Fresh seafood, produce, cheese, wine, breakfast sandwiches, coffee — sounds like a gourmet grocery store, huh? If you guessed yes, then you would be wrong! This is the scene for the Stonington Village Farmer’s market @ The Velvet Mill in Stonington. The mill hosts the farmers’ market every Saturday from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. during the winter.
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As I walked around, I saw people from all walks of life — old, young, couples, single people, neighbors running across the street to grab some fresh eggs, and an elderly couple who traveled over an hour just to spend a fun day with each other. I could smell fresh coffee and breakfast sandwiches over by the seating area, so that is where my journey down this tempting road of fresh food begins.
I ordered a cup of Joe and a sausage, egg and cheese on a roll — easy to carry and enjoy at the same time. I sit down in the common area and observe the flow of people while I plan my walk through the vendors. They all bring something different to the party, so I want to make sure I take everything in first.
As I finish up breakfast (and now I’m not shopping on an empty stomach), I decide to stop and get some fresh apples for a pie I want to make. The cold weather is setting in, so an apple pie sounds extremely good right now. Next, I walk over to the next vendor and see jams and jellies — need to stock up on those for the dead of winter! What’s that? Some fresh maple syrup; I do want to make some fresh waffles tomorrow. I’m gonna need some eggs for that — ok, have to grab a dozen of those too.
The next vendor brings lots of veggies! I do need some onions and kale, and the farmer does not disappoint. Crunchy kale abounds out of the crates — a vibrant green, like a freshly cut lawn in the morning dew. The onions are a good size with the skin still intact; they will definitely last a fair amount of time in the cellar.
The live music is really setting a good mood in here. Everyone seems to be having a great time and enjoying each others company. I think I will enjoy this acoustic set for a few moments.
Ok…what else is there that I need? Oh yeah, a bottle of Cabernet for dinner tonight — there we go. With the shopping list completed, I think I’ll take a look at the artwork on the other side. I do need a picture for the hall, maybe I’ll find what I need.
Now that the shopping is done, I do need to get a growler of beer from the brewery, which is a short walk past the breakfast sandwich vendor (I sure could eat another one of those). The vibe in here is energetic and hip! People are enjoying tastings, having a pint and/or getting a growler or two to take home with them.
There are more people down the hall in what seems like another room; this is an old mill after all! After I pick up my growler, I head down to see what is going on. Much to my surprise, there is an indoor flea market with everything from antique tools, to jewelry, to furniture, to cast iron cookware, to vintage toys, to crafts, to liquor bottle lamps…well you get the point. The Velvet Mill in Stonington does NOT disappoint!
A whole other room full of vendors, pickers and looky lews; making deals, striking up conversations and looking for the next great find.
Now I was a carpenter in a previous life, so I am always a sucker for tools. The first vendor I see has three tables full of antique tools, but what catches my eye are the vintage block planes. So, I have to buy one. The rest of my walk is extremely fast, just catching a glimpse of what is to offer. I can’t spend any more money! Unfortunately, that thought didn’t last long.
At the end of the aisle, I come across my weakness. Something that is going to go excellent with that bottle of wine; cheese. That’s right an artisanal cheese shop making cheese the old fashion way — by hand — using milk procured from local dairy farms. After a small tasting of their finest cheeses, I decide on a couple that would go well with the wine. The night is shaping up to be a lot of fun!
I make another quick lap through the rest of the market and then onto my car @ The Velvet Mill.
I didn’t have time to check out the rest of the studios and shops because I just didn’t give myself enough time. I had no idea that this was going on right in my own backyard! This is why we had to share it with our loyal readers.