So there's a pretty good chance that any consumer going to a certified farmers market will be able to buy Connecticut-grown products with confidence.
Complicating the entire deal is the fact that some enterprising Connecticut farmers, using new techniques, are "stretching the limits" of our traditionally short New England growing season, says Duesing. These new techniques can in some cases bring Connecticut-grown produce to market much quicker than in the past, which might explain away some of the suspicions about out-of-state veggies being sold as Connecticut products.
Many people invest time and money in early-season extension, agrees Zotti.
One method that's apparently hot right now is called the "high tunnel." Duesing says these inexpensive, unheated, plastic-covered greenhouses offer a protected environment that can give plants like tomatoes, eggplants or peppers a real early start. They offer just enough cover to hold off late frosts and trap early spring warmth.
The high tunnels can be 30-50 feet wide, 100 feet long and 20 feet high, explains Duesing. The plants, he adds, "enjoy the extra heat you get with that layer of plastic."
So this year, if you enjoy buying and eating locally grown produce and other farm products, just be a little careful.
Chances are you'll be fine buying from one of the many state-certified farmers markets around Connecticut. And if you're stopping at one of those roadside stands, keep in mind that old warning, "Let the buyer beware."