What You Can Find at the Winter Farmer’s Market

Our winter farmer’s market is held the in the “arcade” of Proctor’s Theatre, a former vaudeville theater that now hosts both shows and movies.  An “arcade” is “an arched or covered passageway, usually with shops on each side.”

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Back side of Proctor's

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It’s really pretty in that hallway as well. This is Van Curler Music. Arendt Van Curler was the founder of Schenectady.

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A really nice quote above the entrance to the theatre.

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Ok, now onto market pics:

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Dried flowers

Dried flowers and wreaths by Native Farm Flowers

 

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All different kinds of potatoes

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Beautiful kale and collard greens by Barber Farm

 

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Phil Metzger brought duck baby ducks!

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Phil Metzger of Coopers Ark Farm talking to K about our turkey

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Our Daily Bread selling out of their awesome bakery items

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Multicolored carrots!

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Frank of Sweet Tree Farm

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Awesome produce from Migliorelli Farm

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Seth of Battenkill Creamery working hard

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Madura Farms - mushrooms galore!

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There are so many more vendors, but here’s most of the ones we visit each week.  Sometimes there are other, Lloyd Spears, Beekeeper, Divinitea, Maynard Farms, but this is a good smattering!  The winter market will be going on every Sunday until May!

 

 

 

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Farmers Market Sunday

Today was the first day of the Winter Market!  It was nice to be inside out of the cold weather – and it’s going to get worse before it gets better!

There are so many more vendors this winter than there were last winter, which makes sense since last year was the inaugural year.  Today we found a mushroom vendor! I am SO EXCITED! I love me some mushrooms.  I will have to take pictures next week.  One of the mushrooms they had was called the “pom-pom” mushroom. It was furry-looking and I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to eat it!

Could you?

Our loot from today:

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  • 1/2 gallon of apple cider and one tomato from Migliorelli Farm
  • 2 1/2 gallons of reduced fat milk and 1 pint of chocolate milk from Battenkill Creamery
  • A little more than 1/4lb of crimini mushrooms from Madura Farm
  • 2 pie pumpkins from Barber Farm
  • 3 1/2 lbs of fresh Kansas-City style pork ribs from Sweet Tree Farm
  • 1 cheese danish from Our Daily Bread

Yea, we spent a lot of money this week – but there was FRESH pork! Oh yum.  We made the best dinner with it today, barbecuing it in this hard apple cider sauce we bought from Indian Ladder Farms when we were there for apple picking last month.

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We finally cooked up the Adirondack red potatoes we bought from the market a few weeks ago.  These are so cool looking I think!

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And together with some freshly-pulled carrots from our garden, we had our wholly local meal!

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Oh gosh, it was so good!

For this week’s menu:

Sunday – Barbecued Kansas-style pork ribs with carrots and Adirondack red potatoes

Monday – homemade pizza with canned tomato sauce, local cheese, crimini mushrooms

Tueday – Cheese omelets made with local eggs, cheese, fresh parsley and crimini mushrooms

Wedsnesday – Already made Lobster Ravioli from Trader Joe’s with leftover clam sauce

Thursday – TJ’s butternut squash soup with local bread

Friday – Eat out

As you can see, Sunday nights are always the “big meal” in our house. We’re far too busy the rest of the week to put as much effort in usually. 🙂

Last Outdoor Market of the Season

I didn’t feel that good this morning, but the shopping must be done, so hubby and I made our way to City Hall for the last outdoor Greenmarket of the season. Starting next Sunday, it will have been one year since the Greenmarket started, and it will be indoors until Spring.

Our loot from today:

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  • 1 dozen jumbo eggs (these babies are huge!) and 1lb chicken cutlets from Coopers Ark Farm
  • 1 bottle of Salmagundi wine (rose) from Hudson-Chatham Winery
  • 1/2 gallon reduced-fat milk from Battenkill Creamery
  • 2 loaves Rustic Italian bread from Our Daily Bread
  • 1 Italian frying pepper

It was really 1/2 a bottle of Salmagundi, because it was on a sale, but only the tasting bottle was left, which we bought for a discounted price. 🙂 Because, really, I’m the one who’s gonna drink it, not K, and I really don’t need to drink a whole bottle.  It’s pretty good, light and very smooth, but I can’t figure out what the name is for, and the label doesn’t give any clues.  The best I can find is that salmagundi means sort of a hodge-podge of things, which might be what’s in the wine?

We also ended up getting jumbo eggs for the price of large ones, which is kinda cool. Although, honestly, to me, an egg is an egg, I use the same number no matter how big they are.  They are pretty hefty though! And Phil, owner of Coopers Ark also ended up bringing a couple of young emus that they keep at the farm (and sell their eggs at the market). We never buy one, it’s $15, and even though 1 emu egg is the equivalent of a dozen chicken eggs (!!!) chicken eggs are only $3/dozen. 😉

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I’ve seen lots of scary pics of emus, but these were as friendly as could be. There were no signs saying to be careful, and I saw plenty of kids sticking their hands all over the birds without a problem.

We are only in town three days this week, so we’re making more pizza, breaded chicken cutlets, and clam sauce with linguine. Obviously the clams are not local, heh.  Oh…I love seafood too much to give it up!

Are Weekends For Rest?

Shock of all shocks, K did not complete the coldframe yesterday. 🙂  At this point, I will be grateful if it gets done before the first frost, and am not holding my breath since that could be any day. I know how it is with my husband. 🙂 Oh well, at least we’ll have it for the Spring next year.

Farmers market was pretty good yesterday, but the one day I decide to buy a new basil plant, the herb people don’t come!  I bought a hydroponically grown basil plant instead, and am planning to try to make pesto again later this week, but hopefully the herb vendor will be back next week because I want to buy another one to plant over the winter in a pot.  The one I’ve had for the last 2 years is on its way out.

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  • 1/2 gallon apple cider from Maynard Farms
  • 1/2 gallon of reduced-fat milk and 1 quart of cream from Battenkill Creamery
  • 1 basil plant from Shushan Valley Hydro Farm
  • 1 dozen eggs from Coopers Ark Farm
  • 8 oz. feta cheese from Heamour Farm
  • 1 quart tomatoes (only 2 pictured here), 2 green peppers and 1 acorn squash (hidden beneath the basil plant) from Barber Farm
  • 1lb ground beef from Sweet Tree farm
  • 1 apple turnover from Our Daily bread

The feta cheese was very wet this week, so it was on “sale” for $2 – when normally it’s double that! She said it didn’t drain properly or something, but we took it to make pizza with this week.

And, speaking of Coopers Ark Farm (above), we pre-ordered our turkey this week from them!  This is going to be the first time we will ever have a local turkey for Thanksgiving and I’m so excited!  We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, and ideally, hubby and I would love to serve an all-local meal.  But our families will insist on bringing things and we know those things won’t be local, so it probably isn’t going to happen.  But at the very least our turkey will be!  We put in an order for 16-20lbs yesterday but then changed it to even smaller (max of 16lbs) because we’re not sure how many people we’re going to have over.  It could be anywhere from 4 to 13! Two of my family members are nurses and don’t know if they will be working that day, and that would then count their significant others out too.  Then, we’re pretty far away from everyone so logistics have to be worked out.

At the very least though, we’re planning on the turkey, acorn squash, pumpkin and apple pies, all being made with local ingredients.  The hubby has recently found a venison farm near here that we want to check out too.

I have to say, I often get frustrated with where I live because I grew up downstate close to NYC, so often times I feel stuck in the middle of nowhere.  But on the other hand, I absolutely love the amount and variety of farms and locavorism community that cannot be found downstate – at least not on as big a scale.

After the market, while hubby worked on the coldframe, I whipped up some salsa.  I bought more tomatoes this week to make some more canned salsa, because I enjoyed the jar we cracked open this past week and we only made 3 jars a couple months ago – not nearly enough to get us through till next year!  But I felt like some fresh salsa, so I took 2 tomatoes from the quart I bought, a bit of green pepper, 2 jalapeños from our deck pots, 1 red chili pepper from the garden, and two of my onions (hanging downstairs in the closet on my onion braids), and tons of cilantro.  A little lime juice and we were set.

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Man, let me tell you, these were the freshest ingredients ever, made from veggies that were literally picked the day before or even the day of.  And my onions, man, I love them.  They are so crisp, so potent, I am so excited about growing them again next year. 🙂

This weekend I also FINALLY made cherry jam, thus bringing to an end our jamming efforts for the season.  I used two cups more cherries than the recipe called for and it still only brought me the amount of cherry jam I was supposed to get for two cups less.  Gosh darn it.  And again, all the berries were so full of water this year, the jam is more syrupy than jam-like.  Still, it’s delicious.  And here is our pantry shelf full of jam.  Yes, we have 25 1/2 pints of jam, and one 1/4 pint.  Ridiculous. If we don’t give this away for Christmas, I’m not sure we need to make any jam next year.

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Not to mention we have 4 opened jars of jam in the fridge already (the leftovers each time we made jam that didn’t fill up a full jar, so we just stuck it in the fridge).

In the pic, we have:

  • blackberry
  • blueberry
  • raspberry
  • cherry
  • strawberry

Craziness.

Weekend Wrap-up

The weekend is over, darn it, and I stil have so much to do, inside and outside the home.  However, I did get most of my To Do List done…berrying and jam is made, butter is finished, and the garden actually looks like a garden again.  More on the garden tomorrow.

Our weekly bounty from the Farmers market:

Market booty

Market booty

  • 1 sourdough french baguette
  • 1 loaf honey whole wheat bread
  • 2 half-gallons of reduced-fat milk (I plan on making lots of smoothies this week!)
  • 10 Fairytale eggplants from Barber Farm
  • 1 quart juicy peaches from Maynard Farm
  • 1lb of lamb from Mariaville Angus Farm
  • 3 ears of fresh sweet corn from Barber Farm

This week was a lesson in changing our planned menu to using what’s available in season and at the market.

  1. We planned on getting some trout from the local grocery store dinner Sunday night, but there was none, so we settled for halibut (no, it’s not a good compromise – fresh water fish to ocean fish that lives way more than 100 miles from where we are, but oh well.) We grilled up some of that delicious sweet corn to eat with it, and made a delicious raspberry/blackberry salsa-chutney to go on the fish.  Yum!
Raspberry-Blackberry Salsa/Chutney

Raspberry-Blackberry Salsa/Chutney

Fish, chutney and corn! (salad not pictured)

Fish, chutney and corn! (salad not pictured)

  1. 2.  We had planned to make another yummy pizza with homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella bought at the market sometime this week, but the cheese lady was not there! I was really disappointed and we walked around trying to find a new meal to replace the pizza.  Perusing the market stalls, we came across this!
So cute!

So cute!

Are they not the cutest little things ever?  These are fairytale eggplant.  The vendor handed one over to us and told us to bite in.  It was soft, sweet, and very mild, so we bought 10.   For dinner tonight, we sauteed these little vegetables with carrots, green and cubanelle peppers I had just pulled out of our garden, onions that were still curing on my garage floor (don’t worry, they were well washed :)) and served it all over brown rice for a very healthy dinner.  I’m hoping they are at the farmers market again next week because I think it will be great sauteed with some ginger and garlic in a quasi-Asian recipe!

Veggie medley

Veggie medley

Farmers Market Sunday

Today was a boiling hot day at the market (the first one all summer, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much), and I felt bad for the vendors having to sit there through the hottest part of the day.  We got some great loot though!

Lots of great things

Lots of great things

  • 1/2 gallon low fat milk from Battenkill Creamery
  • 1 pint of cream (to make more homemade butter!) from Battenkill Creamery
  • 2 stalks fresh corn from Barber Farm
  • 1 quart of deliciously sweet peaches from Maynard Farm
  • 3 quarts of pickling cucumbers (!!!) from Barber Farm
  • 1 small ball of mozzarella from Heamour Farm
  • 1lb wildflower honey from Lloyd Spear, Beekeeper
  • 4 huge cubanelle peppers from Buhrmaster Farm
  • 1.12lbs of top round steak from Mariaville Angus Farm

The peaches we got from Maynard last week were so sweet and juicy we devoured them! Can’t wait to try them this week.

It’s really great seeing the bounty of the summer.  Last summer I thought we did and saw a lot, but this summer I’m learning so much more about various veggies and fruits, bugs and dirt. Having the garden has truly opened my eyes to how much the land produces for us.  I mean, of course I knew that everything comes from the land, but there’s something different about watching seeds that I planted earlier in the year turn into real vegetables and fruit.  I walk by other people’s plots in our community garden and for the first time see exactly how cucumbers grow or what beets in dirt look like.  Perhaps it’s old hat to some of you, but I honestly had no idea how green beans or sugarsnap peas grew before this year.  Today I walked up and down the market stalls looking at all the produce, and I was  just amazed at all there was.  Just a few short months ago (March) none of it existed, and now, thanks to the work of these farmers, we all get to partake in it.

And speaking of partaking, perhaps you noticed the THREE quarts of pickling cucumbers in the picture above?  Guess what we’ll be making this week?  I can’t wait to taste bit into some lip-puckering dill pickles!  These pickles were 2 quarts for $5, and they had a sample 2 quart box on the table and a basket of the pickling cucumbers.  You were supposed to fill the 2 quart box and then dump it into your bag.  So we filled it up, asked the guy if he thought we filled it ok (didn’t want to overfill it) and he heaps what looked like another huge bundle of pickles on top of the quart box and says, “Nah, I think it’s good now.”  So we came home and filled our quart boxes and see it’s practically a whole ‘nother quart.  Sweet!  Maybe he just wanted to get rid of them?

It’s really great being able to try preserving new foods!

The Harvest is Beginning…

A new season has begun! Today at the Farmers Market we saw the first apples of the season being sold! None too soon. We gave up buying apple cider (made from last year’s apples) a few weeks ago because it was clear from the quality of the cider that it was time to let the 2008 apple harvest go.  Of course, there’s no new apple cider yet, but it’s nice to see how the apples get stretched almost a whole year.

Today was a bit of a random day.  We started off at the Farmers Market (of course).  Our loot:

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  • Loaf of whole wheat bread from Our Daily Bread
  • Quart of reduced-fat milk from Battenkill Creamery
  • French baguette from Our Daily Bread
  • 1/2 chicken (2.5lbs) from Mariaville Farm
  • 1 quart peaches from Maynard Farm
  • 1lb mozzarella cheese curds from Heamour Farm
  • 2 ears of corn from Barber Farm

After the market, we hurried over to the garden because it looked like it was about to start raining.  Soon enough it did, but we were able to take some pictures, pick a bunch of things, and see what needs to be done.

  1. Our sugar snap peas have been done for some time, are brown and dead and need to be cleared away. We need a free weekend (not any time soon!) to do that.
  2. The path to our plot needs major weed whacking. We found this tool in the community shed that is sort of like a scythe.  There was a real weed whacker there too, but K has never used one and was afraid of the damage he might do. 🙂 This old farm tool was awesome and cut through the weeds and grass in the pathway with ease.
  3. We have several bugs on our plants.  Now, we’ve not done much with fertilizer or pesticides/fungicides this summer, (not even organic) and it looks like we’re paying the price now.  We found this on our greenbeans:
    Larva of Mexican Bean Beetle

    Larva of Mexican Bean Beetle

    Looked it up and it’s the larva of a mexican bean beetle – who LOVE green beans.  Terrific. We also have these on our zucchini – and they or something else have about destroyed them:

    Some sort of squash bug

    Some sort of squash bug

    Not exactly sure what it is but we think it’s some sort of squash bug.  Sigh..c’est la vie, that’s life in the garden! We got enough zucchini already this year that we donated some to Squash Hunger! and still had enough to enjoy.

  4. We pulled our garlic today and were sorely disappointed.  They did not take well after being transplanted from Terry’s garden earlier this year. Our bulbs were small and pathetic but we WILL enjoy eating this garlic nonetheless. 🙂  Here’s a pic of them after I cut the stalks and roots off and tried to wash them up a bit.

    Garlic cloves

    Garlic cloves

  5. Our corn.  Um, yeah…maybe because we planted late AND because it’s an heirloom variety – they are small – only about to my waist!  Oh well, here are the four stalks we have.  We’ll see if we get any corn from them.

    "Eh" corn

    "Eh" corn

  6. Corn on the other side of the garden - these look a bit better

    Corn on the other side of the garden - these look a bit better

    Despite the bugs, we still got a full quart of green beans this week! (All our left over quart containers from berrying last year are coming in handy in the garden. 🙂 Last week we made one my favorites – green bean and tofu stirfry and we’re going to try to can this week’s batch.

    Green beans

    Green beans

  7. We have a few baby eggplant! Finally! Those things take a long time to grow. They’re only about the size of my thumb right now – looking to harvest them the end of September, most likely.

    Baby eggplant

    Baby eggplant

  8. And finally, I’d like to present to you the pièce de résistance – our tomatoes! Now, apparently tomatoes have been really hard hit this year.  There’s been so much rain this year that tomato blight (that same fungus responsible fore the Irish potato famine!) is widespread in our area and much of the North East.  And yet, our tomatoes, which we didn’t even properly stake this year, haven’t been touched at all.  Here’s what we’ve currently picked!
    Tomatoes!

    Tomatoes!

    These are all heirloom and organic, and the original plants were bought at our farmers market 🙂 The majority of these here are Green Zebras, with a few Pineapple tomato and Brandywines thrown in.  Yummy!  And guess what we’ll be making this week with them?  Salsa, baby! Can’t wait!

So, after the garden, I came back and spent much of the afternoon resting as I wasn’t feeling my best today (a lot better than last week though!) For lunch I decided to cut some slices of the french baguette (I am addicted to that bread!),  add slices of pineapple tomato, basil leaves from my plant and top with the delicious mozarella curds we bought this morning. Oh my goodness.

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A word about these curds:

I’m in love.  I don’t normally love salt, but these curds were just so perfectly salted I wanted to swirl my tongue over them, tasting the fresh mozzarella and salt over and over.  Yes, they were THAT good.  And fresh.  The lady at the farmer’s market said she was making them at 11pm LAST NIGHT.  In fact, it go to be too late which is why she had no mozzarella today, just the curds.

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Man…we’re planning on making pizza this week so K won’t let me snack on them.  Damn it!

The rest of our random day was spent looking for an Indian market to buy authentic naan (I gotta learn how to cook the stuff from scratch, I’ve seen it done enough times) and then running to the Festa at the church down the street just to see if they had zeppoli as opposed to just fried dough.  They did have it, and it was darn good, but way different than K and I are used to.  First off all, you got 3 for $2.50 – but they were HUGE.  The dough was actually delicious and cooked perfectly right but it had RAISINS in it and was dipped in regular sugar instead of powdered sugar.

Greasy but oh so yummy huge zeppole

Greasy but oh so yummy huge zeppole

I split one with the hubby, and actually liked it a lot, except for the raisins.  Raisins just shouldn’t be in these things.

Back at home, we finally canned our blueberries (that we picked 2 or 3 weeks ago now!) tonight.  Despite the fact that they’ve been in our fridge so long, they still looked great.  Who wants blueberry jam? 🙂