At last! The new season is upon us...
Sophie Morgiewicz, the dynamic, white-haired matriarch of Morgiewicz Produce, called me bright and early yesterday, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed."Don't you want to know what I'm going to have on the truck on Saturday?" she chirped, as I was reaching for my first cup of coffee of the day. I love that after 60 years of farming, the sight of spring spinach, leafy chard and curly garlic scapes still makes Sophie giddy as a school girl. And I love that Morgiewicz Produce is still with us as we embark on our 15th season of the Hastings Farmers Market.
So many of you have stopped me in town this week to tell me how excited you are for this weekend. "I can't wait another week: my eating habits have been atrocious," confessed one committed shopper.
When you get to market tomorrow, you will notice some changes. The one I'm most proud of is that the market is now accepting SNAP food stamps. Feeding your family healthy, local fruit and produce should be a right, not a privilege. Please help us spread the word about this exciting new development.
I am sorry to report that Red Jacket which has been with us almost since Day One is not returning to the market this season. There has been some restructuring at the company. They have reduced the number of farm markets they attend and instead are selling to more wholesale outlets. You can find their juices at Whole Foods at Ridge Hill. I spoke to Ackloe, their longtime Tibetan staffer, last week - and he wanted me to say "tashi delek" (hello) to everyone on his behalf.
No worries, the Orchards of Concklin will be adding an extra fruit tent so that we we won't be short on berries and stone fruit as a result of this loss. As for cold drinks and juices, we are still looking for locally-produced alternatives. Meanwhile, on super hot days, please plan ahead and bring something cold to drink for your children!
Cowberry Crossing, our favorite bio-dynamic farmers are also reducing their market days to once a month - the first Saturday of every month. They will be selling primarily meat on those days. Farmer Cecile was gracious enough to help us hand pick their successor: Little Seed Gardens from Chatham, New York. Claudia Kenny, who runs Little Seed with her husband Willy and their two kids (sound familiar?) says their NOFA-certified organic farm specializes in mix and match salad greens including spicy Asian salad, baby lettuces, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, baby spinach and spectacular baby arugula - which they are famous for. They charge $14 per pound but nothing is pre-bagged so, if you want to get only $2 worth of mixed salad greens, (enough for one person) you can. Later in the season they will have radish shoots and micro herbs, such as cilantro. They will also have some bunches of field flowers. If you check out their website www.littleseedgardens.com you will see that they picked their farm name "in honor of the tiny miracle of the seed, divine pattern." I think they are going to fit right in...
CHEESE! This year we are changing it up in the cheese department. I am very pleased to announce that Coach Farms, also of Chatham, will be joining our ranks. These goat-cheese purveyors have been the darling of NYC cheese geeks for years and need no introduction. Please give them a warm welcome! Linzi Fastiggi of Spice Revolution will be paying us occasional visits as well, starting tomorrow. Flourish Baked Goods - the "vegetable" bakery run by Diane Forley and Michael Otsuka (formerly of Verbena restaurant in NYC) will be alternating with Fork & Glass. I will tell you more about them next week when they debut at the market. The Knife Sharpeners are back and will also coming every other week, starting June 9th.
David DiBari of The Cookery will be stopping by tomorrow with his new wood-burning pizza oven on wheels. A new lunch option, in addition to Crepes on the Hudson (mais oui! they're back, too) and Fork & Glass, who will be serving up their tasty tacos every other week.
HOUSEKEEPING: Please make a concerted effort this year to be more thoughtful about how you dispose of your trash at the market. I know it's easy to get distracted there and that the bins fill up quickly. But, PLEASE use the jazzy new recycling bins near the bike rack at the Library. If it doesn't fit, please take it with you... Also, remember to continue to park at the train station lot and that we open at 8:30 a.m. and not a moment sooner. :)
Kids Yoga (which starts June 9th) is from 9:30 to 10:15 Storytelling is from 10:15 to 11. Crafts are from 11 to 1
We've ordered new t-shirts (finally!) and they should be here in a couple of weeks.
MILTON will be playing tomorrow and the first Saturday of every month... Check our events page to see our great summer music lineup.
See you at the market!