Farmers’ markets starting at Lachat in Weston

Elizabeth Zeppernick is organizing a series of farmers’ markets at Lachat Town Farm in Weston. — Gregory Menti photo

Elizabeth Zeppernick is organizing a series of farmers’ markets at Lachat Town Farm in Weston. — Gregory Menti photo

Elizabeth Zeppernick has fond memories of going to the farmers’ market in Brattleboro, Vt., during her childhood. So fond, in fact, that she is bringing the experience to the Lachat Town Farm.

Zeppernick, a member of the Lachat Town Farm Commission, brought up the idea of creating a farmers’ market on the farm and it was so well-received that she was put in charge.

Farmers’ markets will begin at Lachat next Friday, June 30, at 4 p.m. Subsequent markets will be held the last Friday of each month until October.

“We wanted to do this monthly to make it more of an event,” said Zeppernick. “If we did it every Friday I think interest from the town would decrease.”

The genesis of holding a farmer’s market at Lachat came from thinking an event like that would benefit the town as a whole.

“I’m originally from Vermont and there are so many farms and farmers’ markets up there,” she said. “I thought it would be good for Weston so I brought it up to Ellen (McCormick, chairman of the Lachat commission) and she asked if I wanted to be in charge.”

Zeppernick is a behavioral analyst who has a practice in Wilton with her husband Jamie. She has lived in Weston for nearly four years. The couple has two children, a boy and a girl, and they are invested in making Lachat an asset to the community.

“I started bringing my kids to the children’s programs at Lachat and they loved them,” Zeppernick said. “I knew that I wanted to get involved in helping the farm.”

She said the farmers’ markets will cater heavily towards families.

“We’re going to have children’s programs every month,” said Zeppernick. “Parents will be able to drop their kids off for $5 and essentially have an hour of day care while they shop.”

The children’s activities will be seasonally based. The first event will be “flower power,” where kids will paint a flower pot, plant seeds in it and “watch them grow over the summer,” while the October the event will have a Halloween theme.

“The purpose of the farm is to be educational,” said Zeppernick. “We always want to make sure we’re teaching kids something. In fact, we asked all of our vendors to have an educational component to what they bring, whether it’s facts about their process or recipes for people to try.”

While the vendor list hasn’t been finalized, Zeppernick said there will be bakeries, farm stands, people making pies, organic soap vendors, homemade dog biscuits, crafts, artisan foods and more. Some of the vendors will be Weston-based.

“We want to have an event where people can get their vegetables for the weekend on Friday and then spend some time with their friends and family at an event afterwards,” she said.

Zeppernick encourages residents who make and sell artisanal products to contact her via email at [email protected]. She does, however, emphasize that the market is not a flea market and she will only consider vendors who can bring homemade and handcrafted foods, crafts or other products.

“This isn’t an event where people can just unload the stuff they don’t want anymore,” she said.

Market events

In addition to the vendors, each market will showcase live music and food trucks. Lachat has also received a permit for beer and wine sales at each market.

The market will have a yoga instructor to give lessons and a chess teacher to help residents improve their game. Zeppernick said as the market grows, they will weigh feedback and bring in other amenities as they see fit.

There will also be “old-fashioned” lawn games, like potato sack races, as well as animals, including chickens and goats, for kids to watch. Each event will culminate with a bonfire.

Vendors will be located in one of two locations, either in the hollowed out space between the street and the barn, or in the area between the barn and the farmhouse. Each location, according to Zeppernick, creates a natural boundary for the vendors that allows other activities to take place in the back of the farm.

“I think interacting with vendors and farmers is a key experience,” said Zeppernick. “It’s good to know where your food comes from and to be able to maintain a connection with the source.”

Zeppernick believes the market will be a draw for Weston and will allow attendees to see the charm of the town.

“We all live here because we appreciate the small town feel,” she said. “We want the market to be a pleasure for people who live in Weston and for people who come to Weston.”

The farmers’ markets at Lachat are scheduled for the following Fridays: June 30, July 28, Aug. 25, Sept. 29 and Oct. 27. Admission is free. For more information visit lachattownfarm.org/farmers-market.php.

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