Make a stop at a farmers’ market part of your family vacation! Shopping at farmers’ markets offers great benefits to traveling families. You’ll be purchasing fruits and vegetables at their peak flavor and nutritional value, and getting an insider’s recommendations for meal preparation with your purchase. Another benefit – there may be unique crafts or specialty foods that will keep great memories of your trip going once you’re home. Yet another benefit – markets typically have a casual atmosphere that provides a comfortable environment for kids to have fun and learn about everything from farming to nutrition.
Here in Vermont, it’s clear we love our farmers’ markets – there are more farmers’ markets per capita in our state than in any other! At Smugglers’ Notch, you can enjoy a weekly farmers’ market right in the resort courtyard on Monday mornings and the Jeffersonville farmers’ market less than 10 minutes away on Wednesday evenings. Willing to drive a bit further? There are markets in Fairfax (a 15 minute drive) and Johnson (20 minutes), too!
At Smugglers’ market this summer, stop by Davis Family Maple’s booth for maple syrup, sugar, cream and candies. Boyden Valley Winery will offer samples of their award winning wines and the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery will offer samples of their award winning spirits. For produce, Knee Deep Farm and Valley Dream Farm, both certified organic, will have an array of fresh-from-the-field veggies and berries at the market.
Knee Deep Farm, located just over a mile down the road from Smugglers’, produces vegetables, herbs, garlic and flowers. Valley Dream Farm is located in beautiful Pleasant Valley, about 20 minutes from the resort. In addition to producing vegetables, berries, garden starter vegetables and bedding and hanging flowers, Valley Dream hosts a lovely farm-to-table dinner on Tuesday evenings on the porch of their farm stand.
At the resort’s first market on June 8, Eliza Steffens of Knee Deep Farm expects to have arugula, spinach, kale, lettuce, spring garlic, shoots, her delicious arugula pesto, and a few types of radishes. The stand will also have maple glazed buttermilk scones and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. This list highlights another benefit of farmers’ markets not identified earlier – variety!
Celebrate the beginning of farmers’ market season in Vermont by enjoying the following recipe from Knee Deep Farm
Sesame Noodles with Bok Choy & Hakurei Turnips
Package of soba or udon noodles
Baby bok choy, washed and roughly chopped
4 stems of spring garlic, chopped
4 Hakurei turnips sliced (these are also called salad turnips, and are the best choice for this recipe because they are much sweeter than purple top turnips)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspooons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons fresh herbs – Eliza at Knee Deep uses cilantro and Thai basil
Directions: Cook the noodles according to package directions.
In a large frying pan, saute the garlic in oil for a minute, then add in the turnips. Once the turnips are tender, add the bok choy and sesame seeds. Eliza adds in a little bit of the tamari at this point, too. Let this mix cook until the bok choy is just tender. In a bowl, combine the rest of the tamari, honey, rice vinegar and sesame oil and whisk together. Toss everything together in a large bowl, add the fresh herbs, and enjoy!