New York City farmers markets

On Saturday morning (October eight) Alex and I stumbled on a tiny little farmers market at Wall and Water in the financial-seaport district. There were only two vendors – one largish farmer, and a pickle vendor who makes both dill and sweet pickles. His crisp sweet pickles packed complex flavor. Everyone told me I had to check out the Union Square Greenmarket. Something like 100 vendor tents lined the street on two sides of the square. I picked up literature at the market stall, then walked along the stalls, clicking photographs to try to remember everything on offer. The farmers at this market peddled a fantastic variety of food: staples like squash, radishes, lettuce, pumpkins; exotics like squash blossoms and nasturtiums; goat, sheep, and cow cheese; butter, milk, cream; chicken, pork, lamb, beef, fish; bread, scones, cookies, pies; sunflower oil; jam, maple syrup, and two kinds of honey, including New … Continue reading

New York food

On this trip I have been seeking out restaurants that work with organic, farm-fresh food: Restaurant Nora, Claire’s, Shelburne Farms. In New York I just wanted to eat what people eat on the street. So I signed Alex and myself up for the City Food Tours Flavors of New York tour. The group met at a street corner in the East Village. Our guide Julia carried a big red bag with a tray, cups, bowls and spoons and napkins, and neatly shepherded us through an hour and a half of neighborhood walking tour combined with food tastings. Our first stop was Gem Spa, where we ducked under rows of silly animal hats to line up at the counter for an egg cream. This turns out to have no egg or cream, just milk, seltzer, and flavor (chocolate or vanilla). It’s a Depression treat, like the single candies on sale at … Continue reading

Shelburne area local agriculture

I visited three farms in one day, all with very different approaches to farming, linked by being on Highway 7 and being in the same general area. The Vermont Wildflower Farm sells seeds. The top room of the shop was devoted to seeds of specific varieites and mixes. Outside, a path winds through six acres of wildflowers and woods. The meadows break down into spring, summer, and autumn sections (winters mean snow in Shelburne), each with a large sign describing the flowers to be seen in that season. The woodland path also featured signs identifying the trees, as well as benches to rest and enjoy the sights (the sounds are mostly highway traffic). Here’s a note – one person’s wildflower is another’s invasive weed. For example, the Vermont seed mix includes knapweed, on the Kitsap weed list. For that reason I didn’t bring any packets home. Dakin Farm boasts a … Continue reading

Eating local in Burlington and Shelburne

The week I stayed in Burlington happened to be Eat Local Food Week. This event was sponsored by City Market – Onion River Co-Op. Pink and purple tent cards popped up on tables all around town. That was one way I located local food. The second was to check out the Vermont Fresh web site and look for Vermont Fresh signs in restaurant windows. I ate breakfast at the Skinny Pancake, lunch at Magnolia (a certified green restaurant), dinner at the Daily Planet and Starry Night. I could discuss the individual meals, but since they’re not Kitsap eateries I don’t know that the detail would matter. They all shared general characteristics: Local farms were called out in menu items. Example, Misty Knoll chicken. Misty Knoll must be reliably providing chicken to those restaurants! Farms were also listed on the backs of menus. If the ingredient wasn’t from a named farm, … Continue reading