I’m Going Through Severe Farmer’s Market Withdrawal

I’ve been going through severe farmers market withdrawal.

You can take a girl out of the country but….In order to gather the best, freshest local veggies I make a habit of visiting the East Hampton Farmers Market on Fridays, the Sag Harbor Farmers Market on Saturdays and farmstands like Foster’s, Dale and Bette’s and Serene Green after work Monday through Thursday.

But now it’s the dead of winter and all the outdoor farmers markets are shut until May. I need greens and local cheese and carrots! The answer is here, just outside Sag Harbor, at Bay Burger on the Bridgehampton Turnpike. The Fair Food Market is now open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thank you Bay Burger for hosting this uniquely wonderful indoor/outdoor food fest every Saturday! Thank you Ana Nieto and Ivo Tomasini, Sag Harbor Farmers Market managers,

who sensed that the East End needs their fresh, local goods year-round!

Thank you farmers for doing “the dirty work” to feed us. Fair Food Market farm goods include organic veggies and herbs from Sag Harbor’s Sunset Beach Farm, Aquebogue’ s Goodale Farms’ fresh milk, eggs and pickles and Regina’s Farm’s evergreens.

Art Ludlow is there, just inside the door, slicing his amazing cheeses.

Wolffer Estate Vineyard is there with samples of their fabulous wines and jugs of their rose vinegar – so theoretically you can pickle your own veggies if you’d like to – but I suggest you try Taste of the North Fork’s pickled peppers, sweet preserves, dressings and salts. Pete’s Endless Summer is awash in barbeque sauce and guacamole – they even sold me a rack of ribs.

“The pasta guy” is outside. I picked up some mushroom ravioli from him last week. He also has hot soups—but I’m partial to Greeny’s soups. Greeny’s has a tasty way with kale and sweet potatoes….

Chat with the farmers outside, pick up some cranberry beans from Marilee Foster, then come inside where it’s warm and sample the flavored olive oils, buy some handmade stocking stuffers or a reusable market bag.

Recycling is rampant at the Fair Food Market. Any plastic bag on the premises has been used 73.2 times on average. Nonperishable goods have been fashioned by local artisans from vintage fabrics, buttons and seashells.

Have yourself a merry handmade Christmas – under a handmade quilt or a hand knit hat. If you celebrate Chanukah – how about a rugelach? Pick up some of the best potatoes for your latkes!

As Bay Burger co-owner Joe Tremblay  says, “It’s good to have life in the place all winter.”

East Enders and weekenders agree that we’re long overdue for this melding of fine foods and handmade goods. There’s a bit of a church fair atmosphere with that European tradition of “everything local” at work. (This European tradition predates the locavore movement by about 4,000 years. The eastern “souk,” or market, dates to prehistory.) Sag Harbor is now a “market town.” Hallelujah!

You can get almost anything “local” these days – even Greek sweets, chutney and feta cheese! Take it all in over a cup of coffee or just people watch – famous regulars include socialite Adelaide DeMenil, artists April Gornik and Brooke Williams and many other boldfaced names incognito in weekend clothes.

And the Fair Food Market is not just for the holidays – it will run every Saturday until the Sag Harbor Farmers Market re-opens in May! Nieto and Tomasini are also planning a North Fork Sunday Market. When that gets rolling – you know I’ll be there and write about it!

Art installations are soon coming to the Fair Food Market….

 

The Fair Food Market, Bay Burger, 1742  County Road 79 (Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike), Sag Harbor. Free admission. www.turtleshellhealth.com.

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