Kiss Your Maple Syrup Goodbye?

How much will your great-grandchildren pay to eat blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup, or won’t those foods be available to eat at all? Most of us take it for granted that in CT we will always be able to serve our guests the same treats that are by now treasured memories of our childhood.

Opening Day at the Westport Farmers’ Market

The clouds rumbled and rain threatened….but then, like magic, both disappeared and all was well for the Opening Day of the ever-popular Westport Farmers’ Market. Sun shone, folks ambled in and a veritable party was had on the blacktop among the veggies…and breads…and pizzas…and flowers! Oh my!

It’s Sugar Shacking Time

As a farmer, every winter (right around the end of January) I get an itch to go outside and do some physical work and, well, be a farmer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ability to hibernate, and I love the fact that I can rest my body and get it ready for the upcoming farming season, but I can only do so much of that. I’m used to year-round farming from back home.

Weekend Adventures in Maple Sugaring

Now is the time to plan an outing to a local sugar house where you will gain an appreciation for the ancient art of making syrup from the sap of maple trees. Maple sugaring, which takes place mid-February to the end of March, starts with tapping maple trees and slinging collection buckets from them to collect the sap. More advanced collections systems use plastic vacuum tubing, but no matter the technology, it takes 40 to 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

Eating Locally in the Winter Is Easier Than Ever

The change of season from fall to winter brings us shorter, darker days and a challenging growing season for even the most adventurous four-season farmers. Ah but the wonders they’re able to produce despite the elements – tender field spinach and baby kale plus greenhouse treats like fresh herbs, pea shoots, mushrooms and lettuces – are drawing crowds to the winter farmers’ markets. Indeed, it’s the winter spinach and kale that are the first to sell out at Fort Hill Farm’s booth at the Saturday Westport Farmers’ Market.

David Wolfe PhD to Keynote NOFA Winter Conference at Wilton HS

The 2013 Winter Conference brings into focus the challenges of adjusting to climate change for farmers, gardeners and consumers. Join us to discuss the future of sustainable farming and celebrate local food. Workshops are scheduled throughout the day and follow the keynote address by David Wolfe, Ph. D.

In between workshops, attendees can visit with over 50 vendors and exhibitors with local foods, crafts, books, and sustainability initiatives. There will be a silent auction with garden supplies and other Connecticut grown and crafted items and services.

Westport Farmers’ Market Moves to Saturdays this Winter

Unless you work weekends, the news that the Westport Farmers’ Market has moved to Saturdays for the winter will be music to your ears. I expect we’ll see many more families and a greater demand for lunch, along with all the other artisan and farm-fresh foods sold at the market. Located at Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Westport, the market gives you the added pleasure of perusing the wares – including freshly crafted herbal wreaths – available at this venerable garden center. You’ll be warm inside the heated greenhouse while shopping so there are no excuses no to stop in to check it out.

10 Things to Do Before the Summer Ends

The kids are back in school and the weather has cooled off a bit, but summer isn’t over yet. Capturing the fleeting days, and tastes, of summer is easy to do in Fairfield County. We are lucky to have abundant farms, farm stands, farmers’ markets and restaurants working hard to make sure that the best of what they have to offer makes its way to our lips. Here’s my “don’t miss” list of things to do before summer’s nothing but a distant, sweet memory.

A Love Affair with Fennel

My love affair with fennel started when I was a child in India. Oh the aroma! The minty, liquorishy, anise flavor that explodes with each burst of the open fennel seed and cannot be described as anything other than “fennel.”

These memories take me back to the hot summer nights when I enjoyed spicy coconut curry meals with my family. Afterwards, we’d cool down with roasted fennel seeds – eaten like an after dinner mint. Go to any Indian restaurant and they serve them with the check. Nothing can cool you down like fennel.

Maple Syrup Open Houses & Events

This March is the time to plan a visit to a sugar house and gain an appreciation for the ancient art of making syrup from the sap of maple trees. Maple sugaring, which takes place mid-February to the end of March, starts with tapping maple trees and slinging collection buckets from them to collect the sap. It take 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup! Collected sap is brought to the maple sugar house to be boiled until it reaches the syrup stage. It’s then poured off, strained and cooled for bottling.

Fairfield Green Food Guide
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