Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Farmers' Market
Farmers’ Markets and Food Security
New York State’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program begins this month.
Through it, individuals who face economic hardship can receive $4 coupons to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs at participating farmers’ markets.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is among the many farmers’ markets taking part in the program. It also is among its strongest advocates.
“Many of our vendors are farmers with social consciences,” says events coordinator Julia Howard. “They see their work of growing healthy foods as part of a larger vision to feed their communities. The FMNP helps make that goal more possible.”
The coupons come in books of five. They are distributed through such outlets as Saratoga County’s Office of the Aging as well as the state’s Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC. The county’s Office of the Aging will distribute coupons on site at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market at designated dates this summer.
Individuals over age 60 can request coupons, as well as younger persons who participate in WIC.
The state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets describes the program as a means of promoting food security. It helps those who are economically distressed gain more access to healthy, locally grown fresh foods. At the same time, it generates income for local farmers and supports farmers’ markets as community venues.
Using the coupons is simple. At the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, participating vendors display signs at their stalls that indicate their acceptance of FMNP coupons. Customers can redeem the coupons for fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and mushrooms in $4 increments.
Farmers work with customers to maximize the coupons’ value.
For instance, a large basket of potatoes might cost $5. A customer can use a $4 coupon to buy the potatoes and add an additional dollar of cash, or request that the vendor reduce the amount of potatoes so that the price comes to $4. In a different scenario, a bunch of kale might cost $3. The vendor might add a little more to the bunch to equal $4 or add a separate item such as an apple.
The overall goal is to ensure that more people have access to local food.
Herbs: Good Neighbors of the Garden
Like people, plants relate to one another differently. Unique characteristics such as fragrance, stature, and ability to attract pollinators and repel pests make a plant more or less compatible with its neighbors.
Companion planting, or paying attention to beneficial relationships that exist between species of plants, give way to healthier crops, increased yields, and even enhanced flavor in harvests. Herbs are especially companionable when mindfully placed in a garden bed.
Herbs also possess healing properties to soothe the ailments of the gardeners who tend them. For centuries herbs have been exalted as medicinal remedies, offering relief for sore throats, anxiety, stomachaches, and other health concerns.
Rather than planting rows of single crops this season, try intermingling herbs for a garden that is both plentiful and curative.
Basil and tomatoes have heightened flavors when grown in proximity. Basil also compliments asparagus, beans, beets, cabbage, and bell peppers. Basil tea alleviates an upset stomach and is a natural skin cleanser. Place wet leaves under eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles.
Thyme repels pests like cabbage worms, corn earworms, and tomato hornworms. It will strengthen the flavor of most plants it borders while attracting honey bees and predatory insects. Thyme relieves congestion from colds and seasonal allergies.
Dill is a companion to broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, and kale. It attracts honey bees and butterflies while deterring cabbage loppers and spider mites. Dill should not be planted near carrots, as the two may cross-pollinate. Steeping two tablespoons of crushed dill seed in one cup of boiling water creates a dill tea for cold and flu symptom relief.
Rosemary pairs well with broccoli, beans, cabbage, and hot peppers. Aromatically it improves cognitive function and memory. A rosemary tea or essential oil can be used on hair to strengthen and condition.
Lavender compliments cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and rose bushes. Adding a few drops of lavender oil in a bath reduces stress, insomnia, and anxiety. Fragrant dried flowers can be sewn into pillows or sleep masks for a calming effect.
Calendula, or the pot marigold, is a must grow for its bright yellow and orange flowers, pest prevention, and medicinal qualities. Calendula acts as a trap plant, attracting aphids to a sticky stem and away from garden vegetables. The flowers are harvested and used to make oils, teas, and ointments that have antiseptic and wound healing properties.
Simple Spring Meals
Popular Foods Fill Saratoga Farmers’ Market Stalls
Every year, certain foods find a following nationally among chefs, food writers, and other aficionados. These items often are nutritious, delicious, and add diversity to the daily diet. One place to find such foods is the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. Here’s a quick rundown of the top trending foods available at the market now:
Good for the Gut
At the Wednesday and Saturday markets, look for Saratoga Apple. Their table offers not only their well-known apples but also such products as their own apple cider vinegar, made from fermented apple juice. Apple cider vinegar has been credited with reducing cholesterol and lowering blood sugar levels. Try it in salad dressings or marinades.
One regular purveyor of probiotics is Puckers Gourmet Pickles. Look for them and their jars of fermented vegetables on Saturdays. They offer pickles, kraut, and kimchi -- all of which give the body a healthy dose of probiotics, which are live microorganisms that promote healthy digestion.
Junbucha, a creation of Saratoga Urban Farm may also be found at the market on Saturdays. Jun is made by fermenting tea and honey with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), creating a naturally effervescent and tangy drink that contains prebiotics, probiotics, and amino acids.
New seasonal fruits and vegetables appear at the farmers’ market each week. There is one distinct difference between locally grown produce at the farmers’ market and what is found on shelves at the grocery store. Locally grown produce is not perfect, and people are finally embracing misshapen and a-symmetrical as totally edible.
Different Sources of Protein
Squashville Farm is looking forward to bringing goat meat back to the Wednesday market in June. This meat, described as an “ethical meat” by some, is delicious in stews, burgers, or on the grill. Also, look for bone broths at the Wednesday market from Slate River and Ramble Creek farms. Bone broth is being hailed for it’s nutritional value and immune boosting properties.
And, finally, mushrooms. Mariaville Mushroom Men and Ramble Creek Farm are offering a wide variety of mushrooms, including shitakes, oysters, lion’s mane, chestnuts and others. These bites of goodness are filled with potassium, niacin, selenium, vitamin B, and carry a flavor and texture that is unbeatable. Try them sauteed with olive oil or butter, roasted with root vegetables, or stirred into a pasta.
Planting Flowers and Food on Mothers’ Day
The opening month of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s outdoor season is like a debut to summer.
Several vendors are offering seasonal flowers, herbs, and vegetable seedlings. These items make ideal Mothers’ Day gifts. They also offer fast doses of color and character to fledgling gardens and promises of great harvests to come.
Look this weekend and next Wednesday for bright bunches of daffodils, branches of lilacs, and sweet-smelling hyacinths. Such flowers are available as bouquets. With them are pots of geraniums and packs of bedding plants, the horticultural term for fast-growing seasonal flowers and ornamental plants that can be transplanted into gardens immediately.
On Wednesdays, you can find such plants at the Butternut Ridge and Burger Farm stalls on the south end of the High Rock Park pavilion. And, at the end of May, Goode Farm will bring floral arrangements, dried flowers, and cut flowers. On Saturdays, look for flowers and plants at the Scotch Ridge Tree and Berries and Balet Flowers and Design. Also on Saturdays, the Wild Things Rescue Nursery is on hand with a variety of native plants that can help build bee and butterfly gardens. And cut flower bouquets from Lot 32 Flower Farm will return in early June.
If growing food is your goal, many market vendors also offer a wide array of vegetable and herb seedlings. Some can go into the ground immediately; others are best nurtured in sunny windows until soil temperatures have warmed to about 65-70 degrees.
At the Burger Farm stall, tomato plants already are flowering and bearing small fruits. Andy Burger, who operates the farm with his parents, said that they started the plants at the end of January, raising them with heat and light in a greenhouse. The tomatoes are available for purchase now along with such summer plants as peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash. Burger recommends bringing such seedlings indoors at night and on chillier May days.
For immediate transplanting, try lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, and other greens, along with such herbs as cilantro, oregano, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and oregano.
Other vendors who offer vegetable and herb seedlings include Butternut Ridge, Scotch Ridge, Balet, and Otrembiak Farm.
Most vendors will offer planting advice. Master gardeners with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Services are at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets, as well.
Saratoga Farmers' Market Kicks Off Outdoor Season at High Rock Park
Shushan Hydro Farms at the Saratoga Farmers' Market.
Saturday mornings are market mornings for hundreds of area residents. Join them Saturday, May 4 at High Rock Park as the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s 41st season opens.
Farmers, home artisans, and craftspeople will join city officials and others for a ribbon cutting just before 9 a.m. Then, as music from the Running the River band fills the air, vendors will begin offering fresh vegetables and fruits, meats, eggs, dairy products, home-baked goods, prepared foods, flowers, art, and more.
“We are thrilled to welcome several new vendors this year,” says market administrator Emily Meagher. “Our variety of local products is unparalleled.”
About 65 vendors participate in the Saturday market. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market also operates from 3-6 p.m. every Wednesday, with about 30 vendors.
Bring your shopping list and walk, bike, or drive to High Rock Park. Grab a coffee made with locally roasted beans and perhaps a light breakfast from one of the many prepared food vendors featuring items like crepes or breakfast sandwiches.
Vendor stalls fill the pavilions and spill out onto the lawns. Volunteers will watch your bags and help transport your goods to your car with the Friends of the Market’s veggie valet wagons. The FreshFoodNY app and pickup service is available for
This year, we encourage you to visit the market via bicycle, if feasible. We also invite you to bring your own bags to reduce plastic and will have totes available for purchase. We are continuing our compost collection program and will accept fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, used tea bags, and similar items. We have an ATM on site, and many vendors accept credit cards. We also accept SNAP benefits
While shopping, check out the children’s activities, and booths featuring the Adirondack Live Steamers, Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, and Cornell Cooperative Extension Service’s master gardeners.
Says market administrator Emily Meagher, “To experience spring in Saratoga is to opt to dine on the patio, order tickets from SPAC, and embrace the return of the outdoor farmers' market where the fragrance of flowers and produce mixes with freshly baked bread.”
See you there!
SATURDAY VENDORS AT THE SARATOGA FARMERS’ MARKET
- Alaturco Mediterranean Grill
- Argyle Cheese Factory
- Balet Flowers & Design, LLC
- Ballston Lake Apiaries
- Battenkill Valley Creamery
- Burger Farm
- Clark Dahlia Gardens & Greenhouses
- Dancing Ewe Farms
- Dickinson’s Delights
- Elihu Farm
- Euro Delicacies
- Feathered Antler
- Freddy's Rockin' Hummus
- Giovani Fresco
- Gómez Veggie Ville
- Grandma Apple's Cheesecakes, LLC
- Green Jeans Market Farm
- Halls Pond Farm
- Humiston's Vegetables
- Kim Dolan Designed Jewelry
- Kokinda Farm
- Lake George Distilling Co., LLC
- Lewis Waite Farm
- Longlesson Farm
- Lot 32 Flower Farm
- M & A Farm
- Mangiamo LLC
- Mariaville Mushroom Men
- Momma's Secret Salad Dressings
- Moxie Ridge Farm
- Mrs. Londons
- Muddy Trail Jerky Co.
- Mugzy's Barkery
- Nettle Meadow
- Nut Zez, LLC
- Old World Farm
- Otrembiak Farm
- Owl Wood Farm
- Petra Pocket Pies
- Pleasant Valley Farm
- Puckers Gourmet
- Pura Vida Fisheries, Inc
- R&G Cheese Makers
- Ramble Creek Farm
- Rock Hill Bakehouse
- Row to Hoe Farm
- Saratoga Apple
- Saratoga Chocolate Co.
- Saratoga Crackers®
- Saratoga Peanut Butter Co.
- Saratoga Spicery
- Saratoga Suds 'n' Stuff
- Saratoga Urban Farm
- Scotch Ridge Berry Farm
- Slate Valley Farms
- Slyboro Cider House
- Something's Brewing
- Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery
- The Chocolate Spoon
- The Food Florist
- The Saratoga Winery
- The Smoothie Shoppe
- Vermont Spatzle Company
- Underwood's Greenhouse / Shushan Valley Hydro Farm
- Vital Eats
- Wild Things Rescue Nursery
- Yankee Distillers
- Zoe Burghard Ceramics
Saratoga Farmers' Market Kicks Off Outdoor Season at High Rock Park
When the opening bell rings at 3 p.m. next Wednesday at High Rock Park, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market will begin its 41st season.
The Wednesday market runs May 1 - October 30, from 3-6 p.m. Like the Saturday market, it offers a wide array of amazing foods fresh from our region’s local farms, along with locally made wines and spirits, art, and meals to go.
For many market regulars, the Wednesday market is the farmers’ market at its best. It offers an opportunity to browse at a leisurely pace, planning a few nights’ meals while listening to local music, and taking part in a series of all-ages activities.
“The intimate size of our midweek market creates a more relaxed pace,” says market activities coordinator Julia Howard. “It’s a little more spacious, airy. It’s a great way to meet up with friends.”
This year, the market is celebrating eight new vendors:
• Goode Farm, fresh and dried flowers and wreaths
• Slate River Farm, herbs, meats, eggs, and seasonal ramps and fiddlehead ferns;
• High Peaks Distilling, spirits
• Italian Market, pasta sauces
• Alaturco Mediterranean Grill, gyros
• Oliver’s Café, crepes and kettle corn
• Left Field, snow cones
• Vedanta du Mas Designs, art
As always, the Wednesday market will offer free music, children’s activities, its Power of Produce Club, and information booths. About 20 other vendors – ranging from small farmers to local artists and food entrepreneurs – will be returning to the market, as well.
The Tisch Family Band will serenade market visitors on opening day. Throughout the season, the market will participate in the Bicycle Benefits program, and host tours. Market staff also are planning to organize monthly bus trips for Saratoga seniors.
As a shopper and a farmer, I look forward every year to the start of the Wednesday market. It evokes the historic roots of Saratoga’s producer-only market and the region’s agricultural heritage. I enjoy talking to vendors as I fill my bags with great foods for a few days before I return to the market Saturday to replenish.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market closes out its indoor season with its Spring Festival 9 a.m.-1 p.m. tomorrow at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Join us 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at High Rock Park starting next Wednesday, May 1. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.
Spring Festival Celebrates Farming in Your Own Backyard
Mark your calendars for April 27.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is closing out its final indoor market with its fourth annual Spring Festival. The 9 a.m.-1 p.m. event takes place at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park, and features four free workshops, face paintings, complimentary beverages, and more.
The annual festival comes just one week after the market’s Easter celebration tomorrow. Like the Easter celebration, the festival’s focus is on spring and farming.
However, the festival will offer more than the products of our farms. It will help you learn what goes into growing, raising, and making some of them, and offer you some useful tips for giving these crafts a try yourself. It is aimed at helping everyone: market regulars, newcomers to the Saratoga area and weekend visitors.
So, have you yearned to keep bees? Would you like to savor the joy of gathering up fresh eggs straight from your coop? Do you need a refresher on growing flowers, fruits or vegetables? Would you like to start your own kombucha brew? If yes – or even maybe – check the workshops out. Attend all four and receive a free Saratoga Farmers’ Market canvas tote.
THE SCHEDULE INCLUDES:
• 9 a.m. Beekeeping with Rick Green, owner of Ballston Lake Apiaries, longtime area beekeeper.
• 10 a.m. Backyard Poultry Basics for Beginners with Andrea Love Smith, a Cornell Cooperative Extension Services educator.
• 11 a.m. Gardening for Beginners with Lori Bishop, a master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension Services.
• Noon Fermentation with Diane Whitten, a food and nutrition educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension Services.
One of the best things about these workshops is their emphasis on basics. The facilitators can answer questions and offer tips to everyone, regardless of whether they’re newcomers to farming or veterans.
The market also will feature its usual lineup of live music, and of course, its array of farm produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, and artisanal goods. A face painter also will be on hand for children.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market closes out its indoor season tomorrow and next Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. The market’s outdoor season begins May 1 at High Rock Park and will take place 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m Saturdays. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Sweets, Meats, and Other Easter Treats
Easter evokes images of egg hunts and other community events.
We invite you to make next Saturday at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market a part of these events. On Saturday, April 20, arrive early and fill your shopping bags and baskets with our fresh, locally grown, raised and produced foods.
Near the market entrance, look for the eggs. Not the edible ones – those come next – but rather the reusable gift containers, available while supplies last. Inside each will be a coupon offering a discount from one of the market vendors.
Now, for real eggs. Elihu, Kokinda, and Squashville farms are offering them in abundance. Check out their hues and try them for their fresh, farm-raised flavor. Keep an eye out, too, for rich duck and giant goose eggs.
This weekend, the market also will be featuring chocolate eggs. Further in the market are such treats filled with maple cream and maple marshmallow at Slate Valley Farms. Other sweet treats include homemade marshmallows from The Chocolate Spoon, chocolates formed into nest and bunny shapes from The Saratoga Chocolate Co., hot cross buns from Mrs. London’s, and cheesecakes in a range of sizes and flavors from Grandma Apple’s Cheesecakes.
That’s dessert. Now, let’s look for vegetables and main course meats.
Many vendors are offering Easter specials on their farm-raised meats: At Lewis Waite Farm, fresh and smoked ham roasts and steaks are five percent off. Longlesson Farm is offering 10 pounds of ground beef for $60 (instead of $80), and Mariaville Mushroom Men is taking 20 percent off its pork. If poultry is your preference, try Ramble Creek Farm’s turkey or Squashville’s chicken.
And there are the early spring vegetables to consider: Pea shoots from Saratoga Urban and Pleasant Valley farms, along with Pleasant Valley’s super-sweet spring parsnips. Storage vegetables remain abundant at Gomez Veggie Ville and Pleasant Valley, and mushrooms at Mariaville and Ramble Creek.
Looking for libations? Try Saratoga Apple’s farm-brewed hard and sweet ciders, spirits from Yankee Distillery, cyser from Ballston Lake Apiaries, Battenkill Valley Creamery milk and Something’s Brewing’s home-roasted coffees.
And, there’s more: apples, pickles, cheeses, and cured meats.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for three more Saturdays at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Our outdoor season begins 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at High Rock Park. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Saratoga Farmers Experience Joy of Animal Births
Our goat Tory went into labor Sunday afternoon. My husband Jim Gupta-Carlson, who had been keeping watch overnight, was ready with his “kidding kit:” sterile gloves and lubricant, towels to help dry the kids, iodine for cleaning, and molasses in warm water as a treat for the new mother.
Goats most often give birth to twins. The kids usually arrive one a time. Tory’s nearly tumbled out together. Jim donned gloves, applied lubricant, and helped Tory deliver her kids, one by one.
Within an hour, the kids were standing and suckling at Tory’s udders.
Spring is the season of babies for Saratoga Farmers’ Market vendors who raise animals. At Nettle Meadow, Moxie Ridge, Lewis Waite, Mariaville Mushroom Men, Squashville, and other farms, chicks, ducklings, and goslings are chirping, lambs and kids are prancing about, and soon piglets and calves will appear in woods and pastures.
Piglets at Ramble Creek Farm. Photo courtesy of Ramble Creek Farm.
In ideal circumstances, the animals birth on their own. But when complications arise, farmers help.
At Elihu Farm, 70 ewes giving birth. One ewe had been in labor for a long time, so Bob and Mary Pratt intervened. Bob held the animal’s head, and Mary found that one lamb was in a breech position. She straightened the legs and pulled it out. A second one followed. Thanks to the intervention both lambs and their mother are doing fine.
At Longlesson Farm, Christophe Robert is looking forward to 35-40 calves in late June. The cows give birth outdoors, and by the end of the day, the calves are running around their mothers, sniffing curiously, shaking their limbs.
“I never tire of watching them,” Robert says. “All that energy.”
Once, he found a calf that had lost its mother lying alone. He carried it indoors to warm it up, and his family fed it with a bottle until it could survive on its own.
At Ramble Creek Farm, Ann and Josh Carnes are preparing for piglets. Last year, Ann recalls, the sows created shelters in bushes as their deliveries drew near. Josh camped out with them in the woods, prepared to help if necessary. But the sows birthed on their own.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through April at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. We move outdoors to High Rock Park on Wednesday, May 1. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.