July 4th Recipes: Fruit Salsas & Guacamole

Just in time for your Fourth of July entertaining, here are three easy recipes packed with fresh summer flavors!

Fresh Mango Salsa

What You Need:

  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 squeeze of lime juice
  • Salt (approx. 1/2 tbsp or less to taste)

What to Do:

Pit and peel the mangoes and avocado. Combine 2 mangoes diced, 1 avocado coarsely chopped, 1 red onion finely diced, ¼ cup cilantro chopped, a healthy squeeze of lime juice, and salt to taste.

Pineapple Salsa

Colorful and so fresh tasting!  Serve this versatile seven-ingredient salsa with grilled meat, poultry or fish.

 What You Need:

  • 2 cups ½-inch pieces pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ tsp. finely chopped serrano pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • Salt (approx. 1/2 tbsp or less to taste)

What to Do:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and serve!

Guacamole

(From The Horn of the Moon Cookbook)

What You Need:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Optional:  Substitute ½ cup Green Mtn. Gringo Salsa for ½ cup tomatoes.

What to Do:

Peel and pit avocados.  Mash well.  Add remainder of ingredients.  Serve with corn chips or on top of fresh salad greens.

Vermont’s Single-Use Plastics Ban Goes into Effect on July 1

Got your reusable bags? Beginning today, you’ll need them every time you shop in Vermont.

We couldn’t be happier about the Vermont single-use products law (Act 69), which goes into effect on Wednesday, July 1. After all, we launched our BYOB “Bring Your Own Bag” program in 2016. Our vision when we started the program was to see “reusable bags used exclusively throughout the Upper Valley.” So when the law passed in the Vermont legislature last summer, we exchanged a few fist pumps here at the Market. A year later, we can’t wait to see the law in action.

What does the law include?

The law, which is the nation’s broadest single-use plastics ban, prohibits the use of plastic carry-out bags, plastic stirrers, and expanded polystyrene (a.k.a Styrofoam) and restricts the use of plastic straws in stores and food-service establishments throughout Vermont. Although paper carryout bags are allowed, stores are required to charge at least 10 cents per bag.

We think the paper bag fee is good incentive to remember your reusable bag, because paper bags aren’t great for the planet either. During manufacturing they release heavy metals and greenhouse gasses into the environment.

All bag fees collected at the Market will be donated to local nonprofits, such as the Woodstock Community Food Shelf. So if you forget your reusable bag when you shop with us, at least you know that your paper bag fee is going to a good cause. We also have reusable bags for sale at the registers: our bright orange Farmers’ Market bag (on sale for $1.99) and our cloth Totes Local bag made by a women-owned company in New Hampshire ($14.99). In recent weeks, some of you have asked whether you’re allowed to bring in your own bags for grocery use. The answer is a resounding “yes, you can!”

What’s still allowed?

  • Plastic bags are still permitted for carrying loose items like produce and bulk food, as well as for containing frozen foods, meat, and fish. Although we provide plastic produce bags for your convenience, we encourage you to “shop naked” (go without the bag) or bring your own mesh bag.
  • To-go coffee cups aren’t included in the ban, but the state of Vermont encourages the use of travel mugs and refillable water bottles. As an incentive to bring your reusable mug to the Market, the cost of a coffee refill (in any size travel mug) is $1.79, plus tax.
  • The ban says that plastic straws can be provided only upon request. At the Market, we don’t use plastic straws at all, but we have PLA biodegradable straws if you ask for one. We also sell metal straws!

FYI, Stores and eateries are allowed to continue using any of the banned items until July 2021 if they were ordered before May 15, 2019. So you may still see them around for a bit until businesses run through their inventory.

We are proud to live in a state that’s taking this important step to protect our waterways, wildlife, and health.

Kale Salad with Strawberries and Radishes

Who doesn’t love a good kale salad? This super nutritious and delicious leafy green is packed with vitamins A, K, and C. And when you’ve got freshly harvested strawberries and radishes to toss in … well, there’s no better way to celebrate early summer!

Kale, strawberries, and radishes are in season right now in Vermont. So don’t miss out on this delicious medley!

Here’s one of our favorite kale salad recipes:

Kale Salad with Strawberries and Radishes 

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 medium bunch of kale (or 8 cups chopped)
  •  1/2 pound strawberries, sliced
  • 5-6 radishes, thinly sliced and then chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • Optional: 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • Optional: 1-2 avocados, diced

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (you could also use honey)
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar*
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 minced garlic cloves (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

*Why unfiltered versus “regular” apple cider vinegar? Unfiltered vinegar has a bolder, more apple-y flavor and tons of health-promoting properties.

What to Do

The Dressing:

Place all ingredients in a mason jar and shake until blended (or mix in a bowl and transfer to a serving dish).

The Salad:

Place chopped or torn kale in a bowl, add a little bit of the dressing, and massage for a few minutes. Massaging the kale helps break it down so that it’s softer and more enjoyable to eat.

Add of the other ingredients to the bowl (strawberries, radishes, goat cheese, pecans, and onion and avocado, if desired) and toss.

Slowly combine dressing (use only as much as you like) with salad ingredients.

Toss and enjoy!

How We Select the Products We Sell

Here at Farmers’ we spend a lot of time looking for new and interesting foods to carry. We are committed to supporting small companies who have missions similar to ours: dedication to quality ingredients, integrity in business practices, and involvement in their communities. We like to know the people who make the food we sell! To that end, our membership in the Good Food Foundation makes it easy to meet makers from all over the country.

In the past we traveled to two to three Good Food “shows” per year—trade shows where we get to sample products and talk to the passionate people who make them. Picture table after table of cheeses and salumi; honey and chocolate; hot sauce; bar mixes; preserves; snacks…you name it! We would return to Vermont a few pounds heavier, pockets stuffed with the business cards of new companies to represent in our stores.

All food shows were cancelled this year, of course. But the GFF figured out a work-around that they call “Virtual Tastings.” Every week in June and July we get boxes of samples shipped to us, each around a theme. The first, which you see in the pictures, was “New England Meat and Cheese,” featuring salumi from Charlito’s Cocina and Brooklyn Cured; smoked fish from Acme Seafood; cheese from Shelburne Farms and Firefly Farms; paté from Les Trois Petit Cochons; biscuits from Effie’s Homemade; and jams for cheese from Blake Hill.

We joined the makers and other retailers in a Zoom meeting. Each maker had five minutes to discuss their products and guide us in a tasting. Some of the products were familiar to us and some were new, but the format allowed us to sample lots of items at the same time, together and separately.

Today is the second Virtual Tasting: #StayHomeWithChocolate! Five different chocolate companies from Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii are represented, and I will once again throw myself on the sword for the good of WFM by tasting through all of these chocolate samples. You’re welcome.

Future tastings revolve around other themes, such as Good For You Snacks; Upgrade Your Pantry; Beyond Jam; The Sweet Tooth; and Get Cozy With A Cup Of…, among others. It’s a terrific way to learn about fantastic regional foods and the people who champion them, so we have stories to tell when we introduce them to you here at home.

~Amelia

We’re Reopening in Woodstock

Hooray! We’re reopening to the public! After 12 weeks of curbside only, we’re excited to announce that we will reopen our Woodstock location for customer shopping on Tuesday, June 9.

“Phase One” shopping hours will be Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday), from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Farmers’ Curbside online shopping service is still available for those who prefer not to shop inside the store. We will be evaluating our hours, and our hope is to lengthen them slowly as we assess our staffing. Waterbury is scheduled to open at the end of June.

In Woodstock, you can look forward to many of the things you’ve grown to expect:

  • Amazing produce, cheeses & dairy products, grocery items, meat & seafood, breads, beer/wine/cider, and frozen foods.
  • Coffee and specialty drinks.
  • WFM “staple” bakery items, such as pies, cookies, and bars.
  • Friendly, helpful WFM staffers behind the deli counter and at the register.
But a few things will be different—PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!
1.) We are opening our kitchen slowly. Our “Phase One” kitchen reopen will look like this:
  • Sandwiches will be limited. We are offering only a select group of pre-made sandwiches. Check out our grab-and-go menu.
  • Sandwiches can be called in but you will need to queue up with everyone in order to purchase them. Sandwiches may be available online at Farmers’ Curbside in the future. Please stay tuned.
  • Hot entrees will not be available.
  • We will have limited prepared food items, such as hummus, salsa, soups, etc., available in our cold case.
  • We will have limited grab-and-go garden salads and deli salads available in pre-packaged deli containers.
2.) Our bakehouse offerings will be limited at first. To start, we will have bars, cookies, tarts, and pies. Please call us for special requests.
3.) Catering is not available at this time.
4.) For everyone’s safety, we’re limiting the number of customers in the store at a time to 15-20. We encourage you to shop alone. At this time we can only accommodate one household member at a time.
5.) Plexiglass dividers have been constructed along the deli counter and in the checkout area as added protection for customers and staff. We encourage you to use Apple Pay, Google Pay or other technologies that we support to refrain from using the stylus pen. Also, using cash at this time is discouraged.
6.) We ask that you make your visit as speedy as possible to allow your neighbors to enjoy the market, too. And we ask that you only touch the items you’re planning to buy.
7.) Queuing will take place outside the front door. Please look for a WFM greeter and clear markers that will show where to stand while you wait to enter (if 15-20 shoppers are already in the store).
8.) We ask that you remain 6 feet apart from others at all times, whether waiting in line or shopping in the store. Look for the bright yellow floor decals at our store checkout as a reminder.
9.) You will be required to wear a mask or face covering while in the store.
10.) All customers will be required to use hand sanitizer before entering the store. This will be available at our safety & sanitation station outside the front doors. You will not be able to enter the store without doing this. In addition, every basket and cart will be sanitized by a member of our sanitation team before use.

A very important final request: Please continue to shop Farmers’ Curbside (our online grocery shopping service) if you don’t feel well, are quarantined, or just don’t want to come down to the Market. Note: We will have to trim the availability and number of pickup times in order to have enough staff to open the Market to the public.

We realize these 10 items may seem like a lot. But your safety and the safety of our staff is of upmost concern. As an essential business, we feel the responsibility to do what’s right. Like Governor Scott, we will relax things as we see fit. We are taking baby steps to getting back to” normal”; our entire business model is going through an epic transformation. We greatly appreciate your continued patience and support as we navigate through these rough economic waters.

Please stay tuned to social media and our emails (sign up for our Woodstock list or our Waterbury list), as we will be sending frequent announcements about new offerings or changes in hours. We will get back to where we were last summer, but it’s going to take time.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Want to learn more about what we’re doing to keep you and our staff safe during the Covid-19 crisis? Read our Covid-19 Plan.

Eat Local: What’s in Season Now

We wait all year for this moment. When the first rhubarb and arugula of the season appear in Vermont gardens … and begins arriving at the Market in the back of vans and pickup trucks. We love seeing  the familiar faces of our local growers, many of whom we’ve been working with for over a decade.

And there’s nothing, no nothing, like fresh spinach and radishes that were just picked yesterday. Sure, in today’s world, you can buy nearly any produce all year long. But you can’t even begin to compare the taste and nutritional value of out-of-season produce to locally grown veggies and fruit.

This is the moment. Seize it!

Here’s what’s fresh from our local farms this week:

Asparagus from MacLennan Farm in Windsor, Vt.

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach from Vermont Alpine Farm in Reading, Vt.

 

 

 

 

 

French Breakfast Radishes from Fresh Roots Farm in Sharon, Vt.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Radishes from Fresh Roots Farm in Sharon, Vt.

 

 

 

 

Arugula from Fresh Roots Farm in Sharon, Vt.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Baby Kale from  Fresh Roots Farm in Sharon, Vt.

 

 

 

 

 

Red  & Green Lettuce Mix from Fresh Roots Farm in Sharon, Vt.

 

 

 

 

 

Rhubarb from local growers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microgreens from Fresh Roots Farm in Sharon, Vt.

Three Bushes & Shrubs to Plant This Spring

With the weather warming up and the last chance of frost (hopefully) behind us, we’re all anxious to start digging in the dirt. Deliveries have been arriving daily at the Garden Center, so we’ve got a great selection of plants to help you kick off your spring gardening projects (with more on the way)!

Now’s the time to get your bushes, shrubs and trees in the ground. Here are three favorites that will add foliage and color to your garden:

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas grow well in our climate and are a wonderful way to add softness and color to your landscape. Plus, dried hydrangeas will beautify your home all winter long!

When to plant: In early summer or fall.

Where to plant: In full sun to part shade. Hydrangeas like moist, well-drained, and fertile soil. Be sure to plant your hydrangea in a space that will allow it to reach its full height without being pruned.

How to plant them: Dig a hole as deep as the root ball (it doesn’t need to be planted too deeply), and 2-3 times as wide. Mix in compost with your regular soil for added nutrients. Most people don’t know that you can modify the flower colors of hydrangeas simply by amending the soil. Before the appearance of buds, many gardeners will add aluminum sulfate to the soil for blue hues or superphosphate for pink hues.

How to care for them: Hydrangeas need to be well-watered during their first two summers. So don’t forget about them! Pruning will give you larger blossoms. For late summer/fall blooms, prune your hydrangea in early spring. Leave the larger, more solid branches and prune the weak growth.

Rose Bushes

Yes, it’s true. Roses grow beautifully in Vermont, as long as you plant them properly and choose the best variety for our climate.

When to plant: Early spring is ideal for our cold-weather climate.

Where to plant: In full-sun, slightly acidic soil (6-6.5 pH).

How to plant: Dig a large hole, about twice the size of the root ball. Fill around the plant with a mixture of soil and compost/peat moss. Add a tablespoon or two of phosperous at the time of planting. When you set the plant in the hole, be sure to spread out the roots evenly. Two inches of soil should cover the bud graft (the lower swollen area on rose plants).

How to care for them: You’ll probably need to add some kind of rose fertilizer to the soil. Roses need to be well-watered, but be sure the soil drains well and doesn’t become waterlogged. Wait until next spring to prune your rose bush to avoid dieback and disease.

Blueberries

Of all the fruits you can grow in Vermont, blueberries may be the easiest. The key is getting them off to a good start by taking the time to plant them properly.

When to plant: Spring or fall.

Where to plant: In full sun but sheltered from harsh winds. Blueberries need well-drained soil (so roots don’t rot) with plenty of organic matter. The soil should have high acidity (4.5-5.2 pH), so you’ll probably need to amend the soil with 50% peat moss. It’s smart to do a soil test before planting so you know what you’re dealing with. (You can add sulfur to lower the pH, if needed.)

How to plant them: For most blueberry varieties, you’ll need 2-3 plants from  the same group for cross-pollination. Dig a hole twice as deep and wide as the root ball (approx. 20 inches deep and 18 inches wide). Water down the roots really good before planting, and then surround the root ball with a soil mixture that provides the right amount of acidity (see above). Place bushes 4-5 feet apart in a row for individual bushes. If you’d like a hedge, plant them 2-3 feet apart.

How to care for them: Heavily mulch blueberry bushes to keep the roots moist (they need 1-2 inches of water per week). Don’t allow the bush to produce fruit for the first two years after planting, so the plant can put its energy into growing. Just pinch back any blossoms. They can be pruned in late winter/early spring, before new growth begins.

The Garden Center is filling up! We’ve got annuals, perennials, shrubs, bushes, herbs, veggie starts, and hanging baskets! Find out what to expect when you arrive (our operating procedures are a little different from past years). See you soon!

Bubbly for Mother’s Day: New on the Shelf

What’s Mother’s Day without a little bubbly? And these days, that could mean anything from sparkling wine to cider to seltzer! We’ve got your traditional favorites, along with a couple of brand new products that are sure to surprise and delight.

Here’s a sampling of what’s on the shelf this weekend:

Sparkling Wine: The Good Stuff

  • Gruet Blanc de Noirs 750 ml SALE $16.99 (regularly $18.99)
  • La Farra Prosecco Extra Dry, $16.99
  • Cavicchiolo 1928 Prosecco, $13.99

 

And then there’s the really good stuff…

  • Billecart-Salmon Brut reserve 750 ml, $53.99
  • Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 750 ml, $39.99
  • Domaine Grosbot-Barbara, Saint-Pourçain Brut 0 750 ml, $24.99

 

 

Lavender Cider: JUST IN!

If your mom’s a cider fan, check out Citizen Cider’s  Fruition Lavender Cider! It just arrived yesterday! Four packs of 12 oz cans are $13.99.

 

 

The Newest Seltzer on the Scene

Or maybe she loves seltzer. Stowe Cider just released their Craft Seltzer in three flavors: The Classic (apple), Cirtrus Ginger, and Cranberry Lime. 4-packs of 12-oz cans, $11.99.

 

Five Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is only a few days away. But don’t worry. If you haven’t picked up a little something for the mom in your life, we’ve got you covered. You can’t go wrong with these five gift ideas:

Sweets: We’ve never met a mother who doesn’t love sweets. Check out our Mother’s Day Chocolate Basket for $29.99 (a $40 value). Just ask for it on your order form.

Want to put together your own candy collection? Here’s what’s on the shelf (just ask for it on your curbside order form):

  • Markhamo & Fitz Ooh La Lavender
  • Lake Champlain Taste of Vermont Coins
  • Lindt Truffles
  • Down to Earth Confections Pumpkin Seed and Burnt Butter Toffee
  • April’s Maple Stars & Hearts Box
  • MIA Baobab & Salted Nib Bar
  • Vermont Amber Organic Cacao Nib Toffee
  • McCrea’s Tapped Maple Caramels
  • Laughing Moon Dark Chocolate Buttercrunch
  • Lick My Spoon Dark Chocolate Bar with Chili Peppers

A Bottle of Rosé: Pink wine is one of our personal favorites for Mother’s Day. Not only is it a sign of spring and beautiful to look at, rosé wine is also highly functional! Read about the six varieties we brought in for the occasion.

Fresh Flowers: We just got in a stunning assortment of spray roses, tulips, lillies, and more! Brighten her day with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Take a look at our Produce & Floral Inventory page to find out what’s available and when!

Hanging Baskets: We’ve all been waiting for this moment: The first hanging baskets of the season have arrived! Our colorful, overflowing baskets can be enjoyed all summer long. See our Garden Center page for more details on baskets and other garden items in stock.

Dear Mom Canned Wine:  Just in time for Mother’s Day, these adorable four-packs of “dear mom” wine are our favorite new product on the shelf.  There are four flavors (white, rosé, red, and sparkling), each in its own uniquely designed can. Dear Mom wines are produced in Oregon.

Ready to shop? Head on over to our curbside order form.

Six Rosé Wines for Mother’s Day

We think a bottle or two of rosé wine makes the perfect Mother’s Day gift! Choose from these pretty pink wines from around the world. You really can’t go wrong. (Just add them to page 7 of your curbside order form.)

Domaine Elisa Gueneau Rose “Le Chavignolet” 2019
Sancerre, France
100% Pinot Noir
$25.99

This limited production wine, handcrafted by winemaker Elisa Gueneau,  has aromas of pear, apple, and red berries. The 350-acre vineyard surrounds the villages of Sury-en-Vaux, Chavignol and Sancerre in France’s Loire Valley. On the palate the wine is very soft and round with a good minerality and aromas of wild red fruits and nice sweet notes. A customer favorite year after year!

Bodegas Latue Rosado 2019 (Organic)
La Mancha, Spain
100% Tempranillo
$10.99

This certified organic wine is about as bright and festive as you can get. It looks like liquid strawberries! Deliciously aromatic with strawberry, peach, and red fruit on the palate, and a lingering finish. It’s ideal as an aperitif or alongside light fare.

 

 

Elicio Rose 2019 IGP Mediterannee
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
$12.99

France is the birthplace of rosé. Very fruit-forward, this wine from France’s Rhone Valley can be enjoyed by itself or with everyday meals. It has a bright pink color and notes of fresh red raspberries.

 

 

 

Gonc Winery Cuvee Anna Stajerska 2019 (Organic)
Slovenia
50% Zametna crnina, 20% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Grigio. 10% Blaufrankish
$16.99

Cuvee Anna is ripe with notes of wild berries, strawberries, melon, and peach. On the palate it’s very fruity with a lively, refreshing finish. Produced in Slovenia by a 4th generation winemaker.

 

 

 

Gonc Grape Abduction Rose 2019
Slovenia

100% Zametna crnina
$13.99

Another delicious wine from Gonc Winery! Dark pink color with notes of ripe wild berries, wild strawberries, and a hint of violet. Round, fruity, and refreshing on the palate. Can be enjoyed by itself or with lighter fare. Perfect for a hot summer day.

Cicada’s Song Coteaux d’Aix en Provence 2019 (Organic)
Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
45% Tibouren, 40% Rolle, 10% Cinsault, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
$18.99

From an estate that dates back to Roman times, this is a brilliant and delicate wine. The nose offers a bouquet of fresh and complex aromas—a blend of white-fleshed fruit mixed with light spice; elegant, with fresh acidity.