By Julia Howard
Albert Einstein once described experience as the ultimate source of knowledge. In a similar vein, many people have embraced the spirit of teaching that is captured in the saying, “give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach them to fish and you feed them for life.”
For farmers and food processors, these ideas carry substantial truth. With that in mind, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market will begin a new “do it yourself” learning series in which local farmers, producers, and chefs will offer workshops on how to self-create their arts.
As the market administrator, I am hoping that these workshops will help build an even stronger bridge between our local farmers and producers and the community. There is a greater appreciation for these arts when there is an understanding of what they entail. Like many of our vendors, I feel that it is important for people to acquire skills like gardening, cooking, and food processing whether the intent is to save money or to become more self-sufficient.
The first of the workshops takes place Wednesday, and features a history of cheese-making. Liza Porter of Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm offers a historical commentary about the last 10,000 years of cheese-making. Attendees will sample several cheeses, yogurts, and milks as they learn about how cheese-making has progressed over the ages.
Next Wednesday, July 20, local chef Dan Spitz will offer cooking demonstrations and instruction on preparing seasonal food with a focus on using raw produce. “Preparing fresh produce can be so simple,” Spitz told me. “On a hot summer day turning on the oven or stove top is the last thing you want to do. People just need a little inspiration to know how to create a satisfying meal using seasonal produce with a few key ingredients.”
The series will continue July 27, with Bobby Chandler of the Mariaville Mushroom Men offering a workshop on mushroom cultivation and log inoculation. “Part of my business has become encouraging people to learn about growing their own mushrooms,” Chandler told me. Alongside his array of fresh mushrooms Chandler also offers inoculated logs prepared to grow shitake and oyster mushrooms.
The upcoming workshops begin at 3:30 p.m., and will last for approximately an hour. They are free and open to the public, and attendees are invited to ask questions. For more information, visit www.saratogafarmersmarket.org.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at High Rock Park.
Summertime Radish Salad
Adapted from Sunny Anderson’s radish salad recipe
*Ingredients available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
- 2 tablespoons apple cider *
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil *
- 1 tablespoon honey *
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces radishes, trimmed and each cut into wedges *
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves *
- 1 medium cucumber roughly peeled chopped *
- ½ cup finely chopped green onions *
In a large bowl whisk together the cider, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, and honey. Taste and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the radish wedges, cilantro, cucumber, and green onions. Toss gently and refrigerate for at least an hour making sure to toss the salad midway through its time in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.