Garrison’s Fresh Company begins selling prepared foods next Saturday
By Alison Rooney
The skeptics were out in force when the Cold Spring Farmers’ Market (CSFM) announced plans to continue the market throughout the winter several seasons ago. Patrons at the very popular spring through fall edition wondered what the draw would be minus most of the produce stalls of the others seasons. In lining up the winter market vendors the CSFM put the emphasis on ‘visiting on a weekly basis’ and providing shoppers with the tools to create entire meals from a Saturday market browse. An extended browse by Philipstown.info this past Saturday at the market’s winter home at the Philipstown Recreation Center revealed the tools are there to do just that. Philipstowners are lucky: according to market co-manager Steve Bates, there are very few weekly winter indoor markets in New York State, and the vast majority of these are located in New York City. A stall by stall report follows.
Go-Go Pops is front and center, greeting visitors as they enter. Aidan Gallagher greeted patrons and offered up a range of organic fair trade coffees, soups (Saturday’s were curried red lentil and veggie curry) available both hot for on-the-spot consumption, and frozen for serving at a later date, and an array of baked goods, including scones, danishes and biscuits, the latter reflecting owners Lynn and Greg Miller’s North Carolinian background. Aidan said the most popular order at this time of year was a coffee and scone combination. Their all-natural frozen fruit pops are consumed throughout the winter months as well, frequently by the overheated young athletes playing basketball at the court just down the hall at Rec.
Full Moon Farm is one of several vendors who visit the market twice a month, alternating with each other. They have a wide variety of meats, all from pesticide-free, grass-fed livestock. Their representative, Alana Hueston, explained the difference between grain- and grass-fed, calling it easy to taste the difference, “Grass is what the cattle are supposed to be eating. Doing this, it takes a longer time to raise them, but you get a better product.” She gives cooking tips based on the differences, “As there’s not a lot of fat in it the cooking times are shorter – be careful not to overcook.” Full Moon Farm also sells chicken, sopressata, Italian sausage, and when available, lamb and mutton (demand is greater than supply). Unlike many farms nowadays, Full Moon Farm, located in Gardiner, is actually expanding, and has just added a winter indoor feeding area. The owners, Paul Colucci and Laura Watson, are in the construction business and this is a sideline; Colucci’s father was a farmer. In the winter, according to Alana, customers purchase more meats for roasting and stewing, as opposed to summer, when grilling leads the way. Other vendors who come to the winter market on a once- or twice-a-month basis are Adair Vineyards, Block Factory Tamales, Chevreaux de la Grange soaps and lotions, Hudson River Apiaries, Krazy for Kazu’s sauces and dressings, and Lanza Farm maple syrup .
All You Knead Bakery has been a key anchor of the winter market. Simone Williams, one of the owners, used to be the coordinator for the Beacon Farmers’ Market, and now (as of about seven months ago) is a proprietor of an All You Knead retail store at 308 Main Street in Beacon, where everything is made by hand. There they have a gristmill where they grind about 50 pounds a day, using about 1,500 pounds of flour each week. They purchase their grains from Lightning Tree in Millbrook. Popular breads include the jalapeno cheddar loaf, challah, gorgonzola walnut, several different types of multigrain, cranberry raisin walnut, as well as bialys, bagels and pretzels boiled on the premises. In addition, Simone sells a selection of cheeses, which she picks up from farms which don’t participate in markets. For these farms it’s an opportunity to put smaller amounts of their output for sale, including things like Camembert, which need to be sold soon after being made. It also gives the cheese makers a market to test out new cheeses and receive comments. Simone enjoys the opportunity to tell people about the farms they come from, which include Old Chatham and Mettle Meadow.
That Pura Vida Fisheries remains at the market throughout the winter sometimes surprises their clientele. The Long Island-based establishment, [CLICK HERE to read Philipstown.info story] has plenty to sell all year round, according to Maki Ann Parsons, who was manning the stall on Saturday. Right now the seasons are overlapping, and yielding fish like small Boston Mackerels. In January they anticipate having lots of tiny Maine shrimp, along with more cod and hake. They fish out of Hampton Bay with a range from Maine to Virginia. As with Full Moon Farms, grilling is out over the winter, and chowders, stews and baked dishes made with fish abound.
Newcomer Magic Baking was selling their range of baked goods at the market for only the second time. They are also a twice a month vendor. Owner Larissa was “born on the Poland/Ukraine border, lived in Greece and Albania and I picked up what was most tasty there — these are all made using old European recipes.” According to Larissa, whose home base is a small farm in Walkill, everything in her range, which includes jams, savory rolls such as potato/mushroom and feta/olives, pierogies, blintzes, danishes, babkas and macaroons, is all handmade with natural ingredients, all obtained from nearby farms. Magic Baking also does special orders for special occasions, “healthy cakes with organic ingredients.” Larissa discovered the CSFM by accident, “We just passed by once in the summertime. I love this market.”
Bread Alone has been a fixture at the CSFM for many years now. The company, based in Boiceville, N.Y., has grown in recent years and now supplies stores and markets up and down the Hudson, as well as operating three retail establishments, located in Kingston, Rhinebeck and Boiceville. Mosaic artist Barbara Waguespack Galazzo has been moonlighting selling the bread at the market for the past five years and calls Bread Alone “a great company to work for.” Galazzo arrives at the market around 7 a.m., sets up the table, does an inventory and lays all of the breads and baked goods out. Two weeks ago Galazzo did a tour of the factory and was amazed by the baking ovens, which are about nine feet deep and five feet wide with just a small opening. On a typical busy Friday, Bread Alone bakes over 15,000 pounds of bread. The pastries sell very well at the CSFM, and the “top three” sellers here are the organic nine-grain loaf, the olive ciabatta and the whole-wheat sourdough. With a reduced inventory in winter, special orders are taken for breads which aren’t necessarily stocked each weekend.
Between them, Ed and Rachael Doty are manning three stalls at the winter market, two of them “their own” and one they are looking after on behalf of the owners. That one is Ronnybrook Farms, which used to sell their dairy products at the market years ago. Popular demand, in the form of a petition from the market clientele, helped convince them to return. The 75-year-old company, based in Ancramdale, east of Saugerties, needed someone to supervise the selling of their goods, and it was a good fit with Rachael, who now moves back and forth between the Ronnybrook Dairy table, filled with their well-known range of butter, yogurt, milk and cream provisions, all made from un-homogenized milk, and all sold in returnable bottles, and her own, laden with 25 different flavors of jams and jellies. Rachael just started this business in the fall, using local fruit and all-natural ingredients. The unusual flavors include vanilla/ginger/pineapple and apple-sweetened pear butter. The blueberry and pumpkin butters have been big sellers. All are packaged in homey, old-fashioned wrapping, and gift baskets can be made up. There are lots of low-sugar offerings as well.
Next to Rachael is her husband, Ed, who will be continuing to sell his perennial plants until after the holiday season before taking a break and returning in early spring. With a motto of “oddity, not commodity,” Shawangunk Growers specializes in the unusual. Calling Philipstown a place “with a great garden culture; I do a lot less education here because people know more,” Ed’s most popular plants will surprise no one: “anything deer resistant.” Over the winter months his focus is more on house plants and gift items containing some form of plant life. He’ll also have flowering bulbs on hand, and “maybe some shrubs — a plethora. Variety sells.”
Rounding out the stalls is a mainstay of the market all year long: Staatsburgh’s Breezy Hill Orchards/Knoll Krest Farm. During these months, the focus turns away from the stone fruit and berries found in the warmer weather, and towards a great variety of apples, along with apple cider doughnuts, other baked goods, eggs, pasta and cider. According to Elvis Pinelo (the son of Juan, who is frequently at the helm), the apples are kept in coolers or refrigerated vaults, which are very dark, letting in no light, keeping their crispness intact until they are released into the bins which are then immediately brought to the market. Using this method they are able to sell crisp apples all the way until March. The owner of Breezy Hill, Elizabeth Ryan was a founding vendor at the CSFM and has also been a board member. Breezy Hill, which was established in 1949, also sells at the Greenmarket at Union Square in New York City.
Anchoring the market is the produce vendor, Madura Farms. Utilizing high tunnel methods of growing, along with greenhouses fine-tuned with lower-than-the-norm temperatures, farmer Dan Madura is able to provide a wide variety of produce year round. (Philipstown.info spoke extensively with Dan Madura and will publish this interview separately at a later date.)
Of excitement to local foodies is the announcement that Garrison’s Fresh Company catering will be the market’s newest vendor as of next weekend. Co-owner and Chef Shelley Boris provides details: “We plan to be at the farmer’s market every week starting early December. We will offer a couple of grab and go items, meat and vegetarian. There will also be take-home; in the winter it might be curry — one with chicken one without – or braised meat with bean, stews, lasagna, shepherd’s pie, etc. There’ll be aside of greens, a meat sandwich and a summer roll and something different the next week.” The small but select choice will include items such as “summer rolls, Vietnamese-style sandwiches, kebobs, Indian-style flatbreads with toppings, meatballs and many more. The variety will change often and will feature seasonal, local ingredients. We will also have house-made condiments.”
The CSFM winter market will operate through the winter months at the Philipstown Recreation Center, 107 Glenclyffe Drive, Garrison, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. More information can be found on their website.
Photos by A. Rooney