By Juliet Winegardner, Greenwich Academy Class of 2024
Every Saturday morning, members of the Greenwich community wait excitedly for Market Master Judy Waldeyer to ring the opening bell at 9:30am, welcoming them into the farmer’s market in Horseneck Lot. According to Judy, what makes this market special is that it is “jobber-free,” meaning each product can be traced directly back to its source in Connecticut.
“A jobber is somebody who buys finished products and then comes and resells them. That we don’t have,” she said. Judy, also known as “Judy the Jam Lady,” is a vendor herself, selling an assortment of jams and more.
This year, the Greenwich Farmers Market welcomed a new vendor. Sleepy Hollow Farm, based in Southington, offers a variety of both beef and pork, as well as chicken eggs. The owner, Jeff Matthews, gained control of the farm along with two other agricultural businesses after his uncle passed away last July. Of these businesses, Bristol Beef, is one of the four USDA slaughterhouses in Connecticut.
“We are able to follow our process all the way from our animals through our finished product,” said operations manager Bob Boudreau.
Matthews invited Boudreau on shortly after obtaining the business. Boudreau, who ran a small family-owned factory doing aerospace and defense work for 27 years, was sought out by Matthews for his business skills.
“We get questions about whether or not our animals are grass-fed,” Boudreau said. “We don’t believe that pure grass-fed produces the best quality meat. We believe that a combination of grass, hay, and grain, along with a load of fruits and vegetables from our local produce market, creates the best marbling and the best-flavored meats that you can get.”
“If you are into grass-fed beef, typically what you are looking for is a very lean meat,” Boudreau explained. “We prefer something that is well marbled, because we believe that the fat equals flavor.”
Sleepy Hollow Farm has enjoyed a warm welcome from the Greenwich community thus far. “It’s been amazing,” Boudreau said. “People have been so inviting and friendly, it’s outrageous.”
Sleepy Hollow Farm filled a void at the farmer’s market that has been empty for a few years, after the departure of the previous beef and pork vendors. Boudreau recalled a customer saying he was grateful to have them. “People are thankful that we’re here.”
Greenwich is the only farmer’s market Sleepy Hollow Farm is participating in.
More information on Greenwich Farmers Market is available online. Click here for list of vendors. The seasonal market runs Saturdays from 9:30am to 1:00pm in Horseneck Lot. Please wait at the entrance until the “opening bell” to let the farmers set up. Pets are not allowed in the market.