Kate and I made it through the hurricane! The CW House is still standing—shutters and all. Colonial Williamsburg made every effort to make the residents of the historic area feel safe, protected, and cared for. After our initial “crisis tree” was enacted to alert residents of the impending storm and the safety protocols involved in preparing for a hurricane we closed our 18th century shutters all around the house and locked our doors and cellars. Even though Kate and I evacuated with most of the W&M student body, we knew that Colonial Williamsburg would look after the property, assuring us that they would monitor the house. It feels good knowing that just as the College has every intention to protect and benefit the student body, Colonial Williamsburg deeply cares for and protects its residents. While we might be a little removed from the college campus, we still feel like we belong to a caring community. A huge thank you to the Facilities Management team for effectively getting everything set back up in as quick a time as possible.
The first couple days of living in a historic area can take some time for anyone to get used to. There are the regulars: a re-enactor in a blue coat on his horse that Kate passes every day on her way to classes, the familiar cider place next to Chowning’s, and the friendly CW workers that work extra hard tending the gardens and maintenance facilities. With the sun finally shining and the weather seeming to cool to a bearable temperature, Kate and I met a couple friends this past Saturday for a Farmer’s Market morning. Feeling rather adventurous, I bought several sugar cookies, banana bread, and a bouquet of wildflowers (now proudly displayed on our coffee table)—the zucchini bread from Lucille’s Bakery, always a popular favorite, was sadly sold out by the time that we made it around to the baked goods tent. A word of advice: make sure you get there before 10am to claim all the good stuff!
The Farmer’s Market in Merchant Square is such a unique opportunity that most college students don’t take advantage of. Especially if you’re a freshman living in Dupont or Yates, the trek to CW on a Saturday morning seems like the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, Kate and I seriously would encourage you to spend a couple mornings enjoying everything that the Farmer’s Market has to offer. Fresh produce, baked goods, and flower tents are regular attractions, although the fresh honey tent is a personal favorite. Later in the semester, many a cappella groups will also entertain the crowd, bringing a little flavor and music to Merchant’s Square. There is simply too much to miss by sleeping in on a Saturday. Bring your whole freshman hall or just a few close friends and support the neighboring farms in Williamsburg!
Here’s a quick summary of popular vendors at the Farmer’s Market that appear every week:
Lucille’s Bakery: From Richmond, they sell breads (sourdough, Honey Whole Wheat, Jalapeno-cheddar, Kalamata oline, Cinnamon Raisin Walnut, Cheese, Challah, Pesto, Pumpernickel), Fruit breads (banana, apple walnut, cranberry-orange and German fruit and grain bread), croissants, quiche, cookies, and salad mixings.
Greek Bakery: A local bakery from Williamsburg, they sell delectable treats such as everyone’s favorite baklava!
Duchess of Gloucester Flowers: provide fresh, fine flowers grown locally in Gloucester, Virginia. These blooms offer old-fashioned scents and textures (this is where I just got my new bouquet…they’re BEAUTIFUL).
Drunheller’s Orchard: Pick up some fresh apples and peaches—skip the dining halls and grab a fresh and healthy brunch!
Chocolate Cravings: (a personal guilty pleasure) makes some of the finest chocolate products in Virginia. Hand-rolled truffles in weekly flavors such as honey lime ginger, beer, and pretzel flavors. Black currant and whoopie pies are favorites, barks and key-lime ganache and orange peels are personal favorites. Many of these products are also infused with local herbs!
Bee’s n’ Blossoms: A selection of different honeys and honey products. (This vendor also gives free samples which is a PLUS). It certainly is a lot of fun to try different kinds of honey!
Goats R Us: provide a selection of different fresh chevre cheeses and cheese spreads with dill and garlic, chives, peppercorn, hot pepper, Greek, sun-dried tomato, as well as hard feta cheeses.
As a side note, I was especially pleased to see that Cavanna Pasta offered pre-packaged homemade pasta dishes that were gluten-free. Considering the College’s new commitment for offering gluten-free meals in the dining halls, this could be a nice home-cooked and freshly made alternative for those with dietary restrictions.
Obviously, the Farmer’s Market has different vendors to cater to every kind of person. The vendors I mentioned are only a select few that we often frequent. Comment on this blog post and let us know your personal favorites!
After you’ve completely sated yourself with free samples (and maybe splurged on some wildflowers), take your food and have a picnic on the Governor’s Palace Lawn. Saturday mornings are simply too exciting in CW to spend sleeping in!
You can visit the Farmer’s Market website for more information about different vendors and product. As always, visit Colonial Williamsburg’s site for more information about upcoming events and productions.
Take care, and enjoy your Saturdays!