Displaying items by tag: earth to mind

Thursday, 11 February 2021 15:15

Sowing Seeds for a New Season

Walking around a farmers’ market, you see tables neatly displayed with mountains of produce. There is a long journey before produce lands on market tables and then, eventually, your table. Farmers are on a tight schedule to do all they can to make sure their crops flourish. Now that we are deep into winter, we asked local farmers how they are preparing for this year’s growing season.

Laurie Kokinda, owner of Kokinda Farm, says, “It’s the hardest time of year, in terms of grunt work.” Farms are working tirelessly to sanitize their greenhouses and tunnels and repair and order new equipment. Farms are starting their first seedings like tomatoes, alliums, and head lettuce. This year, many farmers ordered their seed supply earlier than usual due to Coronavirus-related increases in demand as well as mail delays. Paul and Sandy Arnold, owners of Pleasant Valley Farm, note, “Normally, we can get seeds in the day after we order. This year, we’re waiting weeks!”

Local farms often choose to work together to share resources. Pleasant Valley Farm’s Sustainable Farmers’ Network Group is hard at work in the mid-winter, bulk-ordering supplies so that farms may share discounts. Gomez Veggie Ville works with Denison Farm to get this year’s supply of organic potato seeds. And, for the first time, they will work to grow ginger. “I am learning how to grow ginger well in our climate. Hopefully, if it works out, we’ll be able to bring some to the market in September,” says Efrain Gomez.

Owl Wood Farm is taking this year’s seed shortages as an opportunity to try a new practice: seed saving. “We’ve wanted to save seeds that aren’t offered commercially, like tomato heirloom varieties and Abenaki flint corn, for a while. It involves a lot of work and isn’t very economical; you have to dedicate a new plot of land and grasp a whole new knowledge base,” says Mark Bascom. “But we see that seed saving is important this year especially.”

Squash Villa Farm (formerly Squashville) is trying not just a new crop or practice but also a whole new land plot after moving farms in 2020. “There’s lots of anticipation! As soon as the snow melts, I’m eager to walk the new land and just get a feel for what it’s like to step into the soil,” says Gupta-Carlson.

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 BeansGreens

Published in Food
Thursday, 04 February 2021 13:36

Game Day Super Snacking

With The Big Game quickly approaching, football fans might be thinking about the field, but we’re all looking forward to the snacks! 

The array of creamy dips, bite-sized snacks, and decadent desserts are certainly something to anticipate, even for those who aren’t big sports fans. Appetizers and finger food are the traditional spread for most, making for easy snacking between plays or the much-anticipated commercials. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market has options to meet all your snacking needs for next Sunday. Get your shopping done at the Saturday market to incorporate fresh, locally made ingredients into your Sunday spread. 

Whether you are cooking for a crowd or keeping it lowkey this year, we put together a few recipes that are sure to impress, using fresh ingredients from the market. And for the hardcore football fans looking forward to more traditional snacks, you can, of course, pick up plenty of wings or spinach and cheese for artichoke dip at the market too!

FM FriedPickles

FRIED PICKLES
Kick off the game with some savory and sweet fried pickles. Mix 1 cup flour with 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp Cajun spice, and ½ tbsp cayenne pepper. Preheat an air fryer to 400. Grab 2 cups of your favorite flavor of pickles from Puckers Gourmet (we’re using the Dilly Sweet pickles, but you can substitute whatever you like) and coat with the flour mixture. Place in a single layer in the fryer and spray with olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. 

FM BuffaloGoatCheeseBalls

BUFFALO GOAT CHEESE BALLS
If you’re craving something cheesy and a little unique, make some fried buffalo goat cheese balls. Add ⅓ cup of flour and a pinch of pepper to a medium bowl. Add one large beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water to a separate shallow bowl. Add 1 ½ cups of panko breadcrumbs to another medium-sized bowl. Then your favorite flavor of goat cheese from Nettle Meadow or R&G Cheesemakers and roll it into 20-24 balls. Roll each ball in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, and then cover in the panko mixture. Place the balls on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes or until firm. Then heat 1-2 cups of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the goat cheese balls in batches for 1-2 minutes until crispy brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined surface. Serve hot with spicy buffalo dip from Argyle Cheese Farmer!

FM AppleNachos

APPLE NACHOS
For dessert, try making apple nachos, which are easy to customize to your taste and perfect if you’re looking for something a little lighter after all the afternoon snacking. Just cut Fuji apples (or apple of choice) from Saratoga Apple into thin slices and arrange on a plate. Then drizzle about ¼ cup of melted peanut butter (we’re using Plain Jane creamy from Saratoga Peanut Butter Company) and ¼ cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate over the apples. Top with a handful of chocolate chips or some granola to serve. 

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.

Published in Food

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

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