We've gleefully resumed our Saturday morning ritual after a Winter hiatus: wandering the Hudson Farmers' Market. Last week's treasures included a gloriously abundant potted hyancinth bean and a sweetly 'vintage' (if flowers can have a vintage look) black-eyed Susan vine from Running Creek Farm; we believe the variety is called Blushing Susie, and we were instantly smitten. Today we returned from our foraging laden with a favorite of ours-- Twin Maples' Hudson Red cheese, a semi-soft, creamily tangy cheese worth driving for, garlic scapes--and a profoundly sinful, anti-Weight Watchers Garlic Scape Pesto recipe, some of which is now tucked away in the freezer for some cold Winter night--from Scarecrow Farm, basil from Red Oak Farm--one of our favorite vendors from last year (lots of reasonably priced organic produce in beautiful shape), and gooseberries from Don Baker Farm. Had never tried gooseberries....most intriguing! They remind me of Concord grapes because they have a sweet bite followed by a tart finish. The Farmers' Market was bustling, and tables were heavy with goodness, including beets, snap peas, cucumbers, garlic, kale, lettuces, summer squashes, currants and sour cherries. There are some new vendors this year, and one can come home with a wide selection of pies and breads, homemade soap, cut flowers and plants, along with eggs, grassfed beef, free range chicken, wool, jams, honey....It's an embarrassment of riches, all locally grown. We'll likely stop by most Saturday mornings right through the Fall, and on the way home, we pop by Egger Brothers' farm stand, where the selection is abundant and often JUST-picked (as in, we see the produce arriving in the back of pickup trucks fresh from the fields/orchards) and the prices are excellent. While we're too lazy to be true locavores, there's is something body-and-soul nourishing in deciding what's for dinner based on what's freshly harvested within 20 miles of home.
Afterwards, we stopped by the Catskill Farmers' Market, now on Main Street in the village. Truthfully, there are more artisans than farms represented, but the move to Main Street this year seems to be a popular choice. For sure it's brought us there twice more already than we would have gone were it still at Catskill Point. While the Point was a pretty location, and sheltered from rain, this new location creates a welcoming, intimate, hometown feeling, and as still-newcomers to the area, that's greatly appreciated. They've set up a little cafe area in the center, and it tickled us to sit there on a warm, sunny, Summer Saturday morning sipping coffee, watching the blueberry-pancake-eating contest, saying hello to people, and admiring the annual Cat display. We found ourselves just grinning with that life-is-good kind of feeling.