Saturday morning, a new year, freezing cold and what's at the market today? when i wake up on saturday morning i can't wait to get up hudson street and see what's happening at our little market in the west village at abingdon square. i survey what's on offer (grabbing something special if i feel it might not be there when i get back) say good morning to dave, nevia and laura and then jump on the 14A to take me to union square where i will see Ron, Vinny, Denise and many other friends. These people are my friends. real friends. i have known some of them for over 20 years and have shared a sacred bond of trust and kinship with them based on our love and mutual respect for life, death and the cycle of growth that deliciously & nutritiously feeds us. people often ask which farmers i like best so i thought i would include a few words about these people i consider local heroes who cultivate and haul good product to nyc a few times a week to make sure the stress of city living will not drag our spirit under.
for all things bison and angus i adore ron at elk trails ranch. he is at union square market only on saturdays. he not only has the best buffalo kielbasa but can tell a story like nobody else. vinny and denise sell organic sprouts, greens, the sweetest carrots of all time (no kidding) from late june till xmas and tender, beautiful greens from their greenhouse all yearlong. hawthorne valley farms in ghent ny has an unbelievable range of products available year round. their lacto-fermented products should be in everybody's fridge (if you are not making your own ferments - and i can and will teach you how to do that!) to insure optimal digestive health and overall immunity and well-being. i LOVE their yogurts, cheeses, breads, biodynamic seasonal veggies of all kinds and praise their meats. I can't say enough about their liverwurst and have made some of my most gelatinous, nutrient dense broth from their beef and marrow bones. YUM! then there is keith farm, grysinski, patches of star goat farm and dairy, windfall farm, bread alone and don't forget apples from locust grove fruit farm. their pink lady variety is crisp and just the right balance of tart and sweet.
when i arrive back at abingdon square market i head straight for nevia's stand from bohditree farm where i get my moo radish fix. i am addicted to these in a big way. i peel, steam and sprinkle with celtic sea salt. holy moo are they fabulous. nevia's greens are all outstanding as are her many varieties of sweet potatoes. her "burpless" cukes are pricey but well worth the coin. crisp, refreshing and full of flavor in the dead of winter - just the remedy for the winter blues. dave at muddyfarm has perfect sunflower sprouts and pea shoots. his red skinned potatoes and butternut squash are sublime. in the summer look for herbs that scream with flavor. he is a pretty cool guy and also has a blog on blogspot where you can see what he has to offer that market day. nevia and dave both offer pastured eggs that are full of omega 3s and enzymes. stay away from supermarket eggs. i don't care if they say organic. buy your eggs from trusted, small farms that are not using soy or grain as a "vegetarian diet."
it is my biggest wish that those who read this will visit their local greenmarkets and make a real effort to buy most of their ingredients (and some ready made products too) from these farmers and help them make their living. without our support they are not able to continue to farm with integrity and soul. these are the people who make bringing your Family2Table a hearth and soul experience. grace at my table goes something like this...."Thank you, farmers and thank you, friends for blessing my family with this food. may we always eat well and always eat together." enjoy!