Market is a meeting place

Monday, July 29, 2013
Waterbury Republican American (print edition)
Waterbury, CT

Tots from New Opportunities Early Childhood Division took a field trip with their teachers to the Brass City Harvest farmers’ market Thursday morning to pick out vegetables for a soup they planned to make based on their reading of the folk story “Stone Soup.”

As the kids named all the veggies they hoped to find, program aide Denise Martinez explained they were also visiting the market to show the children all the places they can travel to without having to jump into a car or on the bus.

“We’re going to be taking more community walks,” she said. “We’re planning trips to the police department, the Silas Bronson Library and the Mattatuck Museum.

Martinez also shared news that New Opportunities will be holding a recruitment fair today at the Muriel Moore Child Development Center, 444 North Main St., from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

During those hours, the building will be open for tours and parents can find out about childcare options available for their children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. The program is open to the public, and there will be activities going on for the kids.

New Opportunities was also one of this week’s featured vendors on the Green. While an energy saving lighting fair took place in front of City Hall, representatives were on hand at the farmers market to distribute informa­tion and promote the Energize CT initiative, a income­eligible program for home energy solutions.

The major vendors who have been supporting BCH from the start are back again this year.

Gresczyk Farms of New Hartford had tables overflowing with farm-fresh produce that includes yellow squash, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, beets and bok choy.

Dondero Orchards from South Glastonbury brought out corn, basil, beets, green beans, plums, peaches and baked goods like pies and bread.

And Cy-Bon from Morris had gorgeous tomatoes, large and small, in super vibrant colors like red and yellow. The green ones, picked early from the vine, were selling too, said Cynthia Hoffman.

“People use them for fried green tomatoes,” she said.

“You crust them in cornmeal and fry them. I just sold two pints to a woman whose mother showed her how to make them.”

One of the latest vendors to join the downtown market is Brooklyn Bakery, which had a very long line Thursday. They’re selling the same doughnuts and rye bread that have kept the place in business for 100 years, and the market gives them even more opportunity to share their homemade elephant ears, biscotti and nine-grain bread.

Owner Peter Velez, who this past April opened a sec­ond location in the Lombard Plaza on Reidville Drive, said the time seemed right to expand to the Reidville Drive area. Right now, the outpost is selling the same product put out in Brooklyn (the rye and most of the pastry are still baked there) but they are also serving simple breakfasts, like egg sandwiches and omelettes and plans are in the works for a lunch menu.

The market will continue every Thursday through Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the Green. For more information on Brass City Harvest and its programs and events, go to

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