Cooperative spring and early summer weather, together with the benefits of having the right kind of microclimates, has resulted in an array of fruits and prepared foods from two vendors, Hudson Valley Pantry and Locust Grove Orchards. They appear at the weekly Lakeside Farmers Market at Waterfront Park at the edge of Greenwood Lake, NY
Suffern, NY-based Hudson Valley Pantry [HudsonValleyPantry.com] got its start in the 1950s, according to Jonathan Barnwell, chef and proprietor. “When my parents left the army they moved to a peach orchard in Rockland County and began making peach jam each year. When I got older, I enjoyed the tradition so much I started making jam myself and decided to sell it at farmers markets,” Barnwell said.
But Barnwell didn’t stop there. Jam led to salsa, which led to pickles, which led to hummus, which led to barbecue sauce, which led to pesto, and so on.
”And it became a pantry, an idea I liked because these were all the things that you would typically find in a pantry,” he said. “While this is my first year in Greenwood Lake, I also exhibit at markets in Goshen and Piermont.”
Locust Grove Orchards [LocustGroveFruitFarm.com], located in Milton-On-Hudson, NY, recently celebrated its 200th anniversary and brings to the market ripe cherries, blue berries, apricots, plums, grapes, and other berries. They are located 80 miles north of New York City, on the west bank of the Hudson River in Ulster County, just north of Newburgh.
“Our soil is a sandy loam which drains quite easily and allows us to plant early,” said co-owner Jim Kent. “The impact of the nearby river is to moderate the temperature, minimizing freezing which is more friendly to the trees and vines in our orchard. Our growing season begins in June with berry season and goes right up until October and early November with apples; we even grow squash blossoms which are a great delicacy and a large array of sugar plums, too.”
It’s the sugar-acid balance of the fruit, however, that distinguishes Locust Grove from typical purchases that consumers would find in a big box store. This produces flavor distinct from other alternatives. At Lakeside Farmers Market, consumers can taste the difference, since Locust Grove offers samples before they make a purchase. Another difference is that the fruits and vegetables are ripened in the field and harvested within hours of their trip to Greenwood Lake, not days that often accompany produce purchases in the United States that sellers hope will ripen during their journey.
Greenwood Lake Farmers Market
In Greenwood Lake, the farmers market is now open each Saturday, beginning at noon, throughout the summer and features a growing number of farms and orchards together with specialty vendors with fresh baked goods, craft beer vendors, distilled spirits, home-brewed coffee, fresh picked flowers, and other items.
It’s the sugar-acid balance of the fruit, however, that distinguishes Locust Grove from typical purchases that consumers would find in a big box store.