make cheese six days a week which is aged in a man-made underground cave,” said Curtis.

Colchester Farmer’s Market opened its 2013 season on June 16 and is scheduled to be held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until October 20.

Colchester is easy to reach from Route 2, or along a pleasant back roads drive to Rocky Neck Beach Sate Park from the Greater Hartford region.