By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
Farming and fashion are not exactly synonymous. Yet, as you visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market tomorrow and on Christmas Eve, you might start to wonder why this is so.
In between carrots and chard, handcrafted cheeses and farm raised meats, milks and yogurts are artists who are also farmers or inspired by the agriculture around us. Their offerings of creative couture, hand-painted attire, hand-made jewelry, and warm wool items make a handmade holiday outfit entirely possible, in an innovative way.
Earrings, brooches, necklaces, and barrettes sit on Kate Brittenham’s table at Pocket Gardens. All of the items are made from native wood barks, mosses, and lichens that Brittenham gathered herself. They represent not only Brittenham’s creativity but also nature itself.
Nearby is Lubna Dabbagh’s collection of yarns, knitting and crochet kits, and hand-crafted scarves, hats, socks, sweater, and mittens from Blind Buck Farm. The wool comes from animals raised on the farm, which include Merino sheep, Angora goats and rabbits, and Luster long-wool sheep. The wool from the animals is processed in local mills, then returned to the farm for hand-dying. Local knitters and crocheters work with Dabbagh to produce her cozy creations.
Next to Dabbagh, Peggy Gray is offering her line of women’s clothing here through her Buskirk based business 22 Shades of Gray. Gray, a master seamstress, makes all of the items herself with a goal of creating clothing for women that is easy to take care of and fun to wear. Take, for instance, her circle vest – an upper body fleece wrap that can be worn two different ways.
In addition, Gretchen Tisch offers wearable art at Feathered Antler. The growing collection includes hand-painted boots, shirts, knit hats and sweaters, jewelry and dishware. Like Brittenham, Tisch draws her inspiration from nature, going out for walks, taking in seasonal changes in color and feeling, and capturing these interactions into her art.
In a way, Tisch and other artists evoke what the Saratoga Farmers’ Market is ultimately about. Like the fresh foods that farmers produce, their art is hand-crafted, eschews commonality, and is all about our relationships with the land around us.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market will be open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at its usual 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday location at the Lincoln Baths in the Saratoga Spa State Park.
Holiday Hot Chocolate
Recipe courtesy of The Chocolate Spoon
*Ingredients currently available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
• 3 cups of chocolate milk (Battenkill Valley Creamery’s is the best!)*
• 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 4-6 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate pieces coarsely chopped
• Chocolate marshmallows by The Chocolate Spoon*
In a saucepan, mix together the milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk over medium heat until milk steams and sugar dissolves. Whisk in chocolate pieces, stirring until dissolved. Top with a homemade chocolate marshmallow by The Chocolate Spoon. Enjoy!