Local Food

Fairfield has a variety of ways to obtain food locally, which is better for the environment, and typically healthier for you as well. Click a button below to learn more, or scroll through the page to read all of the available options. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Email us!

Farmer’s Markets

CSAs

Community Gardens

Seed Libraries

Farmer’s Markets

The lengthening days and warmer temps are finally here, and that means it’s time to enjoy some fresh seasonal produce! There are several farmers markets to visit in Fairfield and our neighboring towns, all of which are vital sources of income for the growers that attend, and a perfect opportunity to get the bulk of your grocery shopping done locally. These markets are held on different days so no matter your schedule you can likely find a farmers market that works for you.

Vendors at each market vary, but most are Connecticut-based farms and businesses. Most markets listed offer farm products from Fairfield or one of our neighboring towns (Bridgeport, Easton, Trumbull, Weston or Westport). Explore them all!

We have two spectacular farmers markets here in Fairfield:

There are also wonderful farmers markets to explore in our neighboring towns:

  • The Westport Farmers Market runs on Thursdays from 10am-2pm (2021 dates are May 13-Nov 11). Located at 50 Imperial Avenue in Westport. This market is accessible via Coastal Link.
  • The Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative supports a number of independently operated farmers markets throughout the city of Bridgeport. All of these markets accept SNAP/EBT (double points, $1=$2 at the market), WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks, and Bridgeport Bucks.
  • The Trumbull Farmers Market runs Thursdays from 4-7pm (June through October). Located at 245 Unity Road in Trumbull.

Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)

The lengthening spring days mark the start of the growing season here in the northeast- which is an exciting, hopeful time for local farms and the people who support them. The instability of the last few years has driven home the importance of our local food system.  Many people were affected by shortages of one kind or another, and we all became keenly aware of how disruptions to our supply chains can cause a great deal of anxiety if not scarcity of resources.  For many people, this has inspired them to source their food more locally and support their local farmers.  Right here in Fairfield County, we have a number of farms that are producing food, providing jobs, and taking care of the land that provides all that nourishment.  Our local farms market their produce in a number of ways- through farm stands, by selling them through local retail outlets, by setting up stands at the farmers’ markets, or by operating under the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model.  Here we focus on CSA options in Fairfield County.

CSA or farm share programs are an ideal way for people to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. This is a win-win situation for the farmer and the consumer. Through the CSA model, a farmer markets their product and receives payment early in the season which helps with planning and cash flow for the farm. As a consumer, by investing in a CSA you invest in a season’s worth of food you can trust delivered to your neighborhood or picked up weekly at the farm.

A CSA operates on a shared risk model. As a CSA member, you will reap the rewards of a good harvest (and there are many!), and you will also take on the risk of a bad harvest (pests, weather events). This idea of shared risk is an important part of what creates a sense of community among CSA members and farmers.

 

Here are some CSA programs in and around Fairfield County:

Southport/Fairfield CSA – Stoneledge Farm

The Southport/Fairfield CSA is partnered with Stoneledge Farm, a 200-acre certified organic farm located in the Catskills and operated by the Kavakos family. Throughout the growing season (June through November), members pick up 22 weekly shares between 4:30-6:30pm on Wednesdays at Trinity Episcopal Church in Southport.  A base vegetable share is $640 and shares for the 2022 season are still on sale. To purchase a share, please visit the Stoneledge Farm website.

Gazy Brothers Farm

Gazy Brothers Farm in Oxford offers a number of different CSA options at different price points, which can be picked up directly from the farm or delivered for a fee.  This fourth-generation, 80 acre farm also sells their produce at a farm stand on Route 67, to local grocery stores and farmers’ markets.  

The Hickories

The Hickories farm in Ridgefield also offers a few different CSA options at different price points, available for weekly pickup at this 250-year old picturesque farm.

Laurel Glen Farm

Laurel Glen Farm in Shelton offers a number of options for their vegetable subscription boxes, at different price points. 

If you’re curious about CSAs but not sure if it will work for you, feel free to reach out with questions.  One of our Sustainable Fairfield Task Force members is an organizer of the Southport/Fairfield CSA, and has been a dedicated member of the CSA for over 15 years.  We are always happy to chat CSA and the pros and cons to help you decide:  Email coregroup@fairfieldcsa.org.

Are we missing any local CSA programs on our list?  Please reach out and let us know!  

Community Gardens

For some residents of Fairfield and surrounding towns, simply having enough food on the table can be a challenge. We are fortunate to have wonderful social services available here in Fairfield, and through these services, the abundance of our local farms and gardens is shared.

Fairfielders are big on sharing- many of Fairfield’s community gardens, several local farms, numerous home-gardeners and CSA programs around town donate their excess produce and eggs to Operation Hope‘s food pantry as well as other food banks and community kitchens.

Fairfield Garden for Food Banks

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, many of us found we had extra time on our hands while trying to keep safe at home.  Many people also began to suffer food insecurity due to lack of work or other challenges.  Fairfield resident and RTM member Sharon Pistilli was inspired to activate her green thumb and use her time to create a community food bank garden!  Another Fairfield resident kindly offered garden space,  Sharon organized donations of gardening supplies and seedlings, and the Fairfield Garden for Food Banks was born! The harvests from this community garden have been shared with the food pantry at Operation Hope in Fairfield, nOURish Bridgeport and Fridgeport.

St. Timothy’s Garden on the Hill

The vegetable garden at St. Timothy’s Church on the Hill is grown organically and by a network of volunteers. Children in the preschool at the church as well as parishioners and other community members can enjoy a quiet respite and tend to the vegetables, which are donated to Operation Hope or the CT Food Bank.

St. Thomas Giving Garden

St. Thomas Aquinas School Giving Garden is located at 1719 Post Road. Designed and constructed by Homefront Farmers using funds raised by the school’s spring auction event, this garden opened in 2017. The garden provides students with wonderful opportunities for service learning, with an array of programs that have benefited Bridgeport Rescue MissionOperation Hope, and local veterans.

Operation Hope Garden

Operation Hope maintains a lovely little garden on the grounds of the First Church of Fairfield, next door to Operation Hope’s office at 636 Old Post Road. The garden is located at 148 Beach Road. Volunteers tend the garden and the produce is donated to the food pantry on site.

Grow a Row for Hope

If you are interested in sharing the bounty of your vegetable garden, consider “Growing a Row for Hope” by planting a dedicated row or donating any portion of your harvest to the food pantry at Operation Hope or any other local food bank.  

If you are interested in starting a community garden of your own, feel free to email us for tips!

Seed Libraries

With a little bit of know-how and adventurous spirit, home gardening can be a very economical way to grow nutritious food for yourself, get you outside for some fresh air, and solidify your connection to the nature in your own backyard. 

Starting your own plants from seed is the most economical way to fill out your summer vegetable garden!

If you plan to purchase seeds, consider supporting a locally-owned shop, such as Ganim’s Garden Center, which has an extensive collection of seeds for sale.  There are also many reputable online seed sellers, such as Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Hudson Valley Seed Company, and Native Seeds.

Even better for the pocket, Fairfield is lucky enough to have two well-stocked and accessible seed libraries available to all! 

The Seed to Seed Library at Fairfield Woods Branch Library was started by Fairfield’s community garden manager Eric Frisk.  Plant seeds that are well-suited to our climate can be “borrowed” at no cost, with the request that you harvest the seeds of your resulting plants and return some to the library.  Go ahead and borrow a gardening book or two while you’re there! 

The Pequot Library also has an extensive seed library, which was created with the help of Sefra Alexander, The Seed Huntress.  Join Sefra’s Southport Globe Onion Initiative and check out some free seeds of this once-famous Southport export! Many of the seeds in Pequot’s library are All she asks in return is that we let some of our plants go back to seed and return some to the library.  

The start of spring is the time for garden planning!  Some hearty seeds (peas!) can go in the ground already.  Others you’ll want to start indoors and transplant later.  Start small and you don’t have to invest a lot- milk cartons make great seed starters!  

Grow a row for HOPE. When planning your garden, consider dedicating a row as a food pantry donation. Fairfield’s own Operation Hope will gladly take donations of home-grown produce that will be distributed at their food pantry.

Check back this summer for a post about harvesting and saving your seeds.