Friday, September 23, 2016

Vegging Out: The Schenectady Greenmarket

After another night of zombies then beer then the gym, I need to do something peaceful and virtuous. Maybe a nice salad and a walk among mortals.

Yes, it's time to go to the farmers market! There are so many in the Capital Region - Delmar, Troy, Saratoga, Empire State Plaza, and Colonie Crossings, to name a few. But just like where I buy my cat food and gas and wine and prescription drugs and T.P. it usually comes down to proximity and convenience. So for me, Sunday is Schenectady Greenmarket day, downtown by City Hall.
Not too big, not too small, and very friendly

I tried the CSA route - too much food, too many tied up Tuesday's, not always stuff you want, and quite frankly, I missed being out in the community. I missed the bugs and the dogs and the smell of the grill and babies in strollers and live music and face painting and bumping into friends. But most of all I missed seeing what so many dedicated local farmers and entrepreneurs are growing and pickling and bottling and crafting - honey, candles, soaps, fresh milk, dips, cheeses, meat, crackers, spice mixes, peanut butter - you name it. Oh, yes, and then there are the fruits and veggies.

Maple products from Uncle Pat (with a smile, on the left)

Assembly Coffee Roasters - my their coffee smells GOOD!

My friend Stretch loves Ole McDonalds Cinnamon Honey

The chef's mom proudly displaying products of a local startup
So fresh, so much variety, so much food! I have a tendency to overdo it, but I usually have a game plan in mind before I go about what I'm eating in the week to come. I like that the fruits and veggies don't decompose the minute you get them home.

Amazing tomatoes!

Eggplants everywhere. Red cooked up some Caponata. 

Fresh pears and apples are coming into season


Interacting with the vendors is always a delight. They are so proud of their products and will tell you where things come from and how they got started and who the chef is and where the farm is and about their animals and the weather these days.

Enjoying the vendors

Painted Goat Farm has GREAT cheese!

A few tips:

  • Bring cash. Small bills and quarters are appreciated. Some vendors do accept cards.
  • Street parking is plentiful, but you can also park in the lot at the corner of Clinton and Franklin, despite what the signs say.
  • Wander around first, have a cup of excellent coffee, look at what's available, ask about pricing, listen to the band, sing along if you wish.
  • Try something new on your way - a hand cream, maybe some hummus or a cookie. Buy yourself a treat. 
  • Now go back, once you've ditched your coffee cup, and fill your re-useable bag with fresh stuff. This week there were lots of eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. 
  • Oh, and leave the dog at home - not allowed at this market, although they are welcome at others.
Zena, Goddess of Fire

PS: After buying all that lovely fresh food I went to the pub for wings and a beer. So much for virtue!

We knew most of the words to "Four Strong Winds"

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