Time for farm-fresh produce

Chicken Veggie and Potato supper (Provided photo — Yvona Fast)

Summer has arrived, and local farm stands and farmers markets are in full swing.

Eileen sets up a farmstand three days each week where the bike trail crosses Route 86 on the way to Lake Placid. Hers is big.

Paul Gutmann operates a farm stand on Averyville Road in Lake Placid. His is tiny — and the proceeds go back into supporting his small farm.

There are other farm stands around the region, on Cold Brook Road in Vermontville, on state Route 30 heading toward Malone. The Hub in Tupper Lake sells vegetables from their farm in St. Lawrence County. Farther afield, there are farm stands on the way to Potsdam.

And farmers markets are hopping. The Saranac Lake and Keene weekend markets draw a couple of thousand shoppers each week. Others, in Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, are smaller.

Everyone wins at the farmers market. Consumers win because they get fresh, local products. The community wins because our market is a community experience. The planet wins because fewer natural resources go for trucking and packaging.

Produce shipped across country in refrigerated trucks loses both taste and nutrition by the time it reaches the supermarket. Fresh, local products have much better flavor — and more nutrients. Farmers win because buying local supports our farmers and our region’s economy.

We meet friends. We build relationships with the farmers. Our dollars stay in our community. People shop at local stores and eat at local restaurants. The whole planet wins, too, because buying local saves gasoline and packaging.

It’s summer! Plan your week’s menu around seasonal, local produce found at farm stands and your farmers market.

Chicken Veggie and Potato supper

I made this on Thursday with ingredients from the farmers market and Eileen’s farm stand.


10 to 12 small new potatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil or other cooking fat

2 chicken breast fillets

Salt, black pepper, turmeric

1 onion

About 4 oz. mushrooms

4 small carrots

1 small head of broccoli

1 or 2 Hokkaido turnips

A half-dozen or so garlic scapes

Some basil


Scrub potatoes, place in pan, cover with water, add salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until they test tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.

While potatoes cook, heat oil in skillet to medium-high. Add chicken pieces; sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and turmeric; cook about 3 minutes per side. Set aside.

Peel and dice onion, add to skillet chicken cooked in; lower heat and cook, covered, on low 3 minutes. Clean and slice mushrooms; add to skillet.

Wash and slice carrots; add to skillet. Rinse broccoli and break into florets; add to skillet. Rinse and slice or chop turnips; add to skillet. Slice scapes into 1-inch pieces, and add. Season with basil. Place chicken on top of veggies to finish cooking.

When everything is tender, drain potatoes, and serve with chicken and veggies. Add seasoning if needed.

Serves 2.

New Potatoes and Snaps Skillet


1-2 tablespoon butter

3 eggs

2 cups potatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 onion

3-4 cups sugar snaps

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

2 tablespoons fresh minced chives


Remove strings from peas. In large skillet, melt some of the butter. Beat eggs with a little water and / or milk until frothy. Pour into skillet, tip skillet to spread evenly, and cook until set (or turn over). Remove to plate and set aside.

In same skillet, melt the remaining butter. Peel (optional) and slice potatoes thin, add to skillet, sprinkle with salt, cover and cook on low heat about 5 minutes. Peel and dice the onion, stir into the potatoes, and cook 5 more minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.

Slice the cooked eggs into strips. Add sugar snaps, herbs, and eggs to skillet, and cook, stirring, another 2 to 4 minutes. Serve hot with a green salad for a light supper or lunch.

Garlicky Summer Squash with New Potatoes and Ham

Garlic scapes add flavor to this dish.


2 teaspoons butter

1 cup red-skinned potatoes, diced into half-inch cubes

2/3 cup garlic scapes, sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 green onions, sliced (or one large)

2 cups diced yellow summer squash

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 cup diced ham

grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Scrub the potatoes and cut them up. Add to the skillet, along with the salt, and stir. Add garlic scapes, cover, and cook about 5 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, cut up the green onions and summer squash, add, stir, and cook another 5-10 minutes, until potatoes are soft.

Chop the parsley and add with the ham, cook just 2-3 minutes more to heat through. Serve warm, sprinkled with grated Parmesan, if desired.


(Author of the award-winning cookbook “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 found at www.yvonafast.com and reached at yvonawrite@yahoo.com or on Facebook at Words Are My World.)


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