Coventry Farmer's Market Heirloom Project

Chef Miller cooks with local produce for a hungry crowd at a recent Sunday market.

Summer is finally in full swing and that means farm fresh fruits and vegetables! This season Max's Oyster Bar Executive Chef Scott Miller is partnering with the Coventry Regional Farmer's Market Heirloom Project - sourcing fresh produce every Sunday and providing incredible local, organic ingredients for the week's menu offerings. Each week, a shopping list with the best the market has to offer is put together and delivered to the Oyster Bar and its sister restaurant, Max Downtown. The Coventry Farmer's Market is a feast for the senses, with farm fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, cheese, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, flowers, herbs, and a myriad of other local vendors, artisans, historians & musicians. The market sits on the grounds of the beautiful Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Connecticut and the home itself is open for tours plus offerings from it's wonderful gift shop. It's like a country fair every Sunday and if you haven't been, you're certainly missing something. Winter Caplanson, the driving force behind the CRFM has built the market from a small collection of local farmer's and purveyors to what has become the largest farmer's market in the state. It's new Heirloom Project is their version of a CSA initiative, or Community Supported Agriculture.

What is a CSA? A traditional CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters cover a farm's yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season's harvest. CSA members make a commitment to support the farm throughout the season, and assume the costs, risks and bounty of growing food along with the farmer or grower. Members help pay for seeds, fertilizer, water, equipment maintenance, labor, etc. In return, the farm provides, to the best of its ability, a healthy supply of seasonal fresh produce throughout the growing season. Becoming a member creates a responsible relationship between people and the food they eat, the land on which it is grown and those who grow it. This mutually supportive relationship between local farmers, growers and community members helps create an economically stable farm operation in which members are assured the highest quality produce, often at below retail prices. In return, farmers and growers are guaranteed a reliable market for a diverse selection of crops. CSA reflects an innovative and resourceful strategy to connect local farmers with local consumers; develop a regional food supply and strong local economy; maintain a sense of community; encourage land stewardship; and honor the knowledge and experience of growers and producers working with small to medium farms. CSA is a unique model of local agriculture that has developed from many different influences. 
Needless to say, these didn't last long! 
To see Chef Miller work his culinary magic with his market finds in the Oyster Bar kitchen,