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Best 5 items at Killam & Bassette Farm Stand, Hartford, CT

August 7, 2018

K&B’s farm stand always has really fresh fruits and veggies and so much variety. It was particularly tough to narrow down this farmstand5 to just my self-imposed limit of five choices.

The Killam & Bassette Farmstead is actually in South Glastonbury, CT. The location listed here is for one of their mobile farm stands at the Old State House Farmers’ Market in downtown Hartford. It’s small but still one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the country, established 1643.

K&B farmers have personality. You’ll spot them right away in their tie-dye shirts.

Debunk the myth that you need cash at all farm stands. K&B accepts major credit and debit cards, too. Naturally, I overspend every time I visit them.


KB scalions

Add them to stir-fries, rice dishes, omelets, soups, salads (I recommend miso dressing), or make my Aunt-in-law’s most popular hors d’oeuvre, scallion pancakes. They have a light oniony flavor and are a good option for people like my mom who think onions have a “weird texture”. For the record, I am not one of those people.

Italian flat beans

KB long beans

The more you visit farm stands, farmers’ markets and CSAs (community-sponsored agriculture), the more you will appreciate the vast and interesting variety of beans in this world. How is it that we can go our entire childhood and only eat green beans in America? The only variety I knew growing up was yellow wax beans or haricot verts (close-enough pronunciation “airy-co-vare”, yes, the “h” is slient). It wasn’t always this way. Thomas Jefferson grew a wide variety of beans. Beyond the culinary uses, he favored the color and flowers they contributed to the aesthetic of his gardens.

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KB broccoli

One of the top favorite veggies in my household, broccoli. Boil it in sea-salted water, and it’s ready to serve. At the Killam & Bassette farm stand, I found fresh broccoli. It is not as easy to grow as my other choices so K&B deserves extra bonus points for taking on a more fickle vegetable.

Hot peppers

KB hot peppers

Not everyone can take on my #2 choice. In fact, I used to be one of those people who avoided spicy foods. Until…my second pregnancy, when I craved spicy food every day. It is funny how our tolerance for hot stuff ebbs and flows during our lifetimes. Now, the see-through compartments in my fridge look a little like this basket, full of different kinds of hot peppers for my morning omelets and homemade salsas.

Ball zucchini

KB round zucchinis

Before visiting this farm stand, I did not know zucchini grew in balls. Now, I plan to grow them in my garden next year. For the past thirty years, I only thought of peppers when I wanted to stuff and bake a veggie. But these zucchini balls can be hollowed out and stuffed with your favorite stew, rice, potato, meat, casserole or cheese concoction. For a fast, impressive and practical Thursday night dinner, make a stuffing using all of the leftovers from the week. Just cook them in a saucepan with some herbs, chicken or vegetable broth.

I hope you are having fun and learning, too. Did you see this farmstand5 post?…

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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Best 5 items at Hollister Farm Stand, Hartford, CT

Hollister Farm truck fruit produce greenhouses North Granby Connecticut at the Hartford Farmers Market

August 7, 2018

Hollister Farm is actually in North Grandy, CT, but I tend to visit their mobile farm stand at the Old State House Farmers’ Market in downtown Hartford. It’s the oldest farmers’ market in Connecticut, est. 1643.

On Fridays, the Hollister farm stand usually has a great spot right next to the band that plays in front of the old stockade. A legit stockade.

I have personally enjoyed my #1 pick from Hollister’s for several years. Really, one of my finds from this farm stand has lived for two years on my window sill. How old is your oldest farm stand find? If you know, leave the answer in a comment.

Yellow plums

Yellow plums from the Hollister's farm stand at the Hartford Farmer's Market

If you follow my posts, you already know how exciting it is to find fruits and veggies in surprising colors. Purple plums are great. I have nothing against them. My great-grandparents had a purple plum tree. There’s just something special about discovering something so ordinary in an extraordinary color.

Tomatoes with timing

Holl colorful tomatoes

Just in case you aren’t going to eat all of your tomatoes today, Hollister’s offers tomatoes that are still ripening. SO thoughtful. Buy a standard red, ripe tomato and a semi-ripe marbled one for later in the week. In a sunny spot, green tomatoes would ripen to red over time. If you bring some home and decide you can’t wait that long? Fry them up!

Tumbling eggplants

Holl eggplant.JPG

I love how these eggplants just tumble out of this basket. It’s like they’ve leaped on stage for their big debut and are screaming, “Look at me! Take me home.” If you weren’t going to peel them, you’d have to pick through them a bit to find one with perfect skin. Your ancestors would all think that was funny, by the way. As if fruits and veggies were supposed to all look like a perfectly painted picture. Reconnect with your roots.

Summer sweet corn

Holl corn

I once had a French roommate who had never eaten corn on a cob. Corn, yes, but never just thrown into a pot and boiled right on the cob. It’s such a farm stand staple in the States. Corn on the cob is one of the first items I remember buying from farm stands when I was a small child. The kernels actually burst with sweetness. These did. Delicious!

Potted plants (featuring my favorite, aloe vera)

You don’t have to go to the big box store to find seedlings for the garden or houseplants for the window sill. In fact, when bugs, pets or kids take out one of my garden plants mid-season, I am known to visit this stand and replace it. The rosemary and basil in this photo went right into one of my raised beds.

I love aloe. My personal aloe plant came from the Hollister farm stand and has been living happily on my window sill ever since. Outdoors in warm weather; indoors in cold weather. It barely needs any water. Aloe vera plants are champions. Plus, succulent collections are trendy right now.

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Did you see this one?…

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

Back to farmstand5 full list.