I still vividly remember the first time I ate a perfectly ripe organic peach right off a tree, almost 30 years ago, on a trip to California. I was astounded at how different it tasted from the supermarket fruit I’d always had, what a completely different and oh-so-much better experience it was. It was a revelation!
If you aren’t buying local, now is the time to delve in. There are more and more farmers taking advantage of growing consumer interest in local and organic foods. Below are a few places I know and recommend around here, but it is by no means exhaustive. Explore your local options! Not only are you getting better taste and nutrition, you are supporting local businesses.
Just a few of my local favorites: If you try them, please say I sent you!
Blooming Hill Farm on Route 208 in Monroe. I’ve known Guy Jones since our kids went to preschool together 20 years ago. He not only has wonderful organic veggies and fruits, herbs, eggs, hummus, honey and other treats, but you can sit outside by the stream and eat an organic vegetarian brunch. Open Sat/Sun 10-2.
Pine Hill Farm This old farm on Route 94 in Chester is well known for its corn – best in the county, by many counts. But as the next generation takes over, there’s been a CSA and more organic produce, including berries. Their produce has been outstanding so far this year, and they have a stand in town now, too.
Late Bloomer Farm on Route 207 outside of Goshen has a nice array of veggies and sprouts, and many people love their flavored peanut butters (too sweet for me). I like the dried beans they bring in from upstate, and they sometimes have other farmers there selling meat and cheese.
Edgwick Farm in Cornwall is a new addition to the area, with a herd of goats that produce milk and cheese. I don’t eat much dairy, but prefer goat to cow. Many of my clients (not all) who can’t tolerate cow’s milk products do fine with sheep or goat. I’m a big fan of their ricotta. but every cheese I’ve tried has been fabulous. They are at the Goshen and Cornwall weekly Farm Markets, or you can go to the farm at set hours. (845)534-8707
For over a decade, I have preached that if you are going to eat animals, eat healthy, locally raised animals that are fed a species-appropriate diet. Back then, this mostly meant venison, if you were going to eat meat. Now there are numerous local farms that raise chickens, pigs, lambs, and cows in this manner. Both the taste and the nutritional profile of meat raised this way is radically different from factory-farmed meat. Yes. it is more expensive, but we don’t need much. Three or four ounces a meal is adequate for most folks. Most people eat way more protein than they should.
Hickory Field Farm in New Hampton is a small farm that produces eggs, poultry, pork and beef in a sustainable manner.
Bettinger Bluff Farm on 17K in Montgomery offers scrupulously raised pastured beef, as well as prepared foods such as meatballs, sausage, hot dogs, and jerky. If you eat beef, this is the place to go! They’re at the Washingtonville Farm Market on Sundays from 10-4, or call 845-361-4997.
Snoep Winkel Farm is in Sussex, NJ, but I have bought their chicken for the past two years at the Goshen Farm Market. They also have beef, lamb and pork.
That’s just a small and biased sample of what’s out there. Please feel free to add your own favorites in a comment, below.