It was 10 degrees, but sunny, when I left Heath for the Valley yesterday, joining the crowds who attended Northampton’s First Annual Winterfare Farmer’s Market to get to know their farmers. CISA was one of the sponsors.
Clarkdale in Deerfield had a table right near the entrance, so Winterfarers were greeted by the smiling faces of Tom, and his son Ben. I think Ben makes the fifth generation of growing premium fruit on their magnificent farm. I always buy a bag of the Clarkdale apple pie mix. My friend and expert pie baker says the secret of a really good apple pie is a mixture of apples, and Clarkdale has put it all together for me.
Apex Orchards was on the other side of the room where the sun dazzled shoppers. I bought a bag of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite Spitzenberg apple. Apex also sells apple cider vinegar from their own apples, and honey from their own hives.
Warm Colors Apiary of Deerfield was offering test testing of the different flavors. I chose a darker fuller bodied wildflower honey. I’m going to be talking to Don Conlon in a few weeks to find out the latest challenges for bee keepers and how that will affect all of us honey lovers.
Paul and Amy of Sidehill Farm brought lots of yogurt in various flavors for all of us yogurt lovers, and fortunately they had a little left by the time I made it to their table. In season, they also sell gorgeous vegetables.
At the Barberic Farm booth you could buy frozen lamb, fleece, yarn, pickles – and book Eric Goodchild for a bagpiping gig. I settled for pickles this time.
There was a long line at the Red Fire Farm operation. People were eager for the opportunity to buy fresh local greens (of many types) in January!
Ryan Voiland, the genius behind Red Fire Farm, was busy, along with staff members, keeping the bins stocked and the customers happy. Ryan is in the process of moving the farm from Granby to Montague where he grew up. Closer to us!
In addition to buying opportunities, there were learning opportunities with a range of workshops like this one about how to store garden crops through the winter – with demonstrations of what can go wrong.
Some Winterfarers found more active learning opportunities like this boy who spent some time grinding corn into cornmeal.
Northampton’s First Winterfare was fun, delicious and a great success – a success that will be repeated at the Third Annual Winterfare in Greenfield on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 10 -2 pm at Greenfield High School. Hope to see you there.