Walking One Small (Very Interconnected) World
Blame Samuel Clemens writing as Mark Twain twinned with a passion for knitting for this story (more about that coming up soon.) A recent visit to the Twain carriage house in Hartford is being cooked into a tale – and those words are fighting back. So what to do? Head for a meadow to walk with dogs, toting along a tomato sandwich, knitting, and the 1,462-page (five pounds) Family Mark Twain, of course.
While walking and inhaling the scent of hay curing in the hot sun, ideas about that barn simmered. Knitting grew tedious. A stand of milkweed at the edge of the meadow was examined for Monarch caterpillars (not found). But one strikingly-patterned insect was spotted as it slowly climbed atop spent blooms. Curious (always), an image was made of the small critter to identify later.
When a stem of Queen Anne’s lace seemed to call out for a portrait, I obliged (the results may be seen above). According to Wikipedia, this “wild carrot . . . is known as ‘Queen Anne’s lace’ . . . because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red bloom, colored by anthocyanin, is to attract insects. . . . Anthocyanin is also a powerful antioxidant.” (Imagine. No wonder my rabbits love eating this stuff.) Later, online research put a name on the red-and-black insect – it’s a red milkweed beetle – and, get this – its eyes are actually “split into two parts by the antenna base.” A related link on BugGuide.net showed the hundreds of life forms that depend on milkweed.
A community of sorts. Like farmers’ markets – where some vendors travel a circuit around the state with their products, intermingling with some who only participate in their own town’s market. They may have a farm to manage, plus family and community obligations, a commitment to 4-Hers to guide. For each person and any venue, including this publication, time is a factor of life.
Even a few years ago, markets were not very common; now nearly every town offers one. (Compare the images here – taken at the same location in Durham, but three years apart.)
So take your pick, enjoy the bounty. No matter where you may be on a summer’s day, there’s plenty to feed a body and soul.
Durham Farmers’ Market, Thursdays on the town green, Route 17, rain or shine, 3 to 6:30 p.m. • Lisbon Farmers’ Market, Thursdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Lisbon Meadows Park. • Expanded Wethersfield Farmers’ Market, Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m., new location near the DMV at Cove Park. More images from the 30-plus vendor market here. • The Billings Forge Farmers’ Market, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays at 563 Broad St., Hartford. • Middletown, two locations: South Green on Old Church Street Farmers Market, July through October, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. • North End Farmers Market, Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., It’s Only Natural Market, 575 Main St., Middletown. • Higganum Village Farmers’ Market on the green, Fridays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.; for updates check out the market’s Facebook page. • Glastonbury Farmers Market, two Saturdays a month, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Glastonbury Town Center, Main Street – July 14 and July 28. According to Brenda Sullivan, market master, vendors include Killam & Bassette Farmstead, Thompson Street Farm, Bednarz Farm, Wind Hill Community Farm. More at www.glastonburyfarmersmarket.com. • A new farmers’ market for Berlin at A.S. Labieniec Feed and Grain, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., through October. Find the store at 817 Farmington Ave., in Kensington (part of Berlin). Vendors include Bardon Farm, Boxed Goodes, Burger Farms, Earth’s Treasures, Jones Apiaries, Katie Jurkiewicz Art, Nose to Toes Mobile Dog Groomer, Rachel’s Cookies and Treats, Sanremo Bakery, Shenstone Gardens, Simply Soap. Note: They are seeking a cheese/dairy vendor to round out the market; call (860) 828-3633 if you can help. • Urban Oaks Organic Farm Market in New Britain, Fridays, 3 to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Smoothies, vegetables and berries, Beltane Farm chevre and summer sausage. Herbs, lavender, farm-fresh eggs, gardening books, honey. • Dudley Farm Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., special events include July 30, candle-making demonstration, psaltery concert, and organic gardening how-tos.
Farm markets are such a community gathering center that we’ve devoted a new page to news, happenings, special events and more.