This past weekend was both enchanting and energizing. Venturing out to the Watkins Glen Farmers’ Market on Friday, my housemates and I not only found delicious smelling handmade soaps and super fresh basil and peaches, we made new friends as well. At a stand with a vast array of beautiful greens and nets of garlic, the sellers swiftly identified us as Farm Sanctuary girls (apparently bright-eyed, college-age interns stand out against the usual suspects at the market) and invited us to a vegan potluck at their farm. Six Circles Farm is a small co-op style project run by George Eisman’s (see “Hoe Down” entry) nephew and son where young farmers live and work their beautiful gardens a stone’s throw away from the Finger Lakes.
We were lucky enough to arrive around sunset and sample both the visual and gustatory pleasures of the farm. A bonfire kept us warm against the cool New York night, the fresh apple sauce, quinoa and veggies prepared by our new friends were delicious, and many an open-minded conversation unfolded between bouts of drum-circling. Set against a nearly-full moon, the evening was almost surreal. Our parting gifts as we said “goodbye” were cloves of garlic, the principal product of the farm. We’ve made a point to cook garlic into most everything since.
Ithaca’s market, Sunday’s excavation site, was remarkable. Even better, actually, than Austin’s (TX) farmer’s market, it was organized incredibly well and we must have spent hours just walking through the two generous columns of booths. Though some sellers featured the same staples such as potatoes and tomatoes, each stand was invariably unique and the selection was phenomenal. The market is a semi-permanent fixture nestled beside a lake. They have very accessible composting and recycling and seem to require vendors to use compostable containers for prepared foods and drinks in an effort to be a "zero garbage" venue.
Determined to stock at least half of my shelf at Vegan House with local products rather than store-bought ones, I brought home red potatoes from the veganic farmers of“Unexpected Farm” (they directly neighbor Vegan House!), tomatoes from our friends at Six Circles Farm, and okra; the last ¾ pound in all of upstate New York, apparently.I finally gave into the temptation of prepared food as the tempting aromas wafted through the air around me. The problem was deciding what to eat!
Veggie spring rolls and a sesame ball (a roll with sweet red bean paste filling) were a choice I didn’t regret. Discussing the current buzz around bees in front of the local honey stand and a short chat with Gene Baur (see “Hoe Down” for more on our admirable pres.), whom we ran into at a farmers’ market for the second time in three days, made for an interesting and lovely Sabbath. A couple of huge, vegan pizza slices from Pizza Aroma and watching the sun set at Lamoka Lake brought the day to a full-bellied, water colored close.
Well, I’m off to finish my book (reading, not writing) and snuggle down for the night. Here’s to another farm fresh week!