Randy Hall of Round Hill Alpacas with Kahlua and Cream and Macy Gray.
Wethersfield Farmer’s Market Opens for the Season
WETHERSFIELD - ethersfield Farmer’s Market at the Solomon Welles House on Hartford Avenue, the biggest attraction is in a pen located just past the popular Nora’s Cupcakes truck.

       This is where Kahlua and Cream and Macy Gray draw a crowd of market-goers.

       “They don’t like to be pet,” Randy Hall tells one child. “What do they like? They like to eat.”

       They’re called alpacas, Hall tells me, and he has 26 of them back at Round Hill Alpacas in Coventry.

       “The only noise alpacas make is they hum,” Hall said. “That’s how they communicate.”

       And good luck trying to sneak up on one.

       “They can see 100 yards away,” he said. “They’ll stop and they’ll look.”

       But Hall doesn’t bring the alpacas, native to Peru, to Connecticut just for people to stare in wonder. His entire yarn-based product line--socks, hats, coats and gloves--is built off of them.

       “Their coats were six inches deep,” Hall said. “We just sheered them a week ago.”

       And he’s not short on variety--alpaca coats can come in up to 22 different colors.

       They say that variety is the spice of life, and if one walks up to any of the local Wethersfield Farmer’s Market vendors, it is more likely than not that that is what they will find. For Katie Hoffman of Dragon’s Blood Elixir Hot Sauce, that saying is even more literal.

       “We want you to cook with it,” Hoffman said.

       They like to focus more on taste than the actual hotness of the hot sauce, she said.

       “We’d rather you say, ‘That’s delicious, but I can take it hotter,’ than you say ‘It’s hot, but it could taste better,’” Hoffman said.

       Out of their 20 flavors, it is tough to say which is the most popular.

       “They all kind of have their own following,” said Hoffman.

       Dragon’s Blood Elixir Hot Sauce reflects another farmer’s market theme--it operates close to home and works with those that do the same.

       “Many of our ingredients are grown by Connecticut farmers,” Hoffman said. “We don’t use any chemicals.”

       Chelsea Pysh is not close to home, she’s at home. The Wethersfield native sells her handmade jewelry just minutes from her house in the Old Wethersfield neighborhood.

       “My favorite thing is wire wrap jewelry,” Pysh said, showing me a bunch of necklaces that look much fancier than the materials she made them with. “It’s a little piece of artwork that you can wear around.”

       And that little piece of artwork is a big job to make.

       “It’s definitely a labor of love,” she said. “It takes me like four hours just to make one.”

       The farmer’s market, which is kicking off its first year as a nonprofit independent of the town, will feature more than 40 vendors every Thursday through October. It runs from 3 to 6 p.m.

       The farmer’s market first opened in 2009 in partnership with Wethersfield’s Economic Development and Improvement Commission.
MORE WETHERSFIELD NEWS  |  STORY BY MARK DIPAOLA  |  Jun 04 2014  |  COMMENTS?