By Andrea Grom
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market has vendors hailing from all corners of the world. This new series explores their culinary traditions, experiences, and delicious products.
Christophe Robert of Longlesson Farm in Buskirk, NY, is passionate about food and farming. Robert hails from Lille, France, two hours north of Paris near Belgium. According to Christophe, the French love relaxed, multi-course meals and talking about food. Longlesson Farm “is like the French embassy; everything is cooked the French way.”
Longlesson Farm was founded by Christophe’s in-laws, Bob and Melanie Mason. Bob was an accomplished vascular surgeon and an avid farmer. Over twenty years, Bob gradually grew the farm to its present 450 acres, raising grass-fed cattle and pigs, eventually specializing in Angus beef. Longlesson has been at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market since 2013.
Christophe, his wife, Shannon, and their two children, James and Eva, joined Bob and Melanie fourteen years ago. Previously, the family spent ten years in French Guiana, South America, with the wonders of the Amazon at their doorstep. Before that, Christophe and Shannon lived in Niger, West Africa, where they met doing community service and later married.
Before coming to America, Christophe had no experience in farming (he was a math teacher) but was deeply interested in the food aspect of beef. Over time, he developed skills in raising top-notch grass-fed Angus and stewarding the land. The herds are regularly moved to fresh pastures, streams, and ecologically sensitive areas have been fenced off, a gravity-fed watering system has been developed, and solar panels have been erected.
Winter at Longlesson Farm is a time to rest and play before calving begins in the spring. Christophe cures meat for prosciutto and other fine charcuterie for his family and friends. He also prepares comfort foods like beef bourguignon (all wine, no water!) and steaks with rich Madeira or Cognac sauces. Christophe and his family will spend ten days in the Amazon in April; their first vacation in three years.
Be sure to stop by Longlesson Farm’s stand on Saturdays for a great cut of meat from our favorite French farmer.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Wilton Mall Food Court. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SaratogaFarmersMarket.