Thursday, July 6, 2017

Isn't she lovely? The produce of our weekly Malta Ridge CSA











We are lucky to live in an area  where a few farms and small rural agri-businesses are still surviving, despite tremendous development pressures.  Just up the road from us is Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens.  This spring, I bought a CSA share from them, or more precisely, a half-share.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you become a member of a CSA, you are purchasing a “share” of the fruits and vegetables from a local farmer.  (Malta Ridge also sells egg and chicken shares, but I just bought the produce option.)

In addition to being close and convenient for us, Malta Ridge offers lots of choices, which makes their CSA program work well for me. Because they also have a farm store, I can pop in on "my" day and choose from among the fruits and vegetables on offer. For my half-share, I can take home eight items per week.  "One item" may be designated as three tomatoes, for example, or a bunch of carrots.

So what did I take home this week? 

  1. A large head of lettuce.
  2. A bunch of carrots.
  3. A bunch of radishes.
  4. Two onions.
  5. Three tomatoes.
  6. A head of cauliflower.
  7. Two yellow summer squash.
  8.  A pint of blueberries.
Plus, I still have a few potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions left from last week.

This is week four of my (half) share, which will run until the first week of November. It has taken me a couple of trips to the farm to work out a smooth routine, but I have it all down pat now. 

I carry the produce home in my market baskets, wash and trim things like the carrots, then add the trimmings to my compost bin. The baskets get a quick wash and I am all set until next week. 


Malta Ridge is in the process of selling its development rights, with the help of grants from New York State, Saratoga County, and the Town of Malta. This means the owners are ensuring that someone will always and forever be able to have a farm on those 132 acres. That is quite a blessing for those of us who live near by. 

Fresh, local, healthy, delicious, and forever a farm. What's not to like?


Find the Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens store at 107 Van Aernem Rd. in Malta. They are off Malta Avenue, near Route 9, not far from Northway Exit 13. Their telephone number is 518 229-1255. They also have a Facebook page.

Want a few other suggestions for Saratoga and Washington County farm-related business you should check out? These are a few of my favorites.

Smith Orchard Bake Shop  (You will never bake another pie.)
4561 Jockey Street
Ballston Spa, NY 12020

Battenkill milk - sold in many places locally. Check their website. It's really good.

And did you know?  ALL of Stewart's milk, ice cream, and eggs are produced locally, from local farms. 

Please comment and share your favorites, too. Let's support our local farms and orchards!





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Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Family Fourth

July 4th, circa 1900, probably near Westmoreland, NY.  My grandmother is the young girl seated in a chair near the center of the front row.
My grandmother, Millie Stebbins, born Westmoreland, NY, 1888
The surviving grandchildren of Millie Stebbins Holmes, 4th of July celebration, 2017, in Londonderry, Vermont. Shown L-R: Barbara Coombs Conner; Laura (Laurie) Kinsley Drinkwater; Katherine (Katie) Kinsley Healey; Royal (Tad) Kinsley; Mary Coombs Cafarelli. (The eldest granddaughter, my sister Ruth Ann Coombs Longley, died in 2013.)


Some of the great-grandchildren of Millie Holmes on the Kinsley side.




















Ida Mae Specker

L-R: Randy Longley, elder son of  our late sister, Ruth Ann Coombs Longley, with Rebecca, Jeanine, and Mary Coombs Cafarelli.

My cousin Tad has owned Jake's Restaurant and Tavern in Londonderry, Vermont, since he was 22 years old.

Londonderry is a small town, and as in many communities in America, lots of folks come out for the annual Fourth of July parade. 

Tad usually hosts a post-parade bash at his restaurant and invites extended family to join the fun, this year once again with the live music of Ida Mae Specker.

On this parade day, all five surviving cousins were there, the grandchildren of Millie Stebbins Holmes. Our mothers, Henrietta Holmes Coombs and Jane Holmes Kinsley, were sisters, close in age and strong of will. All three of these women - grandmother, mother, aunt - had a great influence on us all.  We did a lot of remembering this weekend. 

By the time one reaches the ages we cousins are now, we have all endured some worries and bumps and blips and sadness. But these are the folks that you don't have to explain all that to. They know all about it and they love you and you love them right back. (My cousin Tad gives a world-class hug, by the way. He should bottle it and sell it.)

The tumult of the world right now, the sense of uneasiness that seems to hang over us all, makes a small town patriotic celebration all the more poignant. 

I think our mothers and grandmother would be ever so pleased to know that we cousins and siblings still feel the strength and comfort of the shelter of each other.

Happy Fourth of July, my dears. May our extended, blended families continue to celebrate together in small towns across America for another 117 years. 

xox



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