Starting in a couple weeks, a winter farmers' market will open at the Indian Valley Family YMCA.
It will open on Friday, Nov. 16 and will run every other Friday until March 30 from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. There will be a two week holiday break.
According to farmers' market coordinator Dianne Trueb, the Ellington Farmers' Market Association began actively searching for a location to hold a winter market after the conclusion of 2011 summer season, but to no avail.
After many inquiries into both public and private spaces, it looked like the association was again coming up empty handed until Trueb approached John Reilly, director of the Indian Valley Family YMCA.
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Reilly was willing, but Trueb said that the facility was not able to accommodate the market on a Saturday morning as this is the busiest time at the gym and parking is already limited.
"Friday late afternoon was an alternative that we thought could work as people head home from work for the weekend," Trueb said.
Space in the lobby limits the market to about 13 vendors who have committed to the effort. These vendors will offer locally grown fruits, winter vegetables - including fresh greens, seafood, dairy products, fresh bakery items, ready-to-eat freshly-prepared food items, and some local artisan wares.
Trueb said that the summer market expanded its offerings this year and also featured a different theme and a wider variety of entertainment and guest vendors each Saturday, doubling the attendance of years past.
"Customers were thrilled to learn at the last summer market that many of their favorite local foods will still be available throughout the winter months," she said.
Trueb and the customers are not the only ones excited about the new winter market. Reilly is also.
"The Indian Valley Family YMCA looks forward to hosting the indoor farmers' market, since community collaboration and involvement is what we strive for," he said. "Being the winter home for the farmers' market is just another way for us to help serve the community, once again proving that the YMCA is much more than a 'gym and swim.'"