Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Farmers' Market

If you’ve seen Shane Avery at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, you’ll know he’s a busy man operating two businesses at once. Avery started at the market as Saratoga Urban Farm, selling microgreens and wheatgrass shots. The latter inspired him to make holistic wellness products more accessible to customers. The creation of both Earth To Mind, a CBD product line, and Junbucha, a green tea and honey-based twist on kombucha, soon followed.

Earth To Mind was born at just the right time: “People were asking if anyone at the market produced CBD products, so it seemed like a great opportunity for me to try to fill that gap,” says Avery. Earth To Mind’s product line includes tinctures, topicals, rubs, and now also soft gels. Its CBD Assistance Program aims to improve accessibility and gives 40% off to veterans, low-income customers, and those on disability. And CBD isn’t limited to humans; the products are also great for pets, to calm anxiety and to ease inflammation.

The origins of Avery’s Junbucha, “the champagne of kombucha,” were also at the market: loyal customers demanded more of the homemade kombucha that Avery would share. “Jun is a tough to brew culture, but the honey makes for a lighter, floral brew that still has those same probiotic properties.” Made with organic ingredients, Avery produces flavors like blueberry & lemon, pineapple & turmeric, and ginger & yerba mate. Cold-pressed juice is added just before bottling to make a fruitier brew than the often vinegary kombucha.

Avery’s companies both aimed to fill customer demands at the farmers’ market. The regard for community wellbeing is evident from the way they operate, whether it be through sourcing local ingredients to support other small businesses or renting out their shared commercial kitchen space for others to incubate new ideas. “You need a healthy ecosystem for your business to grow in, and I try to take an active role to help sustain that ecosystem for others.” The brands also value environmental sustainability, using recycled packaging and reusable bottles (a recent favorite was a customer using bottles for sand art). “It’s obvious to consider the earth when you’re a farmer; your hands are literally in the dirt. But other food producers are equally responsible for operating sustainably,” Avery says.

Avery is grateful for the platform that the farmers’ markets have given him. “In my opinion, it’s the best place to incubate new products and ideas. You get instant feedback, and customers’ reviews are honest, accurate, and high-quality. As a farmer or producer at the market, you’re adding value to a larger marketplace of ideas.” Find Earth To Mind and Junbucha at the farmers’ market every Saturday, or order online on earthtomind.com and junbucha.com.

Are you looking to grow your business in 2021? Vendor applications for our summer markets are open until January 31! Local farmers, artisans, crafters, and specialty food makers are welcome to apply. For more information visit saratogafarmersmarket.org/vendor.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For online pre-ordering and curb-side pickup, visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

Published in Food
Thursday, 21 January 2021 14:31

Keep it Simple with Soups from Scratch

Whether you spend your days working from home or out and about, these long winter months are hard on us all. What could be more comforting than a warm bowl of soup full of fresh and nourishing ingredients after a long day? Soups are generally healthful with benefits including high nutritional value and low fat. They are also easy to prepare, inexpensive, and delicious!

January is National Soup Month, so we encourage you to put together a simple soup by stocking up on vegetables, meats, and herbs at Saturdays’ farmers’ market. You will be all set to enjoy a satisfying meal on Sunday or a busy weeknight when you are low on time.

Soups are easy to customize to your liking; make a simple soup a bit heartier with some noodles, beans, or rice. Or if you’re looking for something light, you can keep it basic with broth and vegetables. Just follow this introductory method and tailor it to your preferences and available ingredients.

Start with stock - preferably homemade, by simmering chicken or beef leftovers in water, or utilize vegetable parts like onion skins, root vegetables, and herbs. A good quality stock can make a good soup great! Then choose your aromatics such as carrots, celery, onion, garlic, leek, etc. For a little smokiness, add an item like a hambone or bacon. Saute your aromatics in a big stockpot with oil or butter until softened, then stir in herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Bay leaves and thyme rarely goes wrong. Add a carb if desired, like vermicelli or potatoes. And then, lots of vegetables to add nutrition and bulk to your soup. Seasonal vegetables to consider are kale, chard, and mushrooms. Add the stock and let simmer until ingreadients are tender. You can optionally puree your soup after simmering for a silky smooth finish. Finally, add any extra meats, garnishes, and flavorings (like cream, lemon juice, or even hot sauce) for added fullness and flavor. 

We’re sharing a recipe featuring produce from Gomez Veggie Ville’s “soup bags,” which you can pick up every Saturday at the farmers’ market. If you pick up a soup bag from the market, you’ll have several options, including carrots, onions, beets, potatoes, turnips, and cabbage. 

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For online pre-ordering and curbside pickup, visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

FM WhateverSoup20

Published in Food

Many of us start a new year with a fresh set of resolutions, new habits to live by for a healthier, happier self. But a few weeks in, the cold, dark winter can make it hard to keep up our motivation. If you can’t get your healthy food resolutions to stick, change the way you approach them.

Instead of cutting out foods you love and feeling guilty when you inevitably “cheat,” upgrade your favorite comfort meals with real, fresh ingredients to treat both your body and soul. Here are a few tips on what to look for at the farmers’ market.

In the winter months, farmers bring loads of root vegetables to the market. Himanee Gupta-Carlson from Squashville Farm takes this opportunity to get the comfort of a chicken pot pie in a healthier jacket. Make a roux with a good quality bone broth. Potatoes and turnips help thicken the sauce to reduce additional ingredients needed, and carrots add flavor and color.

Good quality, fresh meats don’t need many additives to taste great. Lay off on the salt and extra fats and enjoy a cut from the market in its full glory. Longlesson Farm’s Christophe Robert suggests trying beef shanks. It is a leaner (and cheaper) meat, cooked low and slow in a crockpot (bonus: your kitchen will smell amazing!). Simmer with non-starchy vegetables like carrots or turnips. Serve with a quick polenta made from Squashville Farm’s dried heirloom Abenaki corn. Then use the shank’s marrow bone to create a nutrient-filled bone broth and blend it up with the stewed veggies for a hearty soup. Add in a statement ingredient towards the end of cooking, like beet or tomato, to add color.

If you are trying a no- or low-meat lifestyle, mushrooms can provide a fantastic, bold alternative. Jeff Killenberger from 518 Farms suggests using brain-boosting lions’ mane to make “crab” cakes. Or go for sweet by combining lions’ mane, cinnamon, and sugar for a vegan and gluten-free “apple crisp.”

Butternut squash can also lift a dish by adding nutrients, color, and creaminess. Try a vegan mac & “cheese” by replacing the dairy with butternut squash. Up the health factor by using whole-wheat pasta or go gluten-free by swapping spätzle from The Vermont Spätzle Company.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For online pre-ordering and curbside pickup, visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

Fm ButternutsquashMacCheese

Published in Food
Thursday, 07 January 2021 15:47

Shop Local, Eat Fresh, Stay Safe and Save Time!

The winter season of cold weather and lots of snow has come, and the farmers’ market is feeling grateful for our indoor home at the Wilton Mall. Since November, indoor markets have been running safely and smoothly every Saturday. Still, many customers who would like to eat fresh food and support local farms and producers understandably do not feel safe shopping indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While our vendors can’t be outside in the cold anymore (frozen vegetables don’t taste so fresh!), we can bring fresh products to our customers. We have launched a new online ordering platform with contact-free curbside pickup every Saturday morning.

The platform currently offers various products from about 20 winter season vendors, though more products and producers are added weekly based on customer requests and community needs. 

Available products will also change weekly due to local food seasonality, ensuring the freshest products are listed every week.

The online storefront is open weekly from Monday evenings until Thursday nights at 9 p.m. Between these times, customers can navigate to the store using the link below. Products from multiple vendors can be added to a virtual shopping cart, with just one credit or debit card payment required at checkout. SNAP/EBT customers may defer payment until they pick up their order, and deferred credit/debit and cash payments are accepted on-site as well. The minimum order amount is $15, and there is a $3 flat fee per order to cover the time and money spent by the market to run the online system and prepare orders.

On Saturday mornings, customers may park in reserved curbside pickup spots located right outside the Bow Tie Cinemas entrance to the Wilton Mall and receive prompt delivery to their vehicles. This service is also available to pedestrians and those taking public transportation.

The farmers’ market’s mission is to provide access to fresh, healthy, and locally produced food to everyone in our community; thus, the market hopes this contact-free curbside pickup program will provide another way to help meet this goal during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Access SFM2GO at localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market or navigate there on our website: saratogafarmersmarket.org. Customers can sign up there to receive a weekly email update about new products offered and other curbside pickup news.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter: www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM MushroomQuiche

Published in Food
Wednesday, 23 December 2020 13:08

Cold-Hardy Grapes Yield Soul-Warming Wines

The Fossil Stone Vineyard bottles of wine almost seem to glitter on display tables at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market: The golden hue of La Crescent, the ruby glow of Marquette, the fiery dark pink of their Rose, a blend of the two.

Fossil Stone is among the market’s newest vendors, joining in late August. But for owners Michael and Kelly Spiak making wine is not new. Their journey, like much of farming, is all about having a passion and the patience to transform that passion into products.

For Michael Spiak, passion began while traveling through New Zealand with the military. “New Zealand was blanketed with vineyards, which I had a strange fascination with,” he says. “I loved everything about them … the posts, the vines, the grapes, and of course the wine.”

He and his wife Kelly owned land in Greenfield Center. They decided in 2006 to try growing grapevines. Their first wines came from vines planted in 2009, and they began selling wine in 2014. Today, Fossil Stone consists of more than 3,000 wines and a winery barn. A tasting room is set to open next summer.

The Spiaks grow cold-hardy French hybrid grapes developed by University of Minnesota viticulturist Peter Hamstead to produce LaCrescent – a crisp white with hints of apricot – and Marquette – a smooth medium-bodied red with hints of cherry and plum. They also craft a Rose from a 30-70 blend of Marquette and LaCrescent. 

“It is darker than most Roses,” says Spiak, “but don’t let that fool you. It behaves very much like a Rose.”

At Fossil Stone, winter is a time to craft wines before the growing cycle begins in late February when vines will be pruned prior to bud break in late April/early May. The grapes grow through late summer and are harvested in fall. 

Fossil Stone wines pair well with many winter farmers’ market offerings, such as beef brisket. “I used to work for the Saratoga North Creek Railroad as a locomotive engineer,” Michael Spiak recalls. “The chef on board used our Marquette to make a wine reduction and poured it over a broiled brisket and then paired it with our Marquette.”

“It was delicious.”

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter: www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM Brisket

Published in Food
Thursday, 17 December 2020 16:19

Comfort Foods for Christmas

Short days, long nights, and frigid wind chills characterize our winter holidays, even without a pandemic. This kind of weather offers an excuse to forgo extensive meals and focus on what is elegantly simple: dishes that require few ingredients and few steps to prepare. With foods from our local farmers, elegance is easy.

Think roast chicken. Pick up a half or whole chicken at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, fresh or frozen. If frozen, thaw. If fresh, immediately wrap the breast and wing in aluminum foil and roast in an open pot at 450 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven, cool the oven down to 325 degrees, unwrap the foil, put a lid on the pot, and continue cooking for an additional 15-17 minutes a pound, usually about 50 minutes for a three-pound chicken. You can add salt and pepper, lemon, herbs, or any other seasonings to the chicken beforehand. But farm-raised chicken is delicious as is.

While the chicken is cooking, consider adding mashed potatoes. Wash potatoes and scrub skins of debris. Boil until soft or cook in an instant pot. Then, melt butter or heat oil in a stovetop pot. Add potatoes, and mash until they’re of a consistency you like. Salt, pepper, herbs, and milk can enhance the flavor.

Carrots, turnips, and beets tossed in oil and seasoned with salt and pepper can roast nicely as your chicken cooks. Or try boiling these nutritious root vegetables on the stove until fork tender and tossing in a half or quarter head of cabbage toward the end.

Finally, try onion soup. Warm 5-6 cups of chicken stock (or any other meat stock or vegetable broth) in a soup pot. While the stock is simmering, thinly slice about five medium-sized onions. Cook with oil or butter in a skillet at medium-low heat until the onions have caramelized, about 25 minutes. The key is to get the onions soft but to stir often so they do not stick to the pan. Turn the heat down and add a tablespoon of flour. Toss well, then add to simmering stock, stirring gently to dissolve the flour. Serve with toasted bread and sliced cheese.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter: www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM FrenchOnionSoup

Published in Food

In the fall, pumpkins adorn everything from front steps to tabletop centerpieces. 

Unfortunately, while an uncarved pumpkin can remain edible 8-12 weeks after being picked, many decorative pumpkins end up in the trash, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many great uses for whole pumpkins in the kitchen.

Pumpkins are versatile to cook and bake with and offer a world of culinary exploration. They are eaten year-round in different cultures across the globe. In America, pumpkin is famously used in pumpkin pie. But a quick Google search will reveal a variety of recipes worthy of exploration: soups and stews, dips, pancakes, gnocchi, dessert bars, pasta dishes, bread, muffins, cakes, ice cream, smoothies, pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds), and many more.

When cooking and baking with pumpkin, many recipes call for pumpkin puree. Before you add canned pumpkin puree to your grocery list, try making your own. It’s easy and requires little effort with a big return. Roasting 1-2 small pumpkins can yield 5-6 cups of puree. 

Also, wonderful on their own - are pumpkin seeds. Simply scrape out seeds, rinse and remove major chunks of flesh, boil for 10 minutes in salted water, drain, and coat with olive oil and seasonings. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Pumpkin seeds are a fun and healthy snack.

If you don’t have leftover pumpkins you can buy them directly from farmers at the farmers’ market, ask them which pumpkin works best for your needs.

For more information visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market online at saratogafarmersmarket.org, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM PumpkinPuree

FM PumpkinMuffins

Published in Food
Thursday, 10 December 2020 14:31

Thoughtful Gift-Giving During a Pandemic

As challenging as 2020 has been so far, the holiday gifting season feels like a bright way to end a dark year. 

Perhaps more than ever, gift-giving is a means of reconnecting with friends and family, some of whom we haven’t seen in person for nearly a year. We also get that gift-giving can be a source of stress even in the best of times, so we have some strategic ideas to make gifting during a pandemic a little more seamless, meaningful, and even enjoyable.

If you prefer shopping from the comfort of home, find our vendors at saratogafarmersmarket.org and shop locally online. Find links to local businesses’ websites, Instagram, and Facebook pages. Use the DM functions or pick up the phone to ask for suggestions and place orders.
This year, some of the most thoughtful gifts are things that make time at home more enjoyable for your friends and family. Think practical and useful.
Get creative with whatever budget you have. A great gift does not have to cost a lot of money.

Now let’s get gifting with local businesses at the farmers’ market!

These days we work, exercise, relax, and even attend school at home. We recommend Feathered Antler’s original paintings and framed prints of animals and landscapes to define and decorate living spaces. Feathered Antler also has hand-painted wooden fence posts adorned with positive sayings and nature scenes that can function as leash hangers, key hooks, and jewelry organizers.

Wine, hard cider, and spirits always make great gifts - and local vintners and distillers make the very best. Slyboro Cider House and Saratoga Apple makes hard ciders from apples grown in their orchards. For wine-lovers, Fossil Stone Winery makes memorable wines from grapes grown on their farm. And, spirits enthusiasts will love everything from Yankee Distillers and Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery.

Give the gift of something to look forward to, like Saratoga Farmers’ Market gift certificates. Elihu Farm offers a subscription for flavorful and nutritious eggs from their “hens on pasture.” Moon Cycle Seed Co. sells subscriptions for nutrient-dense seeds for hormonal balance. The 2021 CSA season will be here before we know it, so check with local farmers at the market to purchase a subscription for a friend or family member.

Is there a more classic holiday gift than a beautiful piece of jewelry? Kim Dolan Designed Jewelry makes unique, handcrafted silver and gemstone rings, necklaces, and earrings. If you’re looking to make someone feel special and promote wellness, Big Breath Wellness has various holistic healing jewelry. For nature lovers, Feathered Antler has handmade jewelry with quartz, charms, and tassels.

Self-care means something different to everyone. Perhaps it’s cozying up to a cup of hot chocolate from Saratoga Chocolate Co. Or making Earth to Mind’s CBD oil and rubs a part of the daily routine. There are many items at the farmers’ market to nourish and encourage self-care, like bee balm from Ballston Lake Apiaries, soaps from Saratoga Suds ‘n’ Stuff, and tinctures from Sweetbriar Farms.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find us online, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter: www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM StockingStuffers

Published in Food

Supporting small businesses is always a must in our eyes, but this year it’s more important than ever. Not only does it give our local economy a boost, but you’re more likely to find unique gifts for your loved ones. .

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market offers a spacious shopping environment featuring 50+ local businesses, with some attending exclusively for the holiday season. These holiday season vendors will rekindle your excitement for shopping and finding the perfect gift.

Sweetbrier Farms makes small-batch, plant-infused wellness and beauty products. They offer hand-made soaps, tinctures and glycerites, herb-infused raw honey, salves and balms, and teas. Sweetbrier’s products are made from “responsibly wildcrafted ingredients” - many from their farm in Salem.

With seasonal favorites like eggnog and hot cocoa, Grandma Apple’s Cheesecakes make great gifts for any “sweet tooth.” Grandma’s handcrafted, artisanal cheesecakes come in various flavors and sizes that make the perfect cake easy to find. 

For the spirits connoisseur on your list, Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery, nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks, produces hand-crafted, high-quality spirits in a natural and innovative process. They make award-winning vodka, gin, rye whiskey, moonshine, Limoncello, Orangecello, and Cowboy Coffee. 

Scotch Ridge Berry & Tree Farm has handmade wreaths, kissing balls, holiday swag, and tabletop Christmas trees all this month. Gorgeous greenery makes a memorable and personal gift, and even more so when it’s locally made.

Saratoga Suds ‘n’ Stuff makes soap the “old fashioned” way - “by hand, in small batches, using fat and lye and some essential oils to scent it.” For the holidays, find soaps in the shape of gingerbread men, Christmas trees, and other fun seasonal shapes alongside their traditional soaps.

Goodway Bakery has been baking cookies, cakes, pies, and brownies in Troy for over 40 years. Their rum cakes, in particular, have an excellent shelf life for 2-3 weeks at room temperature, making them perfect gifts. 

For the farmers’ market enthusiast in your life, Owl Wood Farm has freshly-harvested, Certified Naturally Grown produce every Saturday in December. Assemble a gift basket of produce, purchase a gift certificate, or buy a 2021 CSA subscription for a friend or family member. 

Amazing authentic Indian food for Christmas? Why not! Daily Fresh Food makes to-go curries, vegan samosas, soups, and other specialty dishes that make a great gift and offer a break from cooking. 

Many holiday season vendors offer pre-order for easy pickup as well as online ordering. Find their website or like them on social media to stay up-to-date on their products and specials. 

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter: www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM ShavedBrussels

Published in Food
Thursday, 29 October 2020 15:14

Halloween Farmers’ Market Style

Visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market for perfect pumpkins to paint, carve, and cook, and to get a sack full of other Halloween treats too! Between now and October 31, come to the market at the Wilton Mall any Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. or Wednesday 3 – 6 p.m. to pick out products for constructing your own festive Halloween food, drink, and decor.

Halloween’s mascot is the pumpkin, and at the market, we celebrate this special squash in fresh baked goods, hot and cold beverages, decorations, dinners, and desserts; we even have unique, locally made, pumpkin-spiced marshmallows! 

The tradition of carving pumpkins dates to Irish immigrants who came to America to escape famine. Legend says that Stingy Jack was a thief and trickster who even fooled the devil into making a promise not to take his soul when he died. The devil kept this promise, but God wouldn’t let an unsavory person like Jack into heaven. With just burning coal in a turnip to use for a light, Jack’s been roaming the earth ever since. Because of this, children in Ireland put a glowing coal into a carved potato, turnip, or beet to frighten away Stingy Jack.

Once in America, pumpkins made the perfect lanterns. That is where we get Jack-O’-Lanterns. Big pumpkins make the perfect carved jack-o-lantern, while small sugar pumpkins are delicious for roasting to make puree for pies, dips, and pumpkin bread. Save the seeds of either to sprinkle with your favorite spice and roast as a quick crunchy snack.

If Halloween festivities are on your schedule, try these tricks for some healthy and unusual treats: Use a small pumpkin or another gourd as a bowl. Fill it with a sweet pumpkin dip accompanied by sliced apples on the side, or try a savory dip or hummus with vegetable sticks.

Another fun idea is to make kebabs of fruit, veggies, or cured meat and cheese. Stick them in a painted or carved pumpkin. It’ll make a wonderful centerpiece for your table.

And on Halloween itself, visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market! We will have prizes for festive costumes and our annual guess-the-weight-of-the-pumpkin contest. Before heading home, grab some veggies, a deliciously prepared dish, and a jug of sweet cider for a quick dinner on this spookiest evening of the year. And, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to win market products in our fall giveaways!

Saratoga Farmers’ Market runs at Wilton Mall 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to our newsletter: www.saratogafarmersmarket.org/weekly-newsletter.

FM PumpkinDip

Published in Food
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