Cornell’s Knowledge Shared at the Market
One of the treasured traits of Saratoga Farmers’ Market is the body of knowledge built up over the years around farming and food. Several important contributors to the collective expertise of the market include a team of educators from Saratoga County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) program.
According to its website, “Cornell Cooperative Extension connects the research-based knowledge of Cornell to individuals, families, businesses and communities…Cornell-employed faculty and academic staff work collaboratively with…locally-employed professional extension educators aiming to enhance economic well-being and quality of life all over the state.” (www.cce.cornell.edu)
CCE of Saratoga County offers a variety of programs, three of which are frequently present at the market.
Almost every Wednesday afternoon, CCE Nutrition Educator Diane Whitten hosts a food and nutrition table, sharing food samples of a weekly recipe made with fresh and unprocessed ingredients. She has a large file of recipe hand-outs, ready to offer to market customers who wonder about incorporating new ingredients in their cooking.
Whitten also teaches an annual series of food preservation classes, the last session of which is “Canning Salsa,” on Thursday, September 4, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the CCE building, 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa.
Whitten explains, “Our class will cover the basics of canning in a boiling water bath, including equipment, and we’ll give out a booklet of salsa recipes specifically for canning. At the end, everyone goes home with a jar of salsa!
The salsa class is $20, and pre-registration is required. For information, call 885-8995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second market resource on Wednesday afternoons is the Eat Smart New York program, with educator Siobhan Ahearn helping budget-minded shoppers learn shopping strategies and recipes to make their food dollars go further.
“Over the years, I’ve learned all about the various government assistance programs that are accepted at the market, and made connections with food pantries and other resources within the county that may be helpful in stretching limited household budgets,” says Ahearn.
At CCE’s popular Master Gardener table at every Saturday market, local residents who have completed the Extension’s rigorous 45-hour+ Master Gardener program provide lawn, garden, and Integrated Pest Management advice, as well as take in soil samples for pH analysis.
“If you want to start a home compost system, relocate a pesky woodchuck, or cultivate a healthier lawn, we can help,” notes master gardener Valerie Lord. “We enjoy being able to share what we’ve learned, and then have customers stop back and tell us about improvements they’ve made at home.”
For more information about CCE in Saratoga County: www.ccesaratoga.org
This recipe is from the “Farmers’ Market Favorite Recipes” cookbook available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market and Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ballston Spa, as well as other retail outlets.
Sweet Corn and Arugula Salad
*Items are available at the market.
8 ears sweet corn*
2 cups arugula*, torn into small pieces
2 cups cucumber*, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes*, halved
½ cup Feta cheese*, crumbled
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut raw corn kernels off the cob and combine with other vegetables. Add cheese and drizzle with oil and vinegar.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes 12 servings.