From the Ground Up – Wilton Farmers Market has Something for Everyone
It’s harvest time, so why not head over to the Wilton Farmers Market and pick up some fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies? You can also sip a healthy beverage, grab a bite to eat, or pick up a unique gift. This season sees the return of many longtime participants, as well as some new faces in the crowd.
Beldotti Bakery returns for its 10th year at the market this summer. The Stamford-based bakery, which opened in 1985, is co-owned by brothers Michael and Chris Beldotti. It is considered an old style bakery; everything is made from scratch. They offer a variety of products—cakes and cookies, muffins and macarons—but their specialty is bread. “Our breads are true artisanal breads, made in small batches,” says Chris. Many recipes, such as sourdough, don’t include yeast, but instead use a starter—a mixture of fermenting dough reserved from an earlier batch of baking. Their rye starter is over 63 years old. Starters need to be nurtured and cared for daily—even on Christmas morning, Michael comes into the bakery to feed them.
Loyal customers have made participation in the Wilton market a success for the Beldotti Bakery. “We often will set aside a specific bread we know a regular customer buys,” says Chris.
Gazy Brothers Farm, located in Oxford, CT, is a fourth generation farm and a seasoned market participant. Established in 1918, the 80-acre farm is run by Ed and Lexi Gazy and their children. Produce on the farm is grown using an integrated pest-management program, which reduces the amount of chemicals needed to keep destructive insects under control. “We also use a lot of hands-on scouting in the field to get rid of bugs,” says Lexi.
Produce available at the market includes summer staples such as tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and cucumbers, as well as greens and herbs. “We’ve developed a solid relationship with our regular customers,” says son Dominick. They have also expanded to include newer items, such as Sun Jewel melons and baby bok choy.
“People generally want to eat healthier and fresher,” says Lexi, “but sometimes they’re unsure of how to prepare unfamiliar vegetables.” She’s always happy to help customers with recipe ideas, many of which are posted on the farm’s website.
Lexi hopes that with the recent arrival of a new grandchild, a fifth generation Gazy will continue the farming tradition.
Angie’s Cocinita has beenenjoying their second season at the market. After many years in the restaurant business, Angie Michaca decided to cook her own food. In 2016, she opened a food truck and catering business serving cuisine honoring her heritage—she is half Cuban, and her husband, Leo, is Mexican.
Family recipes are the basis of many of the dishes she lovingly prepares in her cocinita or “little kitchen.” The blue corn chips are made from an organic stone-ground mesa and are handcrafted. The Cubano sandwich and beef picadillo empanadas use organic and hormone-free meats. “I want to provide Cuban and Mexican food with the freshest ingredients for an authentic and delicious experience,” says Angie. Many customers have taken advantage of Angie’s catering services. “We love doing private parties as well,” she says.
Cross Culture Kombucha is one of the newest additions to the market. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink made from tea, water, sugar, and a kombucha culture or SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.) The result is an effervescent beverage with a taste similar to an IPA beer or sparkling hard cider, minus the alcohol content. The beneficial bacteria, vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes in the kombucha all contribute to good gut health. “We started Cross Culture to find a healthy non-alcoholic beverage to enjoy in social situations,” says Liz. What began as a hobby has expanded exponentially: Cross Culture Kombucha is now available in over 70 retail shops and on tap in over 25 establishments. What’s more, in September 2018, the couple opened the first kombucha taproom in Connecticut on Division Street in Danbury.
They have five core flavors: Original Green, Jasmine, Earl Grey, Black Assam & White Peony, and Boogie Down Black. “We really focus on the tea blends,” says Liz. Other flavors rotate in based on produce availability. Recent seasonal flavors include Mojito and Hibiscus Elderberry. “We plan on bringing three flavors on tap to the market,” says Liz.
Refillable growlers (bottles) will be available for purchase to make your kombucha experience more eco-friendly.
The Wilton Farmers’ Market, presented by the Chamber of Commerce, runs from 12:00 to 5:00 pm every Wednesday on the grounds of the Wilton Historical Society, until October 23. Camille Carriero, assistant director for the Chamber, is thrilled to take over the reins as the new manager of the market. “My goal,” says Carriero, “is to have a flourishing market with
a diverse group of vendors, bringing new and unique products and services to the Wilton community.”
Wilton Farmers Market features the wares of numerous local purveyors.
›› Ambler Farm (hands-on educational programming and sustainable farming) – amblerfarm.org
›› Angie’s Cocinita angiescocinita.com
›› Athletic Brewing Company (non alcoholic craft beer) – athleticbrewing.com
›› Basic Naturals (organic/natural handmade skin care) – basic-naturals.com
›› Beldotti Bakery goodbreadbakery.com
›› Blue Lotus Bracelets etsy.com/shop/bluelotusbracelets
›› Bubble and Brew (baked goods and tea) – bubbleandbrew.com
›› Cross Culture Kombucha – crossculturekombucha.com
›› Espalier Natural Botanics (artisan soaps and skin care products) facebook.com/pg/EspalierNaturalBotanics/about/
›› Gazy Brothers Farm – gazybrothersfarm.net
›› Jeff’s BBQ – jeffsbbqcatering.com
›› Om Champagne Tea (probiotic, non-alcoholic petillant cultured tea) – champagnetea.com
›› Park City Honey (honey based confections and food) – parkcityhoney.net
›› PopCentric Gourmet Popsicles – popcentricpops.com
›› Prospector Theater Gourmet Popcorn – prospectortheater.org
›› TJ’s Cookies –tjscookiejar.com
›› The Well (natural market in Wilton, CT)– shopthewell.co
›› Veronica’s Garden (sustainable farm in Ridgefield, CT) –veronicasgarden.net
›› Wildtree (meal solutions for families) – wildtree.com