Showing posts with label support local business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label support local business. Show all posts

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!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hoppy in Clifton Park

The Handsome Husband and I checked out the tasting room at the Shmaltz Brewing Company in Clifton Park (NY) this afternoon.  As you can see, it didn't take me long to get comfy.

The tasting room is a cheerful place and it was doing a good business this chilly November Saturday afternoon.

 This new, state-of-the-art brewery opened this past July.

You can buy beer there, of course, but also plenty of other Shmaltz  stuff.

The tasting room has a variety of places to sit and relax. It is also well-stocked with decks of cards and board games. A few folks were playing cards when we arrived.

If you didn't  know this new brewery was there, it is unlikely you would stumble upon it by accident. There are no obvious signs visible from the road or parking lot.

It isn't until you get right to the door that you get confirmation that this is the right place.

But the beer is cold and delicious and for the young and hip like the HH* and myself, it was a pleasant place to relax for a little while.

Tours of the brewery are also available when the tasting room is open. If you like craft beers, you should try these. Delicious with lots of shtick. Be prepared to chuckle.

Find their website here.

*HH=Handsome Husband


Friday, September 20, 2013

Feast of the Fields, 2013,

In support of land conservation in Saratoga County through Saratoga PLAN.
The Handsome Husband (AKA Bob Conner, L) with master baker Matt Funiciello, of Rock Hill Bakehouse, R.

Doc Scanlon's Hot 4
Mogie, Hank, and Buzz, our dinner companions for the evening.

Fun? Yes!
Food? Wonderful!
Music? Excellent!
Company? Couldn't be better. Much silliness.
Weather? Perfect, complete with a full moon rising.
This event sells out so watch for your chance to buy 2014 tickets next summer and snap them up early. Good, locally-grown and prepared food for a good cause. What could be better?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What's your code? The Christmas challenge, part 3

In the decidedly un-Christmassy (but excellent) HBO series, The Wire, characters Bunk and then Omar had this mantra: A man's gotta have a code.

So as I plunge into the holiday season this year, I ask myself, what's my code? How will my values be reflected in my spending choices?
Here is my informal checklist. With my gift-giving this year, I want to:
  • Give things to those who need them.

  • Give time, affection, hospitality to those who do not need stuff.

  • Try to support local businesses, artisans, farmers.

  • Will my purchase support a good cause?

  • Think quality. What items will last to be used again vs what will end up in a landfill.?
  • Can I repurpose existing goods?

  • Will my gifts be a nice treat, provide creative or intellectual stimulation? Will they keep someone warm?

  • Will the recipient enjoy the gift or feel burdened by it?

  • Can I be a wise steward of our family finances or will my heart sink in January when the bills come in?

Armed with my code, I set out today to do some shopping. Here's where I went:

  • to three garage sales (made purchases at two)
  • one consignment shop (did not buy anything)
  • three thrift shops (made modest purchases at each)
  • to a very good used book store (bought four books -cough - not necessarily all as gifts.)
I stuck to my code. I purchased from local businesses, I have an eye to repurposing some of the items I bought, I have not sent money overseas, I have not added to the waste stream, and I spent very little money.
Mission accomplished.
Note: One bonus at Old Saratoga Books is Sam, the store cat, who will quite happily sit on your lap while you browse through a book. Much better shopping experience than long lines at the mall.
Photo credits go to Old Saratoga Books, from their website and blog.