At the Saturday July 31 Farmer Market, way off down the Y Community Center parking lot, I spied Richard Malcolm in a pith helmet. Richard and his charming wife, Rebecca Muir Malcolm, operate Schoolhouse Farm and the Borodino Market just east of the four-corners in Borodino. To cut to the chase, they grow unusual varities of fruits and vegetable including many heirlooms. They also source and distribute high quality, unusual grains, teas, condiments and other goodies in their market that is in a converted old schoolhouse.
Part of the charm of Skaneateles' Farm Market is the growers' and gatherers' knowledge of their products. You want cheap vegetables, go to the Regional Market in Syracuse. You want carefully tended and sourced goods with the knowledge of how to integrate them into your diet, your life, check out Skaneateles' Thursday and Saturday Markets up at the Y-Community Center.
Here's an example:
Schoolhouse farms had a variety of packaged grains for sale. I asked what "Farro" was.
It's an ancient grain, similar to brown rice only much better Malcolm said, adding that you cook it following the directions on the simple package.
Meanwhile in a bowl: toss some cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh herbs and olive oil. Throw in the hot grain and stir it up and eat it for lunch. Refrigerate the leftovers and have it as a cold side dish with dinner.
"Okay," I thought.
I followed his instructions using a mixture of Schoolhouse Farm's lemon cucumbers and Japanese cucumbers and the first of their heirloom tomatoes with some canned organic cannalini beans (white kidney) that I had lying around. I added chopped fresh basil and broadleaf parsley from my own wee herb garden and then drenched the veggies in extra virgin olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar. Oh yes, I did mince some of Rose Ryan's Harvest Home garlic, which once you try this garlic, it's hard to use commercial garlic ever again. And I mean ever!