The tables set out by Burger’s MarketGarden (at the Ruopp Farm) at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market always reflects the changing seasons with colorful cut flowers, garden plants, fruits, and vegetables from May through October.
A mid-September visit shows a particularly vibrant display of this Niskayuna farm’s crops: brilliant hues of cut flowers sit next to several varieties of tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables, while large, budding mums, winter squash and playfully painted pumpkins remind customers of fall’s rapid approach.
For those customers eager to hang onto summer vegetables as long as possible, Burger’s has two varieties of sweet corn still available, white and bi-color. The farm’s abundant peppers, from tiny “sweeties” to larger bell peppers, as well as eggplant and tomatoes, are popular at this time of year for stuffing, pickling, canning, and combining into traditional favorites such as ratatouille.
“My father tells me I’m roughly the seventh generation in the family to work on our farm,” says Andy Burger, who mans the farm’s table at the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Saratoga. “It really is a family farm: my mother and father (John and Linda Burger) and me, with a few of my college friends sometimes lending a hand.”
The Burger family farms on approximately 10 acres of land, including 12 greenhouses. The potted garden plants and herbs that Burger’s MarketGarden features every spring are started inside in the greenhouses in late winter, and many of the farm’s summer crops are grown there as well. Corn and winter squash are grown outside in the fields.
Burger’s MarketGarden sells to consumers at farmers’ markets in the region and at a roadside stand on Route 7 in Niskayuna, as well as at the wholesale market in Menands.
Sweet Corn Soup
This soup makes good use of leftover corn on the cob, or start fresh with uncooked ears of corn. *Ingredients are available at Saratoga Farmers’ Market.
6 ears sweet corn*, shucked
1 medium white onion*, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots*, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme* (or ½ tsp dried) or more to taste
1 whole bay leaf
3 cups water
1 cup milk*
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup finely chopped red sweet pepper* (for garnish)
Using sharp knife, hold ears of corn on end, and slice corn from cobs. Place shaved cobs in large soup kettle and cover with water. Reserve roughly one-third of chopped corn in bowl; place remaining corn in kettle with cobs.
To kettle, add onion, celery, carrots, thyme and bay leaf. Cover with water. Heat until boiling, then simmer for 30 minutes. Turn heat off.
Remove bay leaf and cobs from pot and allow cobs to cool. Once cool enough to handle, hold each cob over pot and scrape with fork, to remove any additional bits of corn from cobs. Discard cobs.
Puree contents of soup kettle in blender or food processor until smooth, then return to pot and add milk and reserved corn kernels. Heat gently through, until corn kernels are cooked to your liking.
Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with small amount of finely chopped red pepper and a grind of pepper.