Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Farmers' Market

Thursday, 05 August 2021 16:33

TogaNola’s Snacks Feed Adventurous Souls

In 2015, Katie Rhodes began training for her first marathon. Constantly hungry from her busy schedule, granola bars became her go-to snack until she took a closer look at the ingredients she was putting in her body.

Most traditional granola bars are highly processed and packed with sugar. Looking to keep herself both full and healthy for her training, Katie decided to make her own granola bar using healthier ingredients and the Charlie Bar was born: a dark chocolate, apricot, and almond bar. Not long after, friends and coworkers began placing orders for bars and the personal venture became a business: TogaNola was formed. “With a mission to provide clean energy for everyone who aspires to be a better version of themselves,” says Rhodes.

In the past 6 years, TogaNola has expanded its range beyond its now 5 flavors of granola bars, adding granola clusters and “protein bombs” in a variety of flavors, like Maple Almond Butter and Blueberry & Ginger Sunflower Seed. All TogaNola products are free of gluten, dairy, and soy, and several flavors are vegan, so there are many options to accommodate dietary restrictions of all types. The business is committed to using locally sourced ingredients, compostable packaging, natural sweeteners (such as local honey and maple syrup), and small-batch baking. 

Whether it’s a hike on a warm summer morning or skiing on a cold winter day, granola is the perfect snack for all types of adventures. Rhodes can attest to that herself: TogaNola granola bars and clusters have accompanied Katie on countless trips including a single season round of the 46 High Peaks last winter. “The bars are hearty and easily transported in a mess free package. They don’t freeze solid, even in the freezing winter temperatures in the Adirondacks, which is crucial to support Katie on her big hikes,” says husband and co-owner Ken Rhodes.

TogaNola got its start selling at local farmers’ markets and has recently expanded to include an online store and partnerships with local businesses. Katie and Ken are excited to be joining the Saratoga Farmers’ Market as an opportunity to interact directly with their customers and meet other local vendors. 

TogaNola’s next adventure? Handmade, locally sourced dehydrated meals to fuel trips that span multiple days. Keep an eye out for this new product later this year at the farmers’ market, and stay full and fueled with TogaNola’s granola bars, clusters, and protein bombs, available every Saturday at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM SummerBerryParfait

Published in Food

There’s a magical time in July and August where we get to the sweet spot of fresh produce at the farmers’ market here in upstate New York. Every week farmers’ tables are piled even higher with a rainbow of colors, and the literal sweet spot lies in the sweet corn, lush tomatoes, and colorful berries that come fresh off the land.

Since the seasons change faster than the blink of an eye, we at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market won’t let the sweetness of summer go by without a celebration. This Saturday, July 31, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. at High Rock Park, join us for our third annual (excluding 2020, of course!) Blueberry Jam-boree.

Blueberries are native to North America and have been for over 10,000 years, so it’s no wonder that it’s one of America’s favorite berries. And to enjoy the fruits from local farmers, grown without pesticides and picked fresh, is to experience an extra sweet and nutritious taste of summer. 

Several local farms will bring the best of this season’s blueberries, ranging from snack cups, to pints, to quarts. Many other vendors will feature blueberry-flavored or inspired products, like blueberry jams from Kokinda Farm and hand pies from The Food Florist and Night Work Bread. Ballston Lake Apiaries will bring blueberry-infused honey, and Slate Valley Farms has blueberry maple syrup and blueberry-lavender lemonade. Other items include blueberry-lemon fromage frais at Nettle Meadow and blueberry Italian cream soda at Something’s Brewing. Well-behaved four-footed friends are welcome, too, and can enjoy blueberry pupcakes at Mugzy’s Barkery. More blueberry specials as well as samples will be listed day-of.

Market staff will host free activities and tastings for children and adults, like a scavenger hunt, craft, and blueberry corn hole. Recipe cards and preservation tips will be available at select vendors to help you find inspiration to cook or bake something new with fresh blueberries. Live music by Geo Beat will add even more jam to the jam-boree!

To learn more about the Blueberry Jam-boree and keep up with news on the event, find our event page on Facebook. Then come to High Rock Park on July 31 to join the fun!

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter on our website.

FM BlueberryBreakfastCake

Published in Food

Ensuring that fresh, local, and healthy foods are accessible to the local community is a top priority for farmers’ markets. Thankfully, there are various programs available that can help bridge the gap.

Year-round at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s Wednesday and Saturday markets, customers who own an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card can exchange their SNAP benefits for farmers’ market tokens to purchase fresh foods, including fruit and vegetables, bread and baked goods, meat, fish, and poultry, dairy products, honey and maple products, and value-added foods like soup mixes, sauces, and jams and jellies. Herb plants and plants that produce food are also approved purchases with EBT coins. The market additionally offers SNAP incentive programs, such as FreshConnect, that provide extra coupons or tokens to spend, meaning customers receive more value than they spend. With FreshConnect, every $5 a customer spends with their EBT benefits; they receive a $2 FreshConnect coupon to spend at the farmers’ market.

More seasonally, the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a New York State program that offers WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) participants and seniors coupons to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at the farmers’ market. Our local WIC office distributes WIC coupons. Senior coupons will be distributed by the Saratoga County Office for the Aging on-site at the Saratoga market on Saturday, August 7 (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Wednesday, August 11 (3-5 p.m.) at High Rock Park. The Office for the Aging will also distribute the coupons at the Clifton Park market on Monday, July 26 (2-5 p.m.) and Monday, August 16 (2-5 p.m.) at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church. Individuals aged 60+ who live on a limited income may pick up a booklet of coupons containing five $4 coupons (limit one per person). 

To spend your WIC or Senior FMNP coupons at the market, look for the blue poster at participating vendors’ stalls or simply stop by the market information table for a complete list of farms accepting FMNP coupons. The FMNP season runs from June through October, after which unused coupons expire.

Utilizing the available nutrition assistance programs is a win-win-win situation. Low-income consumers have more access to healthy foods, local farmers gain income and connect with new customers, and more food dollars stay in the local economy.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM VeggieStirFry

Published in Food

SARATOGA SPRINGS  — The Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association’s (SFMA) Saturday market has returned to its traditional summer home at the High Rock Park pavilions. Through the end of October, the SFMA will now host two weekly markets in the downtown location: Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

This year’s Saturday market features around 60 local vendors selling fresh produce, dairy products, eggs, meats, flowers, baked goods, prepared foods, and more. At Wednesday’s market, just over 15 vendors provide a similar range of items.

The decision to start the summer season in two locations in May was made to keep market vendors and customers safe while the COVID-19 pandemic required more social distancing. The smaller Wednesday market fit comfortably at High Rock Park, but for the larger Saturday market a more expansive footprint was still needed. Now that restrictions have been lifted, both markets are able to return to the pavilions - with increased spacing where possible to ease customer flow.

For more information visit www.saratogafarmersmarket.org.

Published in Neighborhood Buzz

Top quality local restaurants give huge compliments to many Saratoga Farmers’ Market vendors by using their products. Vendors make sure they also have plenty of products for the Market.

Kelley Hillis, from Puckers Gourmet, explained that Saratoga Springs restaurants approached them for their pickles. They sell Kim Chi and Pak Dong to Thorn and Roots at the Fresh Market Plaza, and five-gallon pails of Kim Chi to the Kraverie on Beekman Street. Their pickles have won several awards, including first place at the International Rosendale Pickle Festival.

Amy Smith from Saratoga Arms BnB was the first to approached Elihu Farm for their eggs. In addition, The Mouzon House uses their eggs, as well as lamb. In June, Mouzon bought several boneless butterflied legs of lamb. Elihu Farm also sells lamb to Amuse on Broadway, and eggs to 15 Church, Adelphi Hotel, Comfort Kitchen, and Whole Harvest.

The Mouzon House, a Farm to Table restaurant, buys products from many farms. Dave Pedinotti said they use vegetables from Gomez Veggie Ville, including their heirloom tomatoes for Capreses. Mouzon also uses Gomez’s strawberries for “Strawberry Rhubarb Sparkler” cocktail.

Dave and Marge Randles, from the award-winning Argyle Cheese Farmer, sell their yogurt to Dizzy Chicken Barbecue in Saratoga, cheese curds to Northway Brewing in Queensbury, buttermilk to Common Roots Brewing Company in South Glens Falls, and Unified Beer Works’ café in Malta.

Nettle Meadow Farm, based in Thurman, makes cheese from milk from goats, sheep, and cows. Their varieties have won many awards, especially in 2018 and 2020 from the Good Food Foundation for Kunik. That award was special for Sheila Flanagan and Lorraine Lambiase because the Foundation also considers care for animals, the environment, and staff. Distributors send their cheese to all states, except Alaska.

Another vegetable farmer, Leaning Birch Farm, sells to Hamlet & Ghost in Saratoga. Nic Fera said they use their salad mix, pea shoots and tomatoes. Bobby Chandler noted that Mariaville Mushroom Men sells to Jack’s Oyster House in Albany, and Common Roots. And Laurie Kokinda sells Kokinda Farm’s French beans to Lake Ridge Restaurant in Round Lake.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at High Rock Park. And on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. also at High Rock Park. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.  

FM CucumberSalad

Published in Food

“All life begins with mother. Mother Earth gave birth to us all, and it is our responsibility to take care of her.”

These words from Lovin’ Mama Farm owners Corinne Hansch and Matthew Leon, explain why they farm. Using organic and regenerative methods to grow food helps heal the earth and represents farming as stewardship. 

Lovin’ Mama joined the Saratoga Farmers’ Market this year and offers Certified Organic vegetables, microgreens, herbs, and cut flowers each Saturday. 

Hansch and Leon use no-till methods that have given their soil resilience amid climate change. “We lay down a thick layer of our compost/peat moss mix right on top of the bed, then plant right into that,” they explain. “The worm activity is just amazing, the thick layer of compost suppresses weeds, and the plants go crazy with growth.”

Without tillage, they explain, soil aggregates form, enabling the holding and acceptance of water. Soil neither dries out in times of drought nor floods during heavy rains. 

Hansch grew up with parents who were market gardeners. She worked on farms along the West Coast and studied biology. Leon grew up in New York City and studied agricultural ecology. He was more a lover of the outdoors than of farming – until he met Hansch.

Their love story began in a permaculture course. There, they saw how sustainable farming could create solutions in “a world troubled with environmental disasters and social inequalities.” For Hansch, farming linked gardening with positive change. For Leon, farming enabled an intersection between nature, the outdoors, and a basic need for food.

They started Lovin’ Mama in northern California, regenerating an abandoned field with plantings of such perennials as fruit trees, berries, and asparagus. Then, a blow came: The landowner terminated their lease, leaving them homeless and their hearts broken.

For farmers like Hansch and Leon, losing land is like losing a loved one. However, when Leon’s father offered them space to farm land he owned in Amsterdam, they knew they could begin anew. 

In New York, they have built a network of CSA subscribers, market goers, employees, and family. Leon’s parents offer child care and other support; a niece manages one of their farmers’ markets, and their children – Sam, 15; Oak, 13; and Rosemary, 9 – are skilled, trustworthy workers who grew up with the farm, love it, and know it intuitively. 

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM CarrotTopPesto

Published in Food
Thursday, 01 July 2021 13:28

Cooking Fresh and Flavorful Summer Meals

At home, when the weather gets hot, we often turn to cool meals and eat al fresco outside on the patio. It’s time for hearty summer salads, refreshing chilled soups, cold drinks and smoothies, and grilling flavorful fish, seafood, meat, and poultry.

Summer eating becomes a way to connect with our immediate environment and the seasons - a ritual that we savor in Upstate New York. For inspiration, Diane Whitten, Food and Nutrition Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Saratoga County, reminds us that fresh food is the best food. “In the summer, it’s so much easier to eat healthy with fresh produce,” says Whitten. “At the farmers’ market, the produce is so fresh and flavorful that it calls out to you. You can’t get it any fresher,” she adds.

Produce sold at the farmers’ market is harvested sometimes within hours of being placed on market tables and sold to customers. “Because it’s so fresh, fruits, vegetables, and herbs are flavorful on their own with little added ingredients,” explains Whitten.

In following the farmers’ market tradition of eating fresh, Diane Whitten shares three of her favorite in-season summer recipes: chilled cucumber soup, green peanut butter and banana smoothie, and sesame snow peas. These recipes feature in-season ingredients available at this week’s markets.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM SnowPeasFM Recipes Cucumber BananaSmoothie

Published in Food

School’s out for summer! That means a few months of family fun, relaxing, and, well... boredom. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s Power of Produce (POP) Club is here to keep local kids active and learning all summer long with educational activities, interactions with their local farmers, and challenges to try fresh market produce to get even the pickiest eaters to try new fruits and veggies.

This year’s POP Club, now in its 6th season, will run June 30 through September 1, every Wednesday at the High Rock Park market. Children may show up any time between 3-6 p.m. to participate in a fun, educational activity. Every week’s activity will be hosted by a community guest, including the Saratoga Springs Public Library, Cornell Cooperative Extension Food & Nutrition, Caffe Lena Music School, The Children’s Museum of Saratoga, Northern Rivers, and C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios. Children may participate in cooking demonstrations, scavenger hunts, crafts, gardening, and farmer meet and greet that provide nutrition and education. 

Children who participate are given a $2 POP coin to spend on fresh fruit and vegetables at the market, and they will earn a stamp in their POP Passport - four stamps earn them a prize. Buying produce with a POP coin gives kids the opportunity to meet farmers, learn money skills, and make smart food choices. “It’s great to see kids as young as kindergarteners come up to our stand, excited to shop for themselves. Especially when that week’s POP tasting has been a fruit or vegetable they hadn’t tried before but realize they like, and then spend their token to get more,” says Mark Bascom, owner of Owl Wood Farm and the market association’s president.

POP Club is open to all local children but is especially geared toward those aged 5-12. It is a free program, made possible through the generous support of the Christopher Dailey Foundation and the Adirondack Trust Company.

On Wednesday, July 7, 3-6 p.m., don’t miss POP Club at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s ‘End of School Celebration.’ This free family event will offer activities for children of all ages and a concert by Jack and Steve Zucchini (formerly of The Zucchini Brothers)!

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM KentuckyKissCocktail

Published in Food
Thursday, 17 June 2021 14:44

A Fresher Way to Get through the Week

Weekend farmers’ markets are a great way to unwind from the week, spend time with family and friends, and stock your fridge for the week ahead. But there’s no need to wait until the weekend to do this - the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s midweek market, rain or shine, on Wednesdays, 3-6 pm, offers a way to get the freshest foods - usually picked off the land the day before or even that morning.

This year’s return of the midweek market to downtown Saratoga in High Rock Park offers a more intimate, slower-paced alternative to the Saturday markets. Product offerings include fresh produce, plants and flowers, eggs, baked goods, prepared foods, tool sharpening services, and more.

Vendors appreciate the market’s different characteristics. “Midweek markets are a great opportunity for farmers since it provides a platform to sell your freshest products that otherwise might not make it to the weekend,” says Charles Holub, owner of Scotch Ridge Berry & Tree Farm. He notes that since his farm doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides, they must pick berries every other day to avoid critters. “And naturally grown fruit doesn’t keep long after picking - just a day or two - so these midweek markets let us sell more of our product,” Holub adds.

For customers, the smaller size of the Wednesday market is a draw, especially this year. “Many customers prefer the smaller crowds - plus it makes it easier to have more meaningful personal interactions with customers,” says Becky Dennison of Shushan Valley Hydro Farms. “Since there’s less traffic, products don’t sell out as quickly, and there’s not such a rush for customers to get to the market. The atmosphere is very laid back,” adds Charles Holub.

A family-friendly affair, this season’s Wednesday 

markets will offer the Power of Produce Club with themed activities for children of all ages (running June 30th through September 1). Market-goers can also expect weekly live music and community guests (including the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners offering gardening tips and soil testing every third Wednesday of the month). Also, on Wednesday, July 21 and Wednesday, August 11, representatives from the Office for the Aging will hand out free Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program coupons to be spent on fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM KentuckyKissCocktail

Published in Food

If you’re a regular customer at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, you will likely recognize vendor Marcie Place standing behind her tables of neatly packaged white bakery boxes sporting mouthwatering labels like “Vanilla Ricotta Tea Biscuits” and “Pineapple Almond Teacake.” 

Place, owner of The Chocolate Spoon and long-time vendor of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, brings her array of fresh baked goods every week to the Wednesday and Saturday markets. The secret to her success in baking? Using fresh, local ingredients from her fellow vendors at the farmers’ market. 

“I use eggs from Elihu Farm, jam from Kokinda Farm, herbs from Burger’s Market Garden, vegetables from Owl Wood Farm and Gomez Veggie Ville, berries from Scotch Ridge Berry Farm, apples from Saratoga Apple… Even the backyard herbs of Mister Edge, our knife sharpener, I use in my cocktail cookies!” 

Place says she finds the quality of local products superior and elevates the taste of her baked goods. She’s even put it to the test in front of a live audience. “I did a demonstration at an elementary school where I baked two sets of butter cookies: one using store-bought eggs versus one using eggs from Elihu Farm,” says Place. She explained that the cookies came out a beautiful golden color when using the fresh eggs from Mary and Bob Pratt of Elihu Farm. “Truly a difference you can both see and taste, and the kids agreed!” Place notes. 

When she first started selling at the farmers’ market, Place admits her baked goods were pretty traditional. However, the seasonal products at the market inspired her to start experimenting more with her recipes and incorporate fresh ingredients for unique flavor combinations. She says farmers’ market customers are very helpful in recommending new recipes, and she is always open to suggestions. For example, she recently stumbled upon pineapple sage at the market and decided to pair it with coconut for a new shortbread cookie.

When asked what customers will have to look forward to this month, Place reveals: “Rhubarb and berries are coming back in season right now, so expect lots of strawberry rhubarb pies and blueberry and strawberry muffins!”

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM KentuckyKissCocktail

Published in Food
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  • COURT Andrew V. Cino, 28, of Rexford, pleaded Oct. 4 to felony DWI, in connection with an incident in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing Dec. 6.  Jeremy J. Cramer, 21, of Stockport, was sentenced Oct. 6 to 2 years’ incarceration on the charge of sexual abuse in the first-degree, 1-1/2 years on the charge of patronizing a prostitute in the second-degree, and 1 year on the charge of patronizing a prostitute in the third-degree. All three sentences to run concurrent to each other. The initial charges date to June 2020 in the town of Halfmoon.  Jonathan Saunders, 40, of Mechanicville, pleaded Oct.…

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