Need plants for your garden or some early local veggies? Visit the Hartford Regional Market as I did last week with a group from Connecticut Farm to Chefs. (We support a program to promote the use of Connecticut-grown products in our local restaurants and schools.) This coved lot looks kind of empty this coolish spring day. But come starting at 4 AM and it is jammed. Arrive really early, bring a wagon and flashlight and pay wholesale for Connecticut-grown bedding plants and more.

The State of Connecticut, which owns and manages the 32-acre property, is renovating and enlarging the market. As a central distribution hub for the state, it needs modernizing. The State hopes to attract some larger wholesalers as well as more local farms to sell at the market. Plans include an indoor winter market space, a shared commercial kitchen as well as facilities for promoting Connecticut Grown products.

Bagged processed product

 (A sign of changes in the way fresh produce is sold is the busy Heart of the Harvest facility where produce is chopped, sliced, diced and packaged as a labor-saving ingredient for foodservice businesses.)

Right now many tenants welcome retail customers, among them, Fresh Point for produce and M & M Wine Grape Company. Swing by the next time you are passing Exit 87 off I91 for Brainard Rd.