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Category Archives: farmer’s market

The Garlic Pickles

Anyone who knows me knows that garlic is one of the guiding forces of my life. Regular readers of the blog may have noticed that garlic plays a part in nearly all my recipes (after I let it “breathe” for fifteen minutes, of course). Imagine my delight when I found garlic pickles at the Ilion Farmer’s Market last Saturday.

Parker’s Historic Cider Mill and Farmer’s Market on Otsego Street in Ilion, NY is one of Steve’s, Tabby’s and my favorite places to go. Naturally we like any place we can bring our sweet little schnoodle Tabby, and Tabby’s favorite places are those where there are many interesting smells and nice people to pet her.

I know I’ve given many shout-outs to the Ilion Farmer’s Market. It runs year round on Fridays and Saturdays in a barn built in the 1800s. I just never get tired of going there.

On this visit, we particularly noticed works by folk artist Jim Parker, prints, t-shirts, mugs and note cards. I have a t-shirt of a print of Ilion but I’ve had it for a while and I recently noticed some discoloration along the collar. I informed Steven I will be needing a new shirt, perhaps with a different print. Do you suppose he’ll make my wait for my birthday?

Allowing Tabby time to sniff and be petted, we made our way to the shelves at the end of the barn where I always check the canned (jarred?) goods for garlic pickles. A long time ago, I found some garlic pickles there and loved them. I have not seen them since.

Until last Saturday. Eureka! Hot and Sweet Garlic Pickles! I chose hot, telling Steven I would probably return the following week to purchase sweet.

The pickles are crisp, tasty and hot. I think they would be very good in a sandwich or salad. So far I’ve eaten them plain and in a bologna-cheese roll-up. Yum!

My only fear now is that local readers will all dash to the Farmer’s Market and buy up all the garlic pickles, leaving none for me. Oh well, if such a thing happens, at least I will have spread joy and happiness.

A Treat for Tabby

Last Saturday between my scary walk that I didn’t finish and my awesome walk that I wrote a blog post about, I took my schnoodle Tabby the the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm, on Otsego Street in Ilion, NY.

The Ilion Farmer’s Market is one of Tabby’s favorite places. Since I had deprived her of her full walk earlier, I thought she deserved a treat.

Things were still frozen. My SUV jolted over some frozen tire tracks in the parking lot. The walk into the barn was a little hazardous, but we made it without mishap.

Tabby was very happy, sniffing everywhere and greeting people. I greeted people, too and looked around for something to buy. I studied the jars of pickles but remembered I still have pickles at home, and I don’t eat as many pickles as I used to anyways. I thought about getting some note cards with a Jim Parker print. However, with a bouncy dog pulling on my arm, I did not feel I could make a leisurely selection. The lady I’ve bought earrings from was not there.

“Where’s the jewelry lady?” I asked. Apparently she has left the area, I think to join her mother in Illinois. Oh well, my jewelry box is full of earrings anyways.

It was a short visit but enjoyable. And it was the first Mohawk Valley thing I’ve done other than take a walk in at least a week. Alas, the cold weather continues. But perhaps as the week progresses, more Mohawk Valley adventures will ensue.

On To The Produce

I thought, being as I am Mohawk Valley Girl, it would behoove me to mention that I stopped by the Herkimer, NY, Farmer’s Market on Monday.

The stop was part of some wild gyrations that enhanced (or made hideous) my Monday. I was going to write about that, but thinking about it made me tired all over again. I think a short shout-out to the Farmer’s Market and I’m out of here.

The Herkimer Farmer’s Market has had various homes over the years, but I think I like their current one best. It is in the parking lot of the large building owned by HARC at 420 E. German St. This provides lots of space and lots of parking. I had no problem pulling in and finding a space.

Full disclosure: Steven and I actually stopped by the Farmer’s Market last Monday, Labor Day. I did not feel we got the full effect, however, since some vendors were not there due to the holiday. We had purchased a Halloween dish towel with one of those crochet things you can attach to a drawer handle. I love those dish towels with the crochet thing. We also got some grape tomatoes. Yum.

This past Monday I was in the market for tomatoes again, one big one this time. The produce stand was at the opposite end from where I started. So first I sampled some Three Village Cheeses. I believe I’ve given Three Village Cheese a shout out before. An excellent product. I purchased some Havarti, mentally revising my dinner plans to include cheese.

I also impulse bought two breakfast granola cookies. I foolishly neglected to get a business card or make note of that vendor’s name. Perhaps I shall return to the market next Monday and repair that omission.

On to the produce. I wavered for a moment: $1 for one big tomato or $4 for five? But I couldn’t bear to buy more tomato than needed and let them go bad before I ate them. I went for the one.

I was pleased with my purchases and pleased to have a Mohawk Valley attraction to mention in my blog. The Herkimer Farmer’s Market is on Mondays from 1 to 7 p.m.

To Market, To Market

I have been meaning to expand my farmers’ market horizons beyond my beloved Clapsaddle Farm in Ilion, NY. Saturday I finally made my way to the Oneida County Public Market at Union Station in Utica.

The market is worth checking out for the location alone. Union Station is one of Utica’s architectural treasures, a magnificent brick building. The large main room (waiting area for trains and buses) has a high ceiling, marble floor, enormous columns and build in wooden benches. Yes, this would be another post where it would have been nice if I had a digital camera and knew how to post pictures. One more thing to work on in the coming year.

One of my favorite things at farmers’ markets (and the supermarket, for that matter) is when they offer free samples. My problem is I try it, I like it, I want to buy it. With EVERYTHING! Also I feel a little guilty taking something from these small vendors and not purchasing anything.

First I tried some sweets and immediately purchased one for Steven. It was his Valentine’s Day present, but I could not resist giving it to him right away, so I do not scruple to mention it here. Unfortunately I did not make a note of the business name or pick up a card. Too bad, because I would totally recommend it.

The Stoltzfus Family Dairy guy offered a number of cheese, cheese curds and yogurt samples. I told him I had seen his stuff at the Ilion Farmers’ Market, and he agreed that was another good market. He sent me away with a sample of vanilla yogurt and a spoon, so I could continue to sample as I perused other vendors.

I admired some dog treats from Redmond’s Red Deer Farm and bird houses made from gourds by Janice Wnuk, the Garden Mentor. I sampled local honey from Bardwell Farms and gluten-free baked goods from Rosemont Inn Baking Company. The baking company people also run a bed and breakfast in Utica. That might be a nice place for a romantic night with my husband. I took business cards from anybody who had one.

I chatted up my friend Tom from Three Village Cheese Company. It was due to Three Village that I went to the farmers’ market. they had posted on their Facebook page that they would be there, and I said, “Ooh, there’s a thought.” He asked if I was still blogging.

“Oh yes, every day,” I said. I told him that was one reason I was happy to be there, as the blog had been thin on community events lately.

I purchased some cheese that utilized beer in the making. I foolishly did not make note of the name and I have since thrown away the package (of course I opened it almost as soon as I got home; what else?). Then I want back to the Stoltzfus table and got some vanilla yogurt, which I also started eating soon after I got it home.

I was all pleased with myself for driving ten (or so) miles down the road to a different farmers’ market. And Steven was pleased with his Valentine treat. My only regret was that I couldn’t bring my schnoodle, Tabby. Perhaps I’ll take her on a visit to Clapsaddle Farm soon.

The Oneida County Market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 9 and April 13. Weekly markets begin May 18. For more information, visit their website at

A Word with the Fat Man

Yesterday my headache felt better as the afternoon wore on. I wanted to have just one little Mohawk Valley adventure, so I put Tabby in the car and headed to the Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm, Otsego Street, Ilion, NY.

I know I’ve talked about the Ilion Farmer’s Market many times, but yesterday there was an added attraction: Santa Claus! I had seen a flier posted on a bulletin board at work earlier in the week. Saturday morning while writing a note to my sister, I mentioned it.

“I’d like a word with the fat man,” I wrote, just to be nonchalant about it. In fact I didn’t know if I’d get to talk to him at all; he’s a popular guy this time of year.

The flier had said to bring your camera and take a picture, but I stupidly forgot mine. No matter. I don’t know how to post a picture on a blog or Facebook anyways.

Tabby was very excited when she saw where we were. She loves the Farmer’s Market. Lots of exciting smells and nice people who like to pet her. She pulled me to the door most insistently.

It didn’t take me long to find Santa. He was walking around, and he looked remarkably similar to a guy I know from work (although I would certainly never describe that guy as “the fat man”). His suit was beautiful, definitely a cut above the one I bought for Steven at Wal-Mart some years ago. He told me it had been made for him some years ago by a lady now deceased.

I chatted with him and his wife for a while. There was a picture of the two of them dressed as Santa and Mrs. Santa, but Mrs. Santa was in civilian clothes yesterday. She told me they would also be at Weller park next Friday, the seventh, in the gazebo for a tree lighting. I dug a notebook out of my purse and made a note of the date.

As we walked back down the market Tabby got a sample of bacon from Mike Champagne. I had purchased a yummy piece of chocolate covered bacon from him during a previous visit to the Farmer’s Market, but I need to go back on the South Beach Diet.

It was an unusual visit to the market in that I did not purchase anything. I did see some jewelry I admired and some baked goods that looked yummy. I may return next Saturday. For one thing, Santa said he’d be there. Maybe I will remember my camera.

Wine at the Farmer’s Market

As we wend through October, the summer farmers’ markets are coming to an end. Since Steven was off on Wednesday, I suggested he and Tabby pick me up at work and we visit the Mohawk, NY Farmer’s Market while we still could.

That is, if the weather cooperated. The morning forecast (granted that was at four in the morning) said rain after 7 p.m. Perfect! Well, that didn’t happen. When I spoke to Steven at lunch time, he told me about all the indoor Halloween decorating he had been doing.

“Because it’s been raining ALL DAY!”

The rain had fortunately stopped by 3:30, when I get done work. It is always exciting to have a rendezvous with my favorite husband and the world’s cutest dog (oh, I know, you feel your dog is cuter, as you should).

“When I drove by the place,” Steven told me, “I saw 1000 Islands Winery and one other tent.”

That was OK with me; I particularly wanted to patronize the winery. The last time we went to the Mohawk Farmer’s Market, I tasted but did not buy. This time I intended to taste and buy.

The market is located in Weller Park, next to Weller Library on Main Street in Mohawk. There were actually three or four tents, but I made a beeline for the winery’s, because it looked like the guy was picking up.

“Oh, no, just putting away some of these extra bottles,” he said. “What would you like to sample?”

First I tried the Merlot and the Cabernet Sauvignon, because I like dry red. I seemed to remember preferring their Cab over their Merlot (real oenophiles call it “cab”), but I had forgotten how tasty the Merlot is.

Then I tried a semi-dry Riesling. Not as dry as I like, but it tasted like a good summer wine to me. I asked if the Pinot Grigio was sweet. I learned from my friends at Vintage Spirits that Italian Pinot Grigio tends to be drier than the California version. I wondered where New York fell on the scale. The winery guy said it was drier than the Riesling, so I tried it. Yum!

I decided to purchase the Merlot and asked could he take a credit card (you never know at farmers’ markets). He had one of those little square things on his phone that I’ve seen advertised on TV. Oh, technology! It took a few tries for my card to swipe. Then I had to type my e-mail address on his touch screen to receive my receipt. Yikes! I don’t text. I don’t work with touch screens. I live in the 20th century, for heavens’ sake!

First it totally would not accept my serious e-mail address (the one I use when I apply for a job or for business purposes), I think because there are periods in it (note to self: get a new serious e-mail address). Then it just took me forever to type in my silly e-mail address (the one my friends and family use), because my fingers are fat and clumsy.

While I futzed around with that, Steven and Tabby checked out the rest of the market. Steven purchased a little pumpkin and a variety pack of Amish cookies. Tabby made a few new friends.

The Mohawk Farmers’ Market runs from May through October from 2 to 5 p.m. in Weller Park. I don’t know, though, but what this was the last week, because when I drove by Weller Library the sign about the market was gone. Oh well, something to look forward to in the spring!

For more information about 1000 Islands Winery, check out their website at

Fun Date at the Farmer’s Market

Wednesday was fun because Steven brought me to work and picked me up so we could go to the Mohawk Farmer’s Market. It’s these little breaks in the routine that keep me happy (I know: it takes so little to please some people).

All day at work I told people I had a date. They were suitably impressed. I know some people dress up for a date. I still had on my army camouflage pants and t-shirt which I normally wear to work. I did change my steel-toed work shoes for lighter weight running shoes, for which my feet thanked me. I had had the foresight to put my crazy old lady hat in Steven’s car. Love that wide brim on a sunny day.

Tabby looked very pretty when she and Steven met me after work, because she had been to the groomer. She sported green bows and her usual sweet, happy expression.

Mohawk Farmer’s Market is at Weller Park, next to the Library on Main Street. We easily found a parking space and walked over to peruse the vendors. We purchased two frog magnets from the first booth we came to. You can’t have too many refrigerator magnets, or so I’ve heard.

I was pleased to see Thousand Islands Winery present. I told the guy I had missed them at Ilion Farmer’s Market. He said he would probably be back there for the winter. For the summer months he also does farmers markets in Rome and Whitesboro. I’d like to check those out sometime. I told him how my mom and sisters and I used to go to the old Farmers Market in Rome in the days of the Living Bridge and quite a different looking downtown. He agreed that was a long time ago. I didn’t mention that his winery had been replaced in Ilion by Herkimer’s own Domnhall Vineyards. Probably he would have been pleased to hear it. I don’t know how much rivalry exists between different wineries. I would imagine they could settle their differences over a nice glass of pinot, wouldn’t you?

Moving on down the row of vendors, Steven and I considered some frozen blackberries and lovely bracelets but decided against them. Tabby was interested in some border collie puppies. Steven and I petted them; they were so sweet and silky. But we did not buy Tabby a brother. Tabby got a few pets herself from various shoppers and vendors.

It is a small but fun market. I look forward to seeing if more vendors join as the summer progresses. The Mohawk Farmer’s Market runs from 2 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday. Check it out!

Bringing a Friend to the Farmer’s Market

Saturday our friend Tracy visited. Steven had to work during the day, but Tracy was sure that I would drag her along to Mohawk Valley things (that is how Steven said she put it when he talked to her). I was happy to oblige.

I’m always delighted to introduce people to the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm, Otsego Street, Ilion, NY. I especially looked forward to bringing Tracy there, because I knew she would enjoy it.

She loved the old barn that houses the market. As soon as we walked in we noticed two young pigs. Somebody told us that last week they had goats (oh sure, the one week I don’t go!). The live animals were a new thing for me. The kids were really enjoying them, but I like to see them too.

My main reason for going to the Farmer’s Market was to purchase a couple of fancy handkerchiefs from the antique booth. I thought my character in Harvey might carry just such a handkerchief, as opposed to the plain white or army brown ones I carry myself. I chatted with the lady at the booth about Ilion Little Theatre and the play (I did say I was going to make this blog All Harvey All The Time for the next two weeks, didn’t I?). After much deliberation I selected a pink handkerchief with embroidery and a white one with scalloped lavender trim. I thought it would be a good idea to get two, for ease of laundering. The lady gave me a discount, because it was for Ilion Little Theatre. One great thing about this area: people really support community endeavors.

Tracy and I sampled some fudge, cheese and wine. The wine was from Domnhall Winery in Herkimer. They intend to open a tasting room sometime this year. You can bet Mohawk Valley Girl will be there.

We got into a conversation with one lady about farming, fresh eggs, and quilting. Tracy had a lengthy discussion with Jim Parker about the Amish. Jim Parker is, as I have no doubt mentioned before, the folk artist who runs the Farmer’s Market. Steven and I often chat him up when we are there. Jim teaches art to Amish children, among others. He mentioned the different venues where he has taught, but of course I neglected to write them all down. I’ll have to go back with my notebook and do a real write up about it.

We talked about art as therapy and about the diversity of some of his classes and how valuable that was to the students. Jim also told us some stories about some Amish children who deliver goods to the Farmer’s Market. Tracy was especially interested in the Amish stories, because she is involved in a project with TAUNY making a display about the Amish in New York State. I mean to find out more about that (including what TAUNY stands for). I think it is an excellent topic for Mohawk Valley Girl.

We had a great time at the Farmer’s Market. I left with a bottle of wine, two handkerchiefs and several ideas for future blog posts. Tracy left with plans to return. That’s how I get my friends to visit more than once.

Muddled Monday

I was either going to write about Saturday’s wine tasting or resort to Middle-aged Musings. Well, I mislaid my tasting notes, so musings it is.

I’m actually bemused this morning, because my coffee has not kicked in. What’s that all about? I can’t still be tired from Saturday, can I? Am I getting too old to have fun? Say it ain’t so!

I can’t write a whole blog post about how tired I feel. Actually, I could because right now that is uppermost in my mind, but how boring would it be? The sad thing is, I think I have mentioned how tired I am many times in this blog. I know I’ve talked about my desire for an old lady seat so I can shower sitting down. Yesterday I even considered staying dirty.

Actually, there is something else I could blog about (such a silly verb): Friday night. Friday night was to be spent with my husband. I felt so bad that he had to work and could not go on the wine tasting tour. Really, the older I get (ooh, it’s another middle-aged musing), the more I just want to be with my husband. Fun without Steven is just not as much fun. I’ve always felt that way to a point; heck, why would I have married him if I didn’t like to be with him? I may be an independent, take charge kind of woman (and say so in my blog), I may be my own person (others have described me that way), but I like to be with my husband. So there.

Our first stop Friday night was the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm, Otsego Street, Ilion, NY. I just talked about it last week. This week we took our schnoodle Tabby. Tabby loves the Farmer’s Market. The old barn has so many smells for her, and there are always nice people who like to pet a cute dog (which she is). We got into a big conversation with one lady about dogs, cats and skunks.

After the Farmer’s Market we headed back down Otsego Street to Ilion Wine and Spirits, 10 E. Main St. They were having a wine tasting (kind of a warm up for my Saturday). We left Tabby in the car, because she’s not 21. I have some notes on that tasting too, so I guess I’ll write more about it later.

We took Tabby home before we went to dinner at the Herkimer Elks Lodge on Mary Street. The sign out front used to advertise Fish Fry, but now it says Dinner, reflecting their expanded menu. The cooking is by Dominick Scalise of Dominick’s Deli in Herkimer, and everything we’ve had so far is quite delicious. Friday I had seafood stuffed haddock and Steven had baked haddock. I look forward to eating my leftovers.

I’m thinking my musings were more entertaining than my activities, or do I flatter myself? No matter. I’ve written both, I’ll type in both (like last week, I have little time and am too flustered for extensive re-writes). People can like it or not (although I hope they do).

Old is New at the Farmer’s Market

Friday Steven and I had occasion to go to one of my all time favorite Mohawk Valley places, the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm, Otsego Street, Ilion, NY.

The market is open Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I was able to get home, shower and change before we headed out. I dressed a little fancy for a farmer’s market, in pantyhose and a dress, because I hoped to go to dinner afterwards.

We had some discussion about that, because we like to bring our schnoodle, Tabby, to the Farmer’s Market, but we don’t like to leave her in the car while we go someplace to eat. I suggested we either get take out (despite my fancy outfit) or bring Tabby home before we dined. Steven suggested we leave Tabby home entirely and she could accompany us to the Farmer’s Market another time. I was amenable to that, especially the implication that we would visit the Farmer’s Market again soon.

I know I’ve talked about the Ilion Farmer’s Market many times, but I can never resist mentioning it again. I just love everything about it: driving over the wooden bridge to get there, the antique barn that houses it, Jim Parker’s artwork. This time we sampled some Amish cheeses and decided to buy some. We sampled some cookies and definitely bought some. I checked for garlic pickles, but, alas, none were available.

What was new this time was a display of antiques for sale. It was a nice little area with shelves and a display case. Jim Parker told us the antique dealer was also a contractor and had done all the work himself using wood from old barns. We did not purchase anything Friday, but I will probably return to get one of the ladies’ handkerchiefs I saw. I think my character in Harvey would carry just such a handkerchief (for those just tuning in or anyone who forgot, Harvey is the play I’m in at Ilion Little Theatre).

Before we left we asked Jim for directions to the Ilion Moose Lodge, where we thought we’d go for the fish fry. He gave us the directions twice, because the first time I thought Steven was listening and Steven thought I was listening. The second time we both listened and departed with thanks, confident we would find the fish fry. That will be the subject for tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.