DANBURY, Conn. -- Joe and Mary Ann Tuccillo of Ridgefield are regulars at farmers market as they prize fresh, locally grown food. So on Saturday, they stopped in at the Danbury Farmers Market on its opening day of the season.
"We go as as often as we can find them. Everything is so fresh," said Mary Ann, who was holding garlic and was looking to find some basil.
"I will make this with the fresh basil and make a nice pesto sauce and we will be ready to go," she said with a laugh.
Joe said they usually look for tomatoes but noted it is too early in the season for that treat.
Although it was early in the season for some produce, there still was enough to attract buyers to the market, which moved to Saturdays this summer. It continues Saturdays until Oct. 22 in Kennedy Park at Main Street and Kennedy Avenue. Now in its seventh year, it is operated by CityCenter Danbury.
Lifelong Danbury resident Jim Johnson was selling bottles of his honey, labelled "Jim's Honey," naturally. He first became interested in honey-making at age 14 after seeing a television program on it. He purchased bees from a local resident and got to work.
"I did honey basically for the family and friends," he said. "Last year, I had a good surplus so I came here for the last eight weeks."
So far this spring, he has had a good flow of honey and hopes it continues so he can sell it at the market every week.
Laurie Popadic has been a vendor every year selling clams. She and her husband, Ed, of Stratford, own Pepe's Cream of the Crop. They sell their clams at 10 farmers markets throughout the area, splitting up the days and markets. They gather their own clams, which ensures they have fresh ones for their customers.
"Ours we usually catch the day before market," she said in between serving customers. "That's why we have such a good name for ourselves."
Vendor Willow Schultz, of Clatter Valley Farm in New Milford, said the Danbury market is the only one she attends.
"I like interacting with the public," she said. "I love seeing the people come out and getting the good fresh produce out into the community."