Have you been to our Farmers' Market this summer? You can find me most Saturday mornings at our village Farmers' Market in Saranac Lake's Riverside Park. I enjoy visiting the market, meeting friends, and talking to farmers.
Farmers markets offer so much more than supermarkets! Not only can you build relationships by chating with farmers and meeting friends, but you can get unique, handcrafted products, heirloom vegetable varieties, and learn about healthy eating.
You can buy delicious seasonal produce and veggies at our market from Fledging Crow, Juniper Hill, Rulf's Orchard, Northern Orchard, and North Branch Farm - the newcomer among the veggie vendors. Local, pasture raised meat -?pork, lamb, poultry and beef - is available from Harmony Hills Farmstead, Kribside Gardens, Mace Casm and Asgard. Locally made cheeses come from Asgard Dairy (they also have meat and eggs), North Country Creamery and another new arrival, Sugarhouse Creamery. Breads and pastries are made by Lake Flour Cakery, Brainardsville Bake House and this year's newcomer, Early Dawn Confections. There are also eggs, nut butters, honey, maple syrup, wine, pottery and jewelry. New this year are crackers, soaps and lotions, and toys made from natural materials.
There are several farmers and producers who are new at our Farmers' market this year. North Branch Farm is the newest of the veggie vendors. Joe Orefice grows veggies, figs and cattle on 78 acres along the Saranac River. In addition to seasonal vegetables; there are heirloom figs and pastured meat - beef, poultry, and pork. Joe specializes in silvopasture -?a system of agroforestry that integrates pasture for livestock with trees and orchards.
Dibble Dabblez makes all-natural toys including dolls, critters, and doll clothing. Mary Smith began making toys for her own children, and soon had custom orders. Inspired by Waldorf education, her toys are intended for open-ended play. She uses 100 percent natural silk and wool, and the dyes are made with natural ingredients. She also has hand dyed silk scarves, homemade bee's wax, wood polish, and natural bug repellent.
Saratoga Crackers are also new this year. The company was begun 5 years ago by a mom who wanted to make healthy, wholesome, nourishing snacks for her family. Today, there are 15 varieties of crackers with no trans-fats, preservatives or other chemicals -?and their dessert cracker is the only one with added sugar. They use wheat flour that is not bromated or enriched, without synthetic additives, and they also have some gluten free varieties made without wheat. Extra virgin olive oil provides a light crispness along with health benefits. When used, cheeses are freshly grated, and no other dairy products, soy or eggs are used. Some varieties are vegan, gluten free and dairy free.
Joining Asgard Farm and North Country Creamery this year is Sugarhouse Creamery, a farmstead creamery in Upper Jay. The owners, graduates of St. Lawrence University, purchased the land 18 months ago and began raising a small herd of Brown Swiss cows on the pasture, and making cheese. By April, they had more than 3,000 pounds of cheese aging in their cave.
Joining bakers like Lake Flour Cakery and Brainardsville Bake House is Jill from Early Dawn Confections. Jill makes all types of breads (including sourdough) and pastries, including croissants, scones, naan, cider crullers, biscotti, fritters muffins and tea cakes. I have found her baked goods delicious and not overly sweet. She has been at our market before but was not there last year.
Stirring Creations makes soap, massage oil, stone bowls, wood implements and furniture with a focus on the function and beauty of natural materials. Tiffany and Matthew Gregson began their business four years ago. Prior to that, Matt worked with his father in masonry and wood furniture. As a teenager, he made wooden spoons from scrap wood. Later, he began working with rock artistically, creating bowls and napkin holders from Adirondack stone. Tiffany began making soap because the entire family has allergies or sensitive skin and cannot use commercial soap products which contain harsh chemicals. She uses all natural ingredients to make handcrafted soaps, massage oils and bug repellent for multiple functions.
Shopping at our farmers market supports the farmers who raise our food. It is also a boon to our local economy. Producers keep a greater share of the retail price than they would get by selling wholesale through a middleman. So come out this Saturday and check out our new vendors. You can meet them, ask questions, and try out their products - there are often samples for you to try.
Farmers market supper
2 teaspoons butter
2/3 cup garlic scapes, sliced
1 cup red-skinned potatoes, diced into half-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
1 or 2 cups diced baby summer squash (use 1 cup green and 1 cup yellow)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 to 2 cups sugar snap peas or snow peas
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic scapes, cover, and cook about 5 minutes. In the meantime, scrub the potatoes and cut them up. Add to the skillet, along with the salt, and stir. Cover. While potatoes are cooking, cut up the green onions and summer squash, add, stir, and cook another 5 minutes.
Chop the parsley and add with the ham and peas, cook just 2-3 minutes more to heat through. Serve warm, sprinkled with grated Parmesan, if desired.
Fresh greens and bowties salad with savory vinaigrette
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cups bowtie pasta, uncooked
1/2 pound (1 bunch) fresh lettuces
1/2 pound fresh greens, torn into bite sized pieces (like arugula or spinach)
3/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 cup diced sweet onion or scallions
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (1 small rib)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Hard cooked eggs, sliced or shredded, 1 per person (optional)
To make the vinaigrette, crush garlic with salt. Whisk in mustard, honey and vinegar. Add olive oil in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Mix well. Set aside. This can be made 1 or 2 days in advance; that allows the flavors to blend.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Mix half the dressing (1/4 or 1/3 cup) with the hot pasta, and set aside. This can be done in the morning, or even the evening before.
Chop and toast walnuts, and set aside. This can also be done in advance..
At serving time, place remaining dressing in bottom of large salad bowl. Toss greens into the dressing to coat. Stir in remaining vegetables, cheese, and walnuts. Add pasta and stir to combine. Serve at once. Garnish each serving with sliced or grated hardboiled eggs, if using. Serves 6-8.
Author of the prizewinning book Garden Gourmet: Fresh & Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers' Market, Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be reached at www.wordsaremyworld.com.