Finally, right? It seems like we’ve been missing local fruit for ages, but it’s finally coming back!
The delayed strawberry picking season at Bowman‘s (cool spring) is finally well underway and we were able to more-or-less stock up on Saturday. If we’d cared to linger long enough to try another field we’d have easily filled our normal quota (an 8-quart basket and two of the ubiquitous green quart containers), which is enough for me to make a batch of jam, eat a bunch, make a batch of strawberry ice cream, and freeze slices in sugar for later use. As it was, we were a quart or two short, made up for it with a pre-picked quart, and the jam and ice cream are already made. NOTE: picking may be coming and going, though, due to the weather and slow start – so you might want to give them a call before you go to make sure they’re picking.
And don’t look now, but Maynard Farms already had early apricots at the Greenmarket! While I’m not as bonkers over their apricots as I am for their donut peaches, I got hooked on them last year before other fruits hit and these didn’t disappoint. They’re a little small and needed a day on the counter to soften to the perfect consistency, but they’re really tasty.
Other vendors also had strawberries at the Greenmarket, especially Buhrmaster from Scotia who had flat after flat of berries at very reasonable prices (note – the following week their prices were about 150% higher, making them too rich at least for my blood – frowney face, Buhrmaster, very 😦 ). I’m sure they’ll still be trucking them in next weekend, so don’t forget to get some if you can’t get out to pick your own. Everyone knows that local, fresh berries blow away the pale supermarket giants. It’s just a fact.
And one more thing – Painted Goat has the ever-popular (and scrumptious) strawberries and cream. Described as “our seasonal fresh chevre with our farms’ own, organic strawberry jam. So yummy!” We totally agree. And since we already got our tub, I don’t mind reminding people about it now. I’ve actually given up buying cream cheese at the supermarket and now just use Painted Goat’s soft, spreadable chevre on toast when I get that craving, usually with a little homemade jam. Strawberries and cream is perfect for that and more (so good on crackers, too). Oh, and Ilyssa also had jars and jars of their homemade cajeta (smooth, pourable goat milk caramel!) as well as their extensive list of other cheese products. Ilyssa is always happy to share samples, especially since there’s an excellent chance you’re going to buy something after you try it. (Hmmm…that sounded like a commercial…actually just a very satisfied customer spreading the word on good food.)
While I’m raving about fruit (and cheese and cajeta), the veggies are slowly but surely working their way in to the market, supplanting plants and flowers. The asparagus is almost gone, but we got several good weeks. Several people had peas and greens are really showing up strong. Even some tomatoes.
In fact, how about a roundup of some other Greenmarket reviews?
- Euro Delicacies – still there and still fantastic stuffed peppers
- Mariaville Farm – bought from them for the first time when I was craving some local bacon and my preferred butcher, Bella Terra Farm, didn’t have any. I tried the chipotle bacon and it was pretty tasty hot out of the oven and on pizza, but it felt a little expensive, probably because I haven’t bought local, non-nitrate, etc. bacon before. I do have a little tub of bacon grease I’m using to cook things in still, though 🙂 Overall I sort of doubt I’d buy more, but mostly because I just don’t buy much bacon.
- Cooper’s Ark Farm – might have already mentioned this, but we got our Thanksgiving turkey from them last year and it was FANTASTIC
- Cornell Farm – simply put, except in an egg emergency we buy ALL of our eggs from Cornell Farm from Hoosick Falls, now – I want to say it’s $3 for a dozen large, but they also have other sizes and they’re probably our #2 go-to for veggies after Barber Family Farm, although their selection of items that we typically buy isn’t as large
- Ulster Soaps – got a sample of their washing machine powder yesterday, too early to make a call – also got a stain stick that we haven’t tried, yet, as my wife continues her efforts to save my shirts from me and my uncanny ability to always spill just a little salad dressing, oil, food, etc. I’ll report back if appropriate. (update – first try of the stain stick on a small oil spot proved ineffective)
- Orapello’s Wood Fired Pizza – I said I wanted to try what they were dishing out and I did. I won’t be bothering to buy from them, again, though. I mean, their pizza wasn’t terrible or anything and the toppings were decent, but the price for what you get and the fact that I can make better pizza on my own gas grill…? Just not for me.
- Ole McDonald Honey Farm – also was interested in trying them and we did pick up a bottle of their raw honey but I haven’t opened it, yet – for the curious, they do filter their honey so you don’t have to filter out the bee bits yourself 🙂