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Danbury Farmers Market Dishes Up Nutritional Food Choices

Jose Lopes, who works at Smith's Acres LLC in Niantic, was one of the vendors at the Danbury Farmers' Market's opening day on Saturday. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Many people attend the "Eat Smart, Live Strong" program at the Danbury Farmers' Market on Saturday. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Vendor Willow Schulz, owner of Clatter Valley Farm in New Milford, along with her two daughters. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Peggy Zamore of Redding, director and nutritionist of the Danbury Farmers' Market Community Collaborative Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox

DANBURY, Conn. -- As the CityCenter Danbury Farmers Market settles in for its 12th year, shoppers can now enjoy a large selection of vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to soaps, jams, clams and herbs.

The downtown market, which sells only items that are grown or made in Connecticut, is open rain or shine every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m through Oct. 22. Admission is free.

The market operates through the Danbury Farmers Market Community Collaborative (DFMCC), which "is a 30-member group of representatives from different agencies and organizations in the City of Danbury that provide the programming to enable equitable access to fresh food," said Peggy Zamore, its director and nutritionist.

"Many people can't afford to shop at a farmers market because prices are typically a little higher than at a grocery store. If participants attend a free nutritional program -- offered at the Danbury Farmers Market and at the Danbury Senior Center -- they receive a $15 certificate, which can be used to purchase produce at the market," said Zamore, a Redding resident.

According to Zamore, produce sold at a farmers market can't compare to produce purchased in the supermarket. "Vendors typically pick the produce on the day they come here to sell it. The fresher the foods are, the longer they last and the tastier and more nutritious they are."

Vendors Willow Schulz and her husband Jeremy of Clatter Valley Farm in New Milford started their 50-acre farm 22 years ago and have been farming together ever since. "We sell leafy greens, beets, radishes, garlic and onions.

"My father-in-law, sister-in-law and three children have helped out on the farm at one time or another," Schulz said. "It's a family project."

Vendor Ben Schwartz, founder of White Pine Community Farm Corporative in Wingdale, N.Y., grows and sells herbs.

"It's very hard to find herbs grown locally. Herbs are more of a specialty item that often gets imported from all over the world. We can guarantee that our herbs are not grown with any chemicals."

Danbury resident Maria Lostocco said she plans to shop at the Danbury Farmers Market every Saturday now that it's open. "I think it's not only important to support the local community by shopping in Danbury but it's also good to know where the food you eat is coming from," said Lostocco, who works as a secretary.

City Center Danbury Farmers Market is held in Kennedy Park in downtown Danbury. For more information, call 203-792-1711 or click here .

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