Friday, 06 November 2020 14:51 Written by Himanee Gupta-Carlson

We are still in a pandemic, which means a holiday season without large gatherings, parties and concerts, or even perhaps meals with loved ones who live separately from us. Given this sad set of circumstances, it might help to consider what we can be grateful for. 

One of my best experiences this year was the early outdoor opening of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, one week after the COVID-19 lockdown began. I remember that blustery March morning when as a market vendor I pulled into the Wilton Mall parking lot, where I was directed to a space several feet between two others. I rubbed my hands together to stay warm as I unloaded a table, coolers of meat, cartons of eggs, and jars of dry corn. I wasn’t sure customers would come, but within minutes of the market’s opening, you all arrived, looking for fresh local food you could trust. Our farm did well that day, and like the market itself continued to do well all year — thanks to your customer support. That support reinforced the power of interconnectivity and the synergy that comes from being together.

The market is going inside the mall now, where it will continue to offer a safe, healthy space to shop and to gather for brief, socially distanced exchanges. And the market invites you, as our customers and friends, to spend part of this holiday season with us.

Holidays need to be unspectacular this year, for safety’s sake. But unspectacular doesn’t have to be dull. It can be cozy, relaxing, creative, and fun. Here are a few suggestions for making it so:

• Visit the market first, then plan your holiday meals. Doing so will assure that your table will hold the best of our region’s farm-fresh ingredients. It also will alleviate potential disappointments if an item on your menu is out of season or no longer available as the harvest periods for our agricultural vendors wind down.

• Once you know what’s available, develop a menu. Plan around what you love eating instead of what you’re “expected” to prepare. Perhaps the two will come together. For instance, I love making several dozen batches of cheese-and-onion rolls. This involves creating a mixture of onion, hot pepper, and cheese; spooning it into the slit tops of pre-baked rolls; and then warming up the rolls. This year, I might try this recipe with Argyle Cheese Farmer, Moxie Ridge, Nettle Meadow, or R&G Cheesemakers’ cheese. I also might rekindle memories of last spring’s bread baking binges and make my rolls from scratch.

• If you don’t want to deal with a turkey, try something else: A roast duck, a baked steelhead trout, pot roast, or even something like Swedish meatballs over fresh pasta. Giovanni Fresca offers pasta, Pura Vida has fish, Squashville has duck, Elihu Farm has lamb, and many meat vendors carry ground beef, pork, or lamb.

• Sneak in a “secret” ingredient. For the past few years, I have baked pumpkin pies using a Long Island cheese pumpkin, which has a pale orange color and delicious creamy taste. To bring out the taste of the pie, I eliminate the usual pumpkin pie spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice — and instead use about a teaspoon of Saratoga Chocolate’s hot chocolate mix.

• Honor the first inhabitants of our region, the Haudenosaunee, with dishes that evoke the staple foods of their diets — sweet potatoes, cornbread, beans, and squash. 

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market runs indoors at the Wilton Mall on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM HolidayHelpRecipes

Saratoga Farmers’ Market at Wilton Mall for Winter Season 

by Madison Jackson

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market will move back inside the Wilton Mall for the winter season. The farmers’ market will be located in the mall’s food court which is accessible by the Bow Tie Cinemas entrance and within the mall interior. Markets will run every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from November through April. 

As days get a little shorter and a lot colder, the farmers’ market is grateful to take up our winter home in the Wilton Mall, moving indoors from our summer season in the mall’s parking lot. This indoor location will provide some much-needed warmth for vendors and shoppers alike and the convenience of one-stop shopping for a variety of products. 

In order to accommodate proper COVID-19 social distancing and safety guidelines, vendors will be spaced accordingly, hand washing and sanitizing stations will be easily accessible, and crowds will be closely monitored by market representatives and mall management staff to make sure shoppers feel safe and have a pleasant experience. The Wilton Mall has also installed a hospital-grade air filtration system in its high-quality HVAC system. The farmers’ market ensures that only the vendors handle their products until they are purchased. And, masks are required to be worn by all. 

While COVID-19 may have changed some of the ways we operate, we hope to offer a sense of familiarity and comfort to our community through the farmers market. The pandemic has posed some new challenges for us all but with the support of the community, we have remained a safe and reliable source for local foods and products. During these uncertain times, it is especially important to support our local farmers and businesses who are determined to bring their products to customers in the safest and healthiest way possible.

 In addition to many familiar faces, we will also be introducing a number of new vendors including Fossil Stone Vineyards (wine), Bear’s Cup (bagels and other baked goods), Hebron Valley Veal (fresh meats), and Sweetbrier Farms (herbal wellness and body care goods). With 50+ vendors bringing a variety of fresh produce, ready-to-eat foods, and artisanal products each week we strive to remain accessible and affordable to our local residents throughout the winter. 

Market Vendors: 
Key: Vendors for *Nov-Dec only. ^Vendors new to our winter market.

518 Farms^
Argyle Cheese Factory
Ballston Lake Apiaries
Bear’s Cup
Big Breath Wellness
Bunker Hill Creamery^
Daily Fresh*
Earth to Mind
Echo Creek Farm^
Elihu Farm
Euro Delicacies
Feathered Antler
Fossil Stone Vineyards^
Freddy’s Rockin’ Hummus
Giovanni Fresco
Gómez Veggie Ville
Goodway Gourmet^*
Grandma Apple’s Cheesecakes*
Green Jeans Market Farm
Hebron Valley Veal^
Kim Dolan Designed Jewelry
Kokinda Farm
Longlesson Farm
Mariaville Mushroom Men
Moon Cycle Seed Company
Moxie Ridge Farm
Mrs. Londons
Muddy Trail Jerky Co.
Mugzy’s Barkery
My Dacha Slovenian Cafe
Nettle Meadow
Owl Wood Farm*
Petra Pocket Pies
Pleasant Valley Farm
Puckers Gourmet
Pura Vida Fisheries
R&G Cheese Makers
Ramble Creek Farm
Saratoga Apple
Saratoga Chocolate Co.
Saratoga Garlic Company
Saratoga Peanut Butter Co.
Saratoga Suds ‘n’ Stuff*
Scotch Ridge Berries & Trees*
Slate Valley Farms
Slyboro Cider House
Something’s Brewing
Springbrook Hollow Distillery*
Squashville Farm
Sweetbrier Farms^*
The Chocolate Spoon
The Food Florist
The Vermont Spatzle Co.
Underwood’s Greenhouse / Shushan Valley Hydro Farm
Vital Eats
Yankee Distillers LLC

Read 108 times Last modified on Friday, 11 December 2020 14:57

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