In high summer, serving a nearly 100% upstate NY meal was pretty easy.
Easy, that is, provided I shopped at Farmers Markets and farmstands instead of at the grocery store. I will say that my little local grocery store has begun to carry quite a few organic brands, and has made an effort to carry some local produce. Last summer, I asked an employee at our wonderful Rochester supermarket chain, Wegmans, how I could identify local produce sold in the store, and he could find only corn and cherry tomatoes for me. Which is a start, but the paucity of the offerings seemed silly, considering that local farms were brimful of summer squash, herbs, new potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and so on.
But I have discovered two wonderful Farmers Markets near me. The Rush Farmers Market, on Thursday afternoons, usually has 5-8 vendors with booths set up. I’ve purchased lovely fruit & veggies, baked goods, and flowers. The berries and peaches this week were wonderful. The Brighton Farmers Market is a much larger affair, offering fruit & veggies, organic landscape plants, herbs & herbal preparations (courtesy of Honeoye Falls’ own Lavender Moon,) honey, granola, baked goods, cheese, and pasture-fed poultry and meat. There are often musicians playing, and there’s a porta-potty! (This is VERY important when visiting right after breakfast, or if you intend to sample the fair trade coffee.)
Tonight’s dinner featured these local foods:
- sauteed zucchini, green beans, garlic, onion, and pattypan squash
- oven-roasted potatoes
- blueberries & peaches
The zucchini & green beans were from my own garden. The ham was from Aberdeen Hill Farms, which offers meat from pasture-fed animals. (This is what my family calls “happy” ham.) The only non-local ingredients were salt, pepper, and olive oil. And it wall all YUM!