A self-described world traveler who has made a home in Hartford, Colin Murray is the newest manager of the Farmers’ Market at Billings Forge. A former Spanish teacher who decided to leave the world of teaching for the world of community empowerment, I was excited to get to know him better. Here is what I found out:
Colin grew up in Connecticut and attended college in New Hampshire. And although Connecticut boasts a large Spanish population turns out Colin learned how to speak Spanish when he backpacked from Mexico to Panama. Central America is not the only place he has visited! He actually spent some time with the peace corps in rural Zambia. It's because of his travels that he began his love affair with farming and good food. While in Latin America he traded manual labor for a place to stay. Outdoor markets are common in places around the world and Colin soon found himself frequenting them. He quickly became a fanatic of farmers’ markets for the ability to negotiate with vendors, getting to know farmers, and the carnival atmosphere they provide for communities all over the world.
Fun fact: He has brought some of his farming skills to the city by composting with the use of worms! He uses the fresh green produce found in the markets to feed his worm village.
So what drove this world traveler to the Farmers’ Market at Billings Forge? He came to Hartford chasing a master’s degree and quickly fell in love with the atmosphere and his apartment on Farmington Avenue. He recounts really enjoying city life abroad more then the rural atmosphere of small towns; so when he stumbled across Billings Forge Community Works, who focuses on community and farm-to-table food, he knew it was love at first sight. He started off with youth programming and jumped at the opportunity to manage the market, remembering the months he spent working in farms and shopping in outdoor markets.
Colin’s Favorite Market Finds: Seasonal fruits and Kale (his worms love kale)
What can we expect from Colin’s market this year? More vendors, more food, family events, face painting, live music at least once a month, and an overall bigger and better market.
Oh SNAP! Did he say a bigger better market? Check him out Thursdays 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM beginning June 2nd.