Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where Did They Come From?

While weeding the garden a few weeks ago, getting it ready for puting some early cool weather tolerent greens seeds, I noticed a bit of an unexpected surprise. 6 "volunteer" onions coming in. Since I have not put any onions in that area last year, some must have self seeded from the year before.

I believe that I did leave in a few that year to see what would happen so now I guess I will. I'll be curious to see how well the bulbs will develop (if they do), how they will taste. Well, as I said, I'll find out this year, and report back!

It should be interesting!

Franklin Farmer's Market

Franklin Farmers’ Market at Chapel HallEvery Sunday from 10 am - 2 pm

Memorial Day weekend, May 24 through Columbus Day October 11!

Institute Street, Franklin, NY - Rte 357, Delaware CountySunday, May 31,

Features: Flying Rabbit Farm "Rabbit Mix"spring salad greens;

Fokish Farm-breads, coffee, sorrel, lovage, arugula, spinach;

Handsome Brook Farm-jams;

Hare & Feather-chicken, rabbits

New! Amish cheese from Richfield Springs, fudge;

Olive Tree Herbs-perennials, annuals & herb plants, hanging baskets, herbal teas & condiments; Safe Suds-

New! Franklin-made herbal & spice soaps & hand creams;

Schmitt's Produce-rhubarb, eggs, honey, North Franklin maple syrup

New! cheese from Byebrook Farms, Bloomsville;

Sherman Hill Homestead-artisanal goat cheese;

Stony Creek Farm-certified organic eggs, chickens

New! from Willindy Willows of Hancock herbal preparations and soaps;

Sue Mullen-ready to plant (12 kinds) tomatoes, peppers, squash & herbs;

Summer End Orchard-asparagus, exotic preserves, spice rubs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Franklin Farmer's Market


The Franklin Farmers' Market announces that, due to its great success, its third season will be its biggest yet. In its first season, 2007, the Market was held once a month for 4 months. Last summer the Market ran twice a month from Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekend. This year the Market will be held every single Sunday, 10 AM to 2 PM, from May 24 through October 11!

The Franklin Farmers' Market has an especially lovely village setting on the lawn and under the trees in front of the white-columned portico of historic Chapel Hall, 25 Institute Street, Franklin, NY. Twenty local producers offer amazing variety - meat, eggs, cheese, vegetables, fruit, breads and baked goods, plants and flowers, maple syrup and honey, jams and pickles and home grown herbal soaps and lotions - all artfully displayed in white canopied stalls. Among the participating farms are Sherman Hill Homestead, Fokish Farms, Schmitt's Produce, Echo Hills Farm, Olive Tree Herbs, Handsome Brook Farm (all of town of Franklin), Stoney Creek Farm (Walton), Flying Rabbit Farm (Otego), Summer's End Orchard (Unadilla), Betty Acres (Delhi) and Hare & Feather Farm (Laurens). Throughout the season there will be entertainment, special events and demonstrations. Since the very first market, musicians have entertained the shoppers from the portico, while, on the lawn below, there have been demonstrations of such crafts as scything, wood carving, and apple pressing, and special free attractions like horse drawn wagon rides.

"People have told us it is the prettiest market they have been to," says Ellen Curtis, the market manager. "Franklin is a very special place. People love to come here."

Settled in 1792, Franklin is a small, beautiful village of Greek Revival, Federal, and Victorian houses, churches and stores, with lovely tree-lined streets. Virtually the entire village was, in 1984, inscribed in both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Located 13 miles south of Oneonta, NY, its Main Street is on State Rte 357, which connects Route 28 with I-88.
Sundays are busy in Franklin with services in its three landmark churches. A new restaurant, the Beehive, is open from 9 to 2 for breakfast and brunch. Across the street from The Beehive are two antique stores, The Squires Tankard and Franklin Durable Goods. To coordinate with the Farmer's Market schedule, Franklin Stage Company, whose home is Chapel Hall, has added performances on Sundays Aug.15 thru September 6 at 11:00 AM of AMERICAN FAIRY TALES, its second main stage production of the summer. For more information about Franklin Farmer's Market and the many attractions offered to visitors to Franklin, please see the Visiting Franklin pages at For information about Franklin Local, the sponsors of the Franklin Farmers' Market, see

Flying Rabbit set upphoto: Karl Heidenreich

Early morning Mary Dolan of Flying Rabbit Farm setting Greg Williams

Musicians tune up on the porch "stage".photo: Bryan Babcock

Ellen Curtis, left, Franklin Farmers Market Manager with Sue Mullen, herb & flower grower.Photo credit: Betsy Babcock


If, as a consumer, you're not already familiar with the National Animal Identification System, I encourage you to please do so now, and help your local farmer fight this program. A good start is and from there you can find many, many other links in the margins.

Presented new as a program for "food safety", NAIS is anything but, as the program stops at the door of the big slaughterhouses and processors, the very places where most food contamination happens. Through premise id, it also turns the farmer from owner of his farm to merely a stakeholder. In fact, if passed, you will most likely lose some of the farms that you now purchase from.

Similar programs are already in effect in Australia and the UK. While the various government offices will state that the programs are working wonderfully, the farmers will tell you a much different story.

Please, read up, talk to your local farmers, contact your politicians. Attend a "listening session" in your area. Help to put the brakes on this program before it is too late.


If you would like your farm, CSA, farm market, restaurant, etc. included in the state books I am writing (listings are free), please email me at

Market Time

Do you have a farm market opening for the season soon? If so, email me at with your press release or information to list here on the blog.

Purchasing Plants Doesn't Have to be Expensive!

It may still be spring, but it definitly is not be too early to find excellent deals on plants and flowers. Some say that buying locally means paying premium prices, but that could not be further from the truth.

For example, a few weeks ago I was at a local nursery and found they were selling out on their pansies. In fact, more of a give away. I left with 14 beautiful plants in some wonderful colours for under $3. The nice thing about these plants is that not only will they supply the garden around the house with badly needed colours, they will also provide me with some salad garnishes!

Just because it is still early in the year (and in the NE we are basically just putting in our gardens), it doesn't mean that some excellent bargans cannot be found at nurseries in your area. Just do a little looking around. The plants I found were kind of tucked away on some shelves and even though they were in the middle of the store, they were not really placed that noticably with only a couple little paper signs taped on the edge of one shelf stating their special price.

More recently, about a week ago, I purchased 3 cherry tomato plants for $1. They'll be goining today. (Unfortunatly, I didn't have the time to start seeds this year for those plants that need and early start, so I'm relegated to purchasing this year.)

In March, I purchased a miniature rose for fifty cents at a small, local grocery. Leftover, I think, from Valentine's Day. Unfortunatly it wasn't locally grown, but it was US grown. It was in pretty good shape for sitting in a store. I brought it home, babied it and at least 4 times a month I give it water from the fish bowl instead of the usual tap (well) water. It sits in a window over the sink that seems to be just perfect for plants.

In the last few months, the rose has almost tripled in size, has been moved to a bigger pot and is putting out its' second bloom of the month. Pretty good for a fifty cent holiday leftover.

So on your next plant buying trip, do a little scouting. Check the nooks, crannies and back of shelves. Who knows what you might find

Monday, May 25, 2009


Welcome to the Local Seasons blog!

If you're here, you're probably a foodie, a small farmer, a restaurant owner, or all three. You enjoy farm fresh whenever you can get it, and you support the buy local movement and local farms in your area.

As a companion to a series of books being created under the same name, I will cover local foods, buy local, farm markets, discussions with small farmers, restaurants who source local foods and not to forget, raising one's own food, the utmost in local consumption.

In the Local Seasons blog, discussion and interviews are offered, favourite recipes submitted by farmers, gardeners and consumers utilizing local foods from throughout the 50 states and more. It is my hope that the Local Seasons blog will become a weekly read for you.