SARANAC LAKE - Saranac Lakers were treated to a farm fresh Saturday morning and early afternoon over the weekend.
The third annual Farm 2 Fork festival, held in the middle of Saturday's weekly farmers market at Riverside Park, was a success, said head organizer Gail Brill.
"The point is to show the consumer how to cook with food from the farmers market," Brill said.
Home cooks at Saturday’s Farm 2 Fork Festival serve ice cream to hungry festival-goers.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
When people came to the festival, which is sponsored by Adirondack Green Circle, they bought a tasting ticket for $10. That gave them access to a choice of eight dishes like carrot soup, a raw root salad, carrot muffins, salsa and a three-bean salad.
They were all prepared by home cooks with ingredients entirely from the farmers market, except they were also allowed to add a grain: lentils, beans or quinoa. Brill said that was done to show people how to stretch their farmers market dollars.
A tasting ticket also gave people access to a pickle bar with pickles and other pickled goods like beets and dilly beans, an herb and beverage bar with drinks like cucumber basil water and peach shrub, plus a taste of hand-cranked ice cream.
When Brill and volunteers originally planned the festival, Brill said they didn't want to use disposable flatware. So they had scouts go to garage sales and other places to find as many forks and spoons as possible, and each person who bought a tasting ticket was given a real fork and spoon to use Saturday.
Brill said she was happy with the turnout. She estimated that about 500 people bought tasting tickets, and there were easily 750 people at a festival and farmers market between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.
"It always exceeds my expectations," Brill said. "People come out of the woodworks."
Brill said she wasn't surprised by the warm sun and beautiful weather. She said Green Circle members are good to Mother Nature, so she helps them out when they need it.
Brill said she heard other business owners say they were busy Saturday morning. That made her happy, because getting people out and about in the village is part of the goal of Farm 2 Fork.
She also said she heard many remarks about how Farm 2 Fork and other events like it prove that Saranac Lake is a special place to be.
"I had so many people today say, 'What a great place this is,'" Brill said.
The festival ended with African dancing in the afternoon. Brill said this is the second year they've done that.
"It's a great way to end the festival," Brill said.
After the African dancing wrapped up, Brill said she was ready to go relax and put her feet up after putting so much effort into organizing Farm 2 Fork.