Editor's note: This is part of our on-going look at local farmers' markets.
After last year's disappointing growing season it's a joy to find vendors loaded with a sampling of Vermont's finest fruits and vegetables at the Ludlow Farmers Market this summer. One of them is Julie Baker of Posie's Place farm stand in Ascutney. Baker runs the small farm operation with her family and is in her second year as a vendor at the Ludlow market.
"Last year I was invited to participate but it was a tough season for growing anything," said Baker. "The weather was cool and wet. But this year our garden is doing great."
Baker's stall on one Friday evening is laden with green and yellow wax beans, Butter Sugar corn, potatoes, summer and winter squash, pickling cucumbers, fresh eggs, and five varieties of tomatoes, including the flavorful yellow Lemon Boys. Large golden sunflowers sold by the stalk tempt shoppers, along with bunches of fresh herbs and local fruits in season.
"I pick the berries, plums and Asian pears myself," Baker noted. "Our apples come from an orchard in Cornish, New Hampshire. People love that they're unsprayed and pesticide-free."
Open April through Christmas, Posie's Place farm stand on Route 5 sells a changing variety of products as the seasons unfold, ending with Christmas trees and wreaths in December.
"This has been a good market venue for us," says Baker. "It's bigger than last year and is gaining momentum. Now I have repeat customers every week lining up for my eggs and produce."
Two stalls away from Posie's is a vegetable stand with a slightly different flavor. Podge Sirjane and his son Emmett, 13, sell vegetables and condiments from their Caravan Gardens market garden. Sirjane's family works a small parcel in Cuttingsville and sells the produce from a roadside stand on Route 103 and at the Ludlow Farmers Market.