The Market Moves Indoors

A report on the opening of the indoor farmers market at Simpson Springs along with a little history of the spring and a recipe.

The outdoor market "officially" ended last Tuesday when no vendor showed up in the wake of the hurricane. The new indoor market opened Saturday at Simpson Spring on Route 138. If you don't know where Simpson Spring is, you probably should. It's in the running for the oldest continuously operating business in Easton, and it would have won hands down if the Indians who discovered the spring about 10,000 years ago had plastic bottles to sell the water in. The pure water from Simpson Spring is the gift of the glacier which created an underground river as it melted away. The river bottom became a snake shaped ridge of sand that the spring flows from. After thousands of years of native use, the settlers arrived and began to use the spring. The first English child in Easton was born on Simpson Springs property. For many decades the spring water was channeled through a wooden pipe and available to all. Residents who used the spring water enjoyed better health then their neighbors who relied on shallow wells built to close to privies so the water enjoyed a great reputation. Enter capitalism. Owners began to sell the water after the Civil War and in the early 1880s they began to make "tonic." Today they are the oldest bottling company still operating in America and the single source of the least expensive spring water as well. Just bring your gallon jugs and show up with quarters for the water machine. Who knows, you may be drinking from a spring that once served King Philip-or his great, great, great, etc. grandparents.

The folks who showed up with their jugs and empty tonic bottles certainly got a surprise on Saturday because the new market opened at 10. Over the next few weeks all the summer favorites will be there except for tiny Second Nature Farm that only does a CSA at their farm in winter. Langwater's two vendors, Jordan's, the area's best seafood company, and A Bread Company are also there. A great Saturday breakfast can be had with a scone from A Bread Company and a cup of coffee from the market's official coffee roasters. There are two chocolate candy people, two cheese vendors, a pickle salesman, and a vendor who sells olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Coupled with old favorites Oakdale Farms, Running Brook Wines, Lawton's farm beef, and Bridgewater Baking Company's sourdoughs, you have a supermarket where all your food needs can be had by supporting local companies. Oh, I should also mention two cosmetics companies!

Here's a first Farmer's Market recipe. Take a salmon fillet from Jordan's. Add a little ordinary olive oil or PAM in a small heavy frying pan. Heat to medium. Add salt and pepper to the fish and place it meat side down for about 4 minutes. Turn it over and increase heat a little to finish cooking. While it is cooking take two tablespoons of Omega Olive Oil's blood orange infused olive oil and mix it with a tablespoon of their Honey-Ginger Balsamic Vinegar. About a minute before you finish cooking, pour the oil and vinegar over the salmon. Plate the salmon and pour the pan sauce over it. Great salmon flavor with subtle hints of orange and ginger!

Now, here's my concern. I'll be buying my seafood weekly from Jordan's and bread and vegetables weekly as well, but I just bought a quart of pickles that will last me for weeks. We need customers that are regulars, but we also need an influx of new people weekly to help the specialty salesmen along. Come to the market and tell your friends! Oh, and bring a jug!

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