Farmer’s markets full of treats

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:47 am
By Tessa Edick
For Columbia-Greene Media


I don’t pay lip service to eating local and neither should you. Pay you farmer instead and make a critical difference by reversing the trend of Agribusiness back to re-establishing economically and environmentally sustainable family farm operations just by eating.


It’s really that simple. Buy your food locally from people you trust to feed you. Invest in quality food that is nutrient dense, locally sourced and offers transparency with best practice in production not slick advertising and false claims that trick you into thinking you are eating healthy.


Local food is our future and small farms are making a big impact on agriculture. We can no longer afford to truck food from thousands of miles away, sacrificing nutrition, wasting energy, and undermining rural farming economies in the process.


Only by reconnecting consumers with their local farmers can we reverse this dangerous and unsustainable trend. The oldest honorable profession? Farming needs to be re-established for our health, for our children and for the well-being of our communities.


Only when the costs of trucking, storage and distribution is redirected to the local Farmer will farming once again become a profitable business and attract future generations of farmers to revitalize rural communities as a marketplace for commerce. That is sustainable farming.


Last Saturday morning, thinking about what I wanted to eat, cook and feed my weekend guests, I remembered the farmers market was open!


I grabbed my re-useable bag and Ruby Juice’s leash to go grocery shopping at the newly combined Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market at the Roe Jan Park in Hillsdale, just off Route 22 across from the Library.


What a pleasure! Live music greets you on the way into the market — Joel Blumert plays a finger style guitar and shares songs from his Iron Hills recording that makes the day seem brighter!


Credit cards, cash and EBT/Snap are accepted making it convenient and conscientious to eat farm fresh food.


Dedicated to our local food shed, the farmers’ market coordinator Roberta Roll shared, “I’m so glad you are enjoying the farmers market. Although I was sorry to take the market out of Copake, the merger has been a great success. It seems to me that it is much more than the sum of the two markets. We have a fabulous selection of vendors, giving the market a breadth of products that wasn’t there before. You can find just about anything you want!”


“We have a great team of people on the market steering committee. Everyone has put in many, many hours of work to make it happen in the best way possible, and I think it shows.” Roll said. “We are also very fortunate to find a wonderful on-site manager in Nicole Friedrich. She has put 100 percent into the market every week.”


Friedrich greeted me smiling while hauling crates to clean up the market at closing time. She was very happy with the day, the vendors and working at the market. I thought what a refreshing change from the misery that usually greets you at the supermarket checkout!


Check out what’s available at the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market now through October and skip the supermarket crazy making!


Sally & Fred Laing of White Oak Farm in Hillsdale cultivate and keep on going selling the best jams, jellies and chutneys from their fields of fresh fruit.


Farmer Matt Schober of Cool Whisper Farm sold me sausages and bratwurst from his family farm in Ghent. He also offers Chatham Brewing Company Local Beer and his wife Lisa Schober offers upholstery and restoration services as well “At Home…”


Anne Banks of Earthborn Farms in Hillsdale had an incredibly tasty selection of her family recipes and preserves — wild plum jam, tomato ginger marmalade and old fashioned catsup — so you can skip the high fructose corn syrup version on your local burger!


A beautiful installation selling Hillsdale’s own Markristo Farm certified organic vegetables and fresh cut flowers was divine. Willa Horton told me, “Peas. They are just coming in — next week we will get fresh first croppers…”


Hill-Over Healthy & Fresh Farm offers dairy delivery and fresh milk direct to your home.


Chef Julie Gale is also onsite cooking and creating aromas from fresh local food and to teach you how to with classes from her At The Kitchen Table Cooking School.


The Hudson-Chatham Winery offers tastings. “Went really well — we sold out 5 cases.” Alicia said.


Common Hands Farm of Hudson offers a CSA and organic produce that you can’t find everywhere.


Jacüterie, a new division of Herondale Farm Grass Fed Meat, is crafting small batch salami, smoked bacons and fresh sausages (Bombay Bangers are bangin’!). This handcrafted charcuterie is from the first state licensed charcuterie facility in Columbia County and worth every penny for Saturday night aperitivo.


Karen Blake Kittle started “Omi Lavender” a few years back at her farm in Ghent with a dream — to grow lavender and create products that you love. After a tough winter Kittle lost 200 plants but is at it again for the first cutting from mother plants this week.


Calendula, sage and peppermint are the herbs that mother and daughter team Amy and Chris Schichtl grow to blend “Simple Soap” and offer you many varieties at the weekly market. Schichtl said the combined market is much “busier than it used to be and the location is better too.”


Stock up. Berkshire Mountain Bakery sells homemade delicious breads.


Honey Dog Farm has vegetables and freshly harvested hay for feed or parties.


Yonderview Farm offers fresh cut flowers and pristine vegetables you want to chat about.


Your Spice of Life tempts you with spices, bits & bites that make you want to clean out your spice cabinets and start over!


Speaking of starting over, Diane Creed of Hawk Dance Farm sold out of her bounty — salad turnips, sorrel, and gourmet kale galore of every type. Next week she’ll have sugar snap peas, salad and handmade candles using only 100 percent local beeswax.


Joshua Kanter can custom make any design from wood you want. His custom woodworking and furniture design will make you want to show up in the pick up truck!


The cheerful, friendly informative shopping environment and a connection to the people and the farms that make your food makes a weekly trip to the market a joy. It truly has everything you need to plan a week of freshly made meals or a summer time dinner party for guests complete with cheeseboards, candles, food and flowers. Meet your Farmer — it’s worth it and it’s not inconvenient or expensive. It’s better for you, the community and economic development too.


Connecting food to the local environment builds appreciation for the importance of local farming and creates a farm to table revenue stream in the community so together we preserve family farming in America just by eating local food from local folks. FarmOn!


To contact the author, email or log on to Twitter @FarmOnFarmOn.


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