Special to the Outlook
LUDLOW - Ludlow-area farmer Emmett Dunbar is the kind of individual responsible for the growing success of Vermont's farmers market movement. He can be found chatting beneath his Anjali Farms awning every Friday at the Ludlow Farmers Market.
Part farmer, philosopher and raconteur, Emmett dispenses wit and anecdotes along with the organic berries, vegetables, heirloom tomato plants and the garlic that his farm is known for.
Emmett operates Anjali Farms with his wife Lini Mazumdar (whose line of Lotus Moon Medicinals also occupies the shelves of their colorful stall). Lini's herbal and medicinal body products are made in small batches from organic herbs grown on their farm.
Each Friday, Emmett drives his handpainted "localvore" van to the grassy field of the Ludlow Farmers Market and creates a visual feast for customers.
Pints of just picked berries in neat rows and jars of applesauce from his organic apple trees sit beside chunky cucumbers, homemade salad dressings and bags of delicate salad greens.
"The greens are our biggest seller," he said. "The mix contains up to 25 different varieties of greens and edible flowers."
Dunbar has 13 years of experience managing and participating in the farmers market movement around the country. He was instrumental in starting two other markets in southern Vermont and estimates that he's packed and unpacked his own wares at least 1,200 times.
"I chose to be a vendor at the Ludlow Farmers Market because it's a great new enterprise, a growing thing that I want to be part of," he noted. "It's got a good spread of food products, crafts, produce, baked goods and stuff for kids."
Dunbar, who has been farming for over ten years, specializes in growing and saving his own seed, especially tomatoes.
"Our main vegetables are heirloom tomatoes and a half dozen varieties of seed-saved garlic. And we grow another crop that surprises many folks-hops."
Emmett and Lini believe in creating products from scratch using organic fruits, vegetables and organic and culinary herbs. They host overnight visitors for farmstays and hold special events at Anjali Farm that highlight the importance of agriculture and eating local foods.
The Dunbars plan to be at the Ludlow Farmers Market every Friday through Columbus Day weekend.
"For a market in its second season, it's got more high quality vendors and variety than many other new markets," according to Emmett. "It draws locals and tourists, has plenty of shade and lots of parking. And where else could you find fruits, vegetables, local meats, knitted Frisbees, frozen pizza, vegetable sushi, stuffed quail, fishing lures made of spoons and the best croissants you've ever tasted in Vermont?"
Check It Out: Ludlow Farmers Market is located on Route 103 south of Ludlow on the lawn of Okemo Mountain School. It is open every Friday, 4-7 p.m. through summer and early fall. Anyone interested in signing up to be a vendor, do a demonstration, or play music at the market, should contact Jerry Milligan at 802-734-3829 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.