By Julia Howard, Saratoga Farmers’ Market Director
One value of making a shopping trip to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market a part of your weekly routine is the connection that it inspires between you, your food, and the farmers who grow it.
Over the past two years, we have worked to deepen that connection by making the market a place that is not only foodie-friendly but family friendly, as well. We host a weekly drop-in kids’ activity and live music, and as we start preparing for the summer we are looking forward to rolling out our Power of Produce program again. The goal of that program is to get children excited about carrots, broccoli, and raspberries, as well as locally produced honey, cheeses, and other products. In the process, we want market goers of all ages to learn about farming, new foods, and new cooking methods – while having fun.
Looking for new ways to connect your children to local foods? Try these ideas:
• Find something that grows on a vine, underground, and on a tree. Let your child choose these items, and come up with an easy recipe for making it. (See the accompanying recipe for a hint on how to get started.)
• Find something new. Have your child identify an odd piece of produce and then ask the farmer selling it what it is and how to prepare it. Farmers love sharing recipes so this is a great way to strike up a conversation and make a friend in the process.
• Do a scavenger hunt. Write out market ingredients for an evening meal. Send your kids on a hunt through the market to find them. Jot down the names of the farmers selling the products as they are located and then marvel at the list of diverse food producers that you are supporting.
• Buddy up on a budget. Children can learn great money-saving skills when they’re given the task of buying their own fruits, vegetables, and snacks such as honey sticks for lunch boxes or other meals.
• And finally take pictures. Ask your child to name the most interesting item on display at the market each week, and take a photo with your cell phone. Then, create a collage of these edible arts that features perhaps a giant sweet potato, a sprouting mushroom, or even a wide-eyed fish.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, through April. Our summer season at High Rock Park begins Wednesday, May 3.
Carrot, Cucumber & Apple Salad
Adapted from recipe by Ciara Attwell at My Fussy Eater
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
*Ingredients currently available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
• 2 carrots*
• 1 cucumber*
• 1 apple*
• 10-12 cherry tomatoes*
• 1 tablespoon honey*
• Juice from 1 lemon*
• Lemon zest*
1. Wash the carrots, cucumber and apple and peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler.
2. Cut the ends off the fruit and vegetables to create a flat surface.
3. Attach each one at a time to a spiralizer and spiralizer to create spaghetti like noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can use a julienne peeler too.
4. Place the spiralized fruit and veggies into a large bowl. Chop the cherry tomatoes in two and add to the bowl.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the lemon zest and honey. Drizzle over fruit and veggies.
6. Serve immediately.