Saturday, August 25, 2012

Down on the Farm, Up in the Catskills

After a summer of nonstop fun, I ventured out one last time to the Catskills mountains. My friend, Rosalind, rents a condo there for the month of August and invited me up for a few days.
Little did I know I was diving right into the local farm food haven that I love. The Catskill mountains are gorgeous and very fertile. They house many of the organic farms that feed into NYC's farmers markets and CSAs. There are also lots of dairies with big, beautiful Jersey cows to make fresh milk, cheese, and yogurt. I spent three days immersed in gorgeous produce eating kale, heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, and fresh potato salad. My little foodie heart was bursting!
I was impressed with the numerous stands on the side of the road selling fresh corn, eggs, fruit, honey, and other lovely things. However, I wondered why no one was in these stands, but Ros told me that you just go in and grab what you need and leave the money in a lock box. What?? And these honest shops exist only 2 hours from NYC!?
We took this farm to table thought a bit farther on Thursday and Friday by volunteering at two farms in the morning. We weeded parsley for 3 hours the first morning and picked veggies like rainbow chard, scallions, kale, and herbs the second day at Lucky Dog Farms. It was a fantastic experience for me! Also, what hard, back breaking work! My back and leg muscles were screaming at me. Maybe because I sat in a car for two weeks on a road trip (post on that later in the week). Anyhow, I will never complain about the price of organic veggies again. That is hot, and grueling work. I learned I am definitely a city girl...to the max. Dirt under my fingernails is not my favorite look.
Everyone needs to visit the villages of the Catskills. They are charming as can be, and are filled with delicious food and kind people. It was a sweet treat to end my summer with!