Cornwall market matures, as does Chubb's vinegar
CORNWALL â€” Like a modern-day potion salesman, Hendon Chubb unpacks a box containing a dozen slender bottles with homemade labels. He spreads them out in the center of a small folding table, and heâ€™s open for business. A bottle sells immediately and word spreads. Hendon is back with his vinegar.
Chubb is one of many Cornwall residents peddling unique and locally made wares at the seasonal Cornwall Farm Market, held on the Wish House lawn in West Cornwall. A special preview day of the market was held on Sunday; the market will officially commence in June.
His â€œLive Free or Dieâ€ vinegar (a whimsical reference to the Revolutionary War) was a hit last year, selling very well even at $8 for a 4-ounce bottle. It is recommended for salad dressing â€” and is rumored by market regulars to cure various ills.
â€œI make it the way they used to make it in France,â€ Chubb said. â€œWe use wine leftover in the bottle. Itâ€™s very good French wine. You have to let it ferment in an oak barrel.â€
The wine is gathered and mixed in glass first, where it sits for four months. It spends another four months in a small oak barrel Chubb had custom-made in France. By keeping up the cycle, he manages to produce about 12 bottles every couple of months. That means he wonâ€™t have another batch until July.
He noted his garlic crop is very plentiful this year, and there will be enough for all soon, â€œif it turns out well.â€
At the market preview, most vendors huddled against a damp chill, but were anxious, as were the many local shoppers who stopped by, for the weekly Saturday markets to resume for a third season. It has become not only a place to buy organic foods and bakery items (and to get knives sharpened by â€œNick the Knifeâ€) but also a weekly social gathering.
This year, as town officials and merchants work to promote commerce in Cornwall, each market session will showcase at least one business or service. The slogan is â€œWatch it Grow!â€ Assistance and insurance for the weekly event are being provided by the town, the Cornwall Foundation and other grants.
The official kick-off date is Saturday, June 20, when the market will be held on the Cornwall Library grounds as part of its â€œFood, Glorious Foodâ€ fundraiser. But watch for news, as it may begin sooner.
To participate and for more information call Bianca Griggs at 860-672-2969.