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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 Roses Berry Farm Stand, Hartford, CT

August 24, 2018

Sometimes I write about favorites. And please, do let me know in the comments what your favorite farm stands are! Rose’s Berry Farm Stand is my current favorite.

If you know of Rose’s, you might be confused as to why a farm that is in South Glastonbury, CT, is listed here as Hartford. I go to their stand on Fridays at the Old State House Farmer’s Market.

What makes Rose’s Berry Farm Stand my current favorite?

#1 – variety, #2 – kind people #3 – freshness (OH! a bonus top 3 inside this farmstand5)

Dinosaur kale (aka Lacinato kale)


My little boy asked me recently what was the best vegetable for you. I told him the darkest, greenest vegetables are the best. Dino kale might fit that bill. The second reason it’s my #5 pick is that it is the toughest, thickest kale for making baked kale chips at home.

Colorful raspberries


It would be hard to feature a berry farm and choose their berries for a top picks list! What I liked so much about these raspberries is that you could buy them in a rainbow. My kids usually have fruit with breakfast. We like to make a rainbow designit’s fun for them to eat-by-the-bow and after the dark-green stuff, the most colorful fruits and veggies are great for your body.

Collard Greens


There are few things I like more than stewed collard greens. Hey, I’m not the only one. Right before I bought a couple of bunches of these fresh, strong collards, the lady before me bought the entire display, and the farmer had to go to his truck to find me more. It’s a good sign when such a healthy veggie sells out fast!

Rainbow carrots


Talk about eating your rainbow. Cue the rainbow carrots. Rose’s Berry Farm does a great job of growing long, straight colorful carrots. If you aren’t too familiar with the purple, pink, white or yellow versions of your favorite orange veggie, you should try them because they are fun and look so pretty in soups, salads and baked dishes. Butand you can disagree in the commentsif I’m totally honest, I think the orange carrots still have the strongest, best flavor.

Ground cherries (in Latin: Physalis pruinose)


Ground cherries are my #1 pick because they represent one big reason to shop farm stands. Treasure hunting! It was exciting to find these little golden, berry-like relatives of tomatillos. You can peel back the delicate husk and eat them like grapes. Make a salsa, add them to salads (fruit or veggie-based salads). Basically, anything you can do with a tomato, grape, or berry, you can do with a ground cherry. More bang for your buck!

Did you see this one?…

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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