Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs

Thursday, 26 August 2021 14:02

Finding the Unexpected at the Farmers’ Market

When you take a trip to the farmers’ market in August, what do you expect to find? Surely, fresh produce comes to mind. Sweet corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Maybe eggs, bread, or meats. While those are all certainly a big part of the market right now, keep an eye out for these more unexpected products the next time you visit the farmers’ market.

Plant power

The lush array of plants and herbs at Green Jeans Market Farm include some unusual items that you might have never thought to grow yourself. Take the stevia plant: rather than the powdered white substance found at the grocery store, the plant’s lush green leaves add a hint of natural sweetness to tea or baked goods. Or pick up a catnip plant to use for your cat to enjoy, or, avid gardeners: plant it between rows of vegetables to deter certain pests and animals.

Adult beverages, done differently

There are several great distillers and cider makers at the farmers’ market. If you’re looking to try something new, consider ”cyser” from Ballston Lake Apiaries. Cyser is a honey apple wine, a sweeter and tarter type of mead made with the apiary’s honey and New York apples.

A new vendor this season, Old Tavern Farm, offers 4-packs of canned wine. Choose between rose and chardonnay, and be forewarned: each can contains half a bottle of wine! Ideal for bringing to the track if you’re looking to pick up some beverages before the Travers.

Sip your way to wellness

Argyle Cheese Farmer has a product for you if you enjoy farm-fresh milk but have noticed digestional discomfort after drinking it. Using only milk from a specific type of cow, their “Just A2” kinds of milk don’t contain the A1 protein associated with some cases of indigestion. A gentler way of drinking milk without sacrificing taste.

Moon Cycle Seed Company knows all about being gentler with your body. The wellness brand offers “moon milk:” a soothing drink blend derived from ayurvedic traditions. Grab any of three flavors: cherry beetroot, lavender cardamom, or golden turmeric, and brew with warm milk and honey for a heart-warming concoction.

The next time you visit the farmers’ market, spend some time visiting vendors off the beaten path and uncover an unexpected item that might become your new favorite.

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 Stress Relief Smoothie

Published in Food
Thursday, 19 August 2021 12:28

Building Community with Bread

In February 2021, Leigh Rathner and his wife Cindy Rosenberg moved from Los Angeles to Saratoga Springs, where Rathner had lived earlier in life and raised his children. They had a dream: To feed people and build community. The center was bread. 

Seven months later, their dream has grown into NightWork Bread. NightWork is derived from Rathner’s previous work of logging difficult late-night hours in the film business. Now, those late hours mean care and passion. Rathner makes slow-rising, naturally fermented sourdough bread, often working late at night.

Rosenberg brings the bread to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, where it sells fast. In seven months, Rathner has gone from making 25 loaves a week to 325. 

Their feat is remarkable. Besides learning the basics of business and the many factors that influence the making of artisan bread, they have had to figure out how to build customer support as newcomers to a place where old loyalties run deep.

The secret is bread.

“I’ve always been a community builder,” Rosenberg says. “Bread is a community builder, too.”

The connection got clear in 2020.

Rathner and Rosenberg lived in Los Angeles in a 145-unit condominium, where they knew three other people. Everyone was working or commuting. The COVID-19 pandemic brought people home, including Rathner who saw making bread as a means of calming the mind after his work dried up. As the loaves piled up, Rosenberg began distributing them. They met more people and in the once-lifeless building, a sense of community formed.

People began stopping in open-air hallways and other spaces to chat. Chats became meetups with food and drink. Neighbors began offering Rathner money to cover his bread-making costs. Then came preorders, and ultimately a product Rathner felt comfortable selling to others. 

“That’s how we lived through the pandemic,” Rathner says. “Bread was a part of it.”

He and Rosenberg yearned to move to a smaller town with a strong farm-to-table ethos. Saratoga seemed like a good fit.

Rosenberg, an acupuncturist, learned how to use Instagram from one of her clients in her last days in Los Angeles. En route to Saratoga, she posted reports via Facebook and began friending people and businesses locally, including me after a mutual friend put us in touch. 

Rathner’s past ties to Saratoga also helped. His children had attended the Waldorf School, and even after he left, his friendships with some Waldorf parents had remained strong. 

NightWork Bread is now available at three farmers’ markets, including Saratoga, and Rathner and Rosenberg hope eventually to open a store. 

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 Panza

Published in Food
Thursday, 12 August 2021 14:26

Saratoga Farmers’ Market Meat Producers

The meat vendors bring cuts of beef, goat, lamb, pork, and veal all year. They humanely raise animals and are not CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). Growth promoting hormones and routine antibiotics are never used, and no animal by-products are ever fed.

Josh Carnes started Ramble Creek Farm in 2018. The farm raises heritage-breed pigs to produce their “forest-raised pork,” which lives in their woods protected by an electric-powered net. The farm also produces beef.

Nathan and Meghan Mattison started Grazin’ Acres Farm in 2012 after meeting at the Washington County Fair, where they continue showing their cattle.  They offer beef cuts and will provide custom cuts that customers order. They also pasture-raise their heritage breed pigs. In the future, they’ll also offer cuts of lamb.

Another beef and pork producer, Longlesson Farm, has been a vendor for many years. The farm, started by Christophe Robert’s wife Shannon’s parents, now has 450 acres that supply pasture and hay for their herd of Black Angus. They’ve learned that grass is good for cows, and cows are good for grass! And they’ll have new cuts of pork in the fall.

Hebron Valley Veal is also a new vendor. Ariel Garland and Matt Campbell raise calves from their dairy cows. Their calves are never tethered and receive milk from their registered Holsteins. When six months old, the calves are processed for rose veal cuts, which are lean and tender.

The Market’s goat meat producer, Squash Villa Farm, run by Himanee and Jim Gupta-Carlson, recently bought historic Wright farm in Easton, where French Alpine descendant goats enjoy grazing. Squash Villa is the only goat farm at Wednesday and Saturday Markets.

Mary and Bob Pratt have raised lamb since 1987 at Elihu Farm, named for Revolutionary Patriot Elihu Gifford. Their sheep are purebred Romneys (longwool) and crossbreds (medium wool). Their cuts of lamb are very healthy since most of the fat surrounds the muscles and is easily trimmed. 

Mariaville Mushroom Men is from Schenectady County. Bobby Chandler said that in addition to mushrooms, they raise pork and currently offer seasoned bacon, pork chops, and spare ribs. 

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 LambSatay

Published in Food
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
Thursday, 22 July 2021 14:05

Celebrate Saratoga Window Winners

1st Place: Lifestyles of Saratoga - Lifestyles' “Queen of Saratoga” themed window honors Marylou Whitney.
2nd Place: Tailgate and Party - Street mural depicting a bright scene of galloping horses and jockeys inspired by the Saratoga Race Course.
3rd Place: G. Willikers - "And they're at the gate..." Playful display of toy horses "at the gate."

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Downtown Saratoga welcomed racing fans back to the city with a creative racing-themed contest for local business owners – and the results are in.

The Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association has recognized the winners of the Celebrate Saratoga window decorating contest, sponsored by NYRA. Participating local businesses in downtown Saratoga decorated their storefronts in a racing theme for the contest. 

“The collaboration between the Downtown Business Association and NYRA represents the community collaboration that is so important in a city like ours,” said Heidi Owen-West, Vice President of the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association. 

The decorations were judged on July 14 by volunteer judges Liz Bishop, Walt Adams, and Tom Durkin. The winners were announced during opening weekend at the track, on Saturday, July 17, in the winner’s circle. 

First place went to Lifestyles of Saratoga, who won two tickets to the Rail at 1863 club, including buffet and lunch. Second place went to Tailgate and Party, who won two Clubhouse Reserved Seats. And, third place went to G. Willikers, who won two Grandstand Reserved Seats. 

Owen-West, who is also the owner of Lifestyles of Saratoga, and her team decorated their storefront as a tribute to Marylou Whitney. There was no racing season in 2020, following her passing in 2019, and so Owen-West and her team came up with the idea to honor her.

“It feels great winning, but most important were the comments,” said Owen-West. “People have walked in and choked up with tears and thanked us for our tribute to Marylou Whitney. It really feels like Saratoga is back and racing again.”

Other participating downtown locations included: Celtic Treasures, Complexions Spa, Crafters Gallery, Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs. Impressions of Saratoga, Saratoga Dance, Saratoga National Bank, Saratoga Saddlery, Saratoga Tea and Honey, Spoken Boutique, The Dark Horse Mercantile, and Walt and Whitman Brewing. 

Published in News

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
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