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Best 5 items at the Gazy Brothers farmers market stand (er, truck?)

Gazy Brothers farm sign

October 9, 2018

An hour before the opening of the Seymour Farmers Market behind the historic Seymour Congregational Church the massive Gazy’s Brothers farm stand truck comes rolling down the big hill from Oxford to set up. The farm itself is nearly 100 years old, a sort of “newer farm” by New England standards.

Apples in a farm stand truck

Gazy’s Brothers farm stand has a certain unpretentious charm about it. The produce signs are occasionally mixed up. Cucumbers might be under a sign for bell peppers. Acorn squash might be marked as spaghetti squash, oooh closer.

But the variety is impressive, and their clientele is loyal. One Tuesday, I waited for five minutes in line to buy two bags of produce. Not because the farm stand attendant was moving slowly, just because she was processing many orders and taking questions along the way. It’s wonderful when a farm stand community buzzes like that!

Leave a comment to let us know what you think about my Top 5 picks from Gazy Brothers farm stand.

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#5 Big, beautiful Blue Hubbard squash

big blue hubbard squash

What does an ordinary cook do with all that squash? These Blue Hubbards were massive. Each one was the size of two footballs (American or European, close enough). I was intimidated by the idea of trying to lug one back to my car. But these squash have such a beautiful golden interior, it’s worth the struggle to get one home and bake it. Rachel at Simple Seasonal suggests a controlled drop to a hard stone or tile surface to crack the heavy Blue Hubbards. I like the idea even though it’s kinda wacky. Uh oh, am I in pun prison now?

The wonderful thing about farm stands is how affordable they are. You can pick up one of these big Blue Hubbards for less than a faux Autumn wreath and add it to your seasonal decor. My first thought was how nice these would look next to some vibrant red-orange squashes on my front porch. The cool weather usually keeps the squash pretty well. We can always cook it , harvest the seeds or compost it later.

#4 Sweet potatoes

small sweet potatoes

As much as my kids and I love sweet potatoes, I’m surprised it took me so long to pick them for a farmstand5. The small sweet potatoes sold at the Gazy Brothers farm stand are perfect to poke with a fork and microwave. A quick farm-stand fresh dinner. Easy.

The other thing I love about this picture is the strong contrasting teal blue baskets make for lovely produce displays. The baskets are sturdy and utilitarian, for sure, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be pretty.

#3 Watermelon


Fun fact. When I was pregnant with my son, watermelons were my main craving. My husband will tell you that I called him at work (which I rarely do) and told him he had to go to the fresh market to pick me up more watermelons. I only had half of one at home, and I was freaking out because that wasn’t enough to get me to the next day. After that, he made a habit of stopping to pick up watermelons pretty frequently. And yes, our boy loves watermelon, too.

The reason I these pretty little melons are my #3 pick is that I was impressed to see the pile of fresh watermelon at this farm stand well into October in New England! It’s not really what you’d think of as a Autumn fruit, and I am not complaining. The variety offered at local farm stands is often surprising and always interesting!

Case in point…

#2 Mashed potato squash

Mashed potato squash

Ignore what the sign says, these are mashed potato squash, a squash that cooks up like a dish of mashed potatoes. How do you feel about a squash with a secret identity? A double life. By day a mild mannered white squash. But by night, transformed into a fluffy pile of not-quite potatoes. Do you think you could fool your relatives on Thanksgiving?

Right, me neither. Even if you’re not fooling anyone, mashed potato squash are worth a try. Here’s a recipe for mashed potato squash from Jen at Olive Jude.

#1 Full stalks of Brussels sprouts

Stalk full of brussels sprouts

I sliced these little sprouts off their stalk and ate them as soon as I got home from the farm stand. The long, curvy stalks of Brussels sprouts make me the gitty kind of excited. The little sprouts seem to have a richer flavor when they’re fresh off the stalk. I love to bake them a little too long, until some of the leaves burn a little, and the whole dish takes on a roasted crunch. You can find lots of recipes online for Brussels sprouts. Here’s one I just pinned myself. Cozy dinners by the fire. Thanksgiving with family. Brussels sprouts make a wonderful Autumn side dish.

It all started with the original Farmstand5 on Cape Cod…
Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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Best 5 items at the Biao Zhi Men farmers market stands, Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park China

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October 28, 2018

Oh, you read that city name right. Enjoy this #farmstand5 from Zhangjiajie!

(close enough prounounciation “jong-jya-jyay”)

Across time and time zones, farmstand culture highlights how small farm stands and farmers markets are a cohesive force in communities. Whether you’re south of Boston in Cape Cod or in the shadows of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, there are neighborhood growers with small stands and fresh, local produce. When you visit these farm stands, you get a better sense of the people and the culture of the place.

Thanks to my cousin’s recent trip to China, we can enjoy the absolutely stunning photos of offerings at the Biao Zhi Men market stands. I owe her a big “thank you” for being so thoughtful, to take the time out of her vacation to give us beautiful images and insight into the variety offered at farm stands in Hunan, China.

Spoken language creates a barrier here, but shopping the variety of the local farms helps to break barriers down. One thing you notice right away, neighborhood shoppers at Biao Zhi Men market demand a wide variety of fruits. Stunning. Delicious. Brilliant fruits. I’m happy to show you some varieties you may not see all the time.

Red Pomelo (Chinese grapefruit)

Pomelo Chinese grapefruit displayed at a Chinese farm market

There is a much larger variety of grapefruits in this world than we thought. Pomelos come in different sizes and colors like green and yellow. When sliced they might be white, green or red inside, like these. The thing is, these are not a hybrid. Pomelos were crossed with other citrus, like oranges to create the hybrid fruits we know today. Grapefruits are believed to be the offspring of pomelo, not the other way around. Wikipedia highlights the voyage of this non-hybrid, Asian fruit around the globe.

#4 Hand-roasted cashews

Man roasting cashew nuts at a Chinese market

One of the favorite photos in my house is of a heavily-wrinkled man roasting nuts in a market in Europe. For my #4 farm stand find in Biao Zhi Men, my cousin found a similar moment in time with a local vendor roasting cashews. Look closer. His heat source is an old utility bucket attached to a gas line. That makes me a little nervous. I hope it doesn’t give him any trouble.

#3 Persimmons

Persimmons at a Chinese farmers market. #farmstand5

Have you tried persimmons? Other than the cost, I cannot understand why this delicately-sweet fruit isn’t more popular in the US! I’ve got a persimmon story for you. Last week, I sat down at a community table cafe at my office and a Ukrainian immigrant asked if anyone knew the name of the tomato-orange-plum-looking fruit he brought from home. I did. He was so happy to get the English translation. He said it’s his favorite fruit. But, now I could use help. Do you know the word for them in Mandarin or Cantonese?

#2 Pomegranates

Green yellow pink pomegranates at a Chinese farmers market

Considering that in American English the word pomegranate is used for a deep reddish-pink color, I didn’t realize until I started doing research for this post how many colors and flavors of pomegranates exist in this world. America, guess what? The tart, hard-seeded fruits we are used to are not nearly the best pomegranates have to offer. I hope your local farm stands carry a better variety than our grocery stores.

Bonus! There’s a little glimpse of kumquats in the lower left corner of this pomegranate photo. I used to eat these right off the bushes when I lived in Florida. In a post on forgotten herbs, I mentioned kumquats had a similar flavor to sorrel, only kumquats have a stronger citrus kick.

#1 Kiwano (aka Horned Melon)

Gorgeous spiked kiwano horned melon displayed at Chinese farmers market stand

How could I possibly pick anything other than the fabulous kiwano horned melon to be our #1?! Is it straight out of Dr. Seuss. Inside, the seeds look more like a glossy, green interior of a tomato than what we might think of as a melon. These may not be that unusual to a large part of the US. In fact, they were trending as a Google topic in Colorado and Arizona in 2017. Interesting. I wish I knew how that got started.

It is so wonderful to explore these photos from the Biao Zhi Men marketplace.

Here are some bonus pics.

Add a comment if you can identify these. The green-brown plum-like date in the lower left corner is jujube. I’m not sure about the others.


Potatoes and tangerines at Biau Zhi Mem farmers market Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

It all started with the original Farmstand5 on Cape Cod…
Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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Three Fall craft ideas inspired by my trip to the farmers market

Three Fall craft ideas inspired by a walk through a local farmers market

“Three Fall craft ideas inspired by my trip to the farmers market” as featured on The Painted Hinge on the Farmhouse Friday Night Link Party #79.

3 Fall Craft Ideas

Food is not the only thing you’ll find at a farmers market. You can get do-it-yourself Fall craft ideas there, too! Not too crafty? No problem, you can still pick up a pumpkin or two or 10 to carve or paint.

Here are three craft inspirations I found during a walk through an Autumn farmers market. Several of these were also featured in a recent farmstand5, a series on my Top 5 picks from local farm stands.

Vintage bottles repurposed

Bookworm Bottles vintage bottle craft DIY

A young woman creates these upcycled Bookworm Bottles for her mother’s corner gift shop, and you can visit her site to pick one up. But if you happen to have any old bottles at your house or in an antique shop near you, be inspired to create your own!

I’m seeing a lot of bottles used to decorate farmhouse shelves, dining room sideboards and glass door hutches. These will add a little interest and personality to otherwise minimalist decor.

Bookworm Bottles crafted brown bottle

How to repurpose vintage bottles:


Computer, printer, paper OR stickers to use as labels
Super glue, glue gun or rubber glue
Burlap or fabric swatches
Ribbon, broken necklaces/bracelets, or jute string
Cork stoppers or old wine bottle corks for tops

Print out colorful labels and glue or rubber glue them to your bottles. They look beautiful layered on top of burlap or fabric swatches. You can glue a jute string or cut ribbon around them as a border. To finish them off, tie a ribbon, string or upcycle a broken piece of costume jewelry by wrapping it around the neck of the bottle. Don’t forget to order some corks or reuse a wine bottle cork for the topper. You may have to cut the corks a little to get the best fit. Try to cut them on a taper or just two-thirds of the way to the top so most of your adjustments are hidden below the mouth of the bottle.

Infused olive oil in a glass bottle

Flavored olive oil bottles

Get ready for the season of dinner parties, cookie swaps and holiday festivities with your own do-it-yourself flavored cooking oils. I use these oils to decorate the mantel above my range and window shelves in my farmhouse kitchen. You could even line them up on the tops of your cabinets or hutches. They are so pretty, like food art. My favorite oil is full of dried chilies and one sprig of rosemary. It is delicious with bread, for sauteing chicken or veggies and on pizza. Yep, it’s tres-francais to add flavored (usually spicy) oil to pizza.

Gift bags flavored vinegar and olive oils with dried herbs

How to infuse olive oil:


Clear glass oil bottle
Your favorite olive oil (inexpensive oil is better)
Dried herbs, dried peppers, dried hot chilies, whole peppercorns, fresh or dried garlic
Suggested herbs: bay leaf, rosemary, sage, lavender

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First, make sure everything is clean and dry – the bottle, the lid, the herbs, everything. Water droplets could spoil your oils. Put any mix of the dried herbs, peppers, garlic or peppercorns into the empty glass bottle. Pour in the olive oil. A funnel would be helpful if you have one to avoid spillage.

Online you can find lots of different recipes for olive oil infusions. Some of them require sauteing the ingredients in a pan. For gifts or making bottles that decorate your kitchen shelves, I don’t recommend the cooked infusions over just using herbs or peppers that were already dried out and preserved. Olive oil infusions you have to cook are quick and easy, but they don’t last as long as just letting dried herbs, spices or peppers slowly infuse into the oils over a week.

Handpainted, dried gourd birdhouses

Handpainted dried gourd birdhouses

A display of handpainted gourds is both seasonal and inspiring at this farmers market stand. It reminds you not to neglect the outdoors while you are decorating indoors! Think about the feeling you would have every time you glanced out of your kitchen window and saw a handcrafted birdhouse in your tree. It will be exciting to see sweet little birds enjoying your hard work as the seasons change.

There are a lot of articles online about how to dry your own gourds for crafting. If you do that, you are our hero! It takes four-to-ten months though…oh, um, no. To get this Fall craft idea going before next Fall, you should probably just have one shipped to your house in two days.

How to make handpainted gourd birdhouses:


Large dried gourd with a hole drilled in the side
OR gourd seeds, 10 months of waiting, and a hand-cranked screw for drilling
A pencil
Acrylic paint brushes set
Acrylic paint set (this one is under $10!)
Acrylic prep primer and paint sealer (look for fast-drying sealer)
Newpaper or an old blanket, towel or trap to minimize messes

You can use the Amazon links here to buy anything you need. Brick and mortar craft stores will also have the full rainbow of acrylic paints and brushes.

There is actually an American Gourd Society, and they have gourd-painting experts on hand to offer tips on how to template something fancy for your gourd. It sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. Here’s the link.

The templates can be pretty intricate. I think you’re better off just priming the gourd, lightly penciling in a simple design or pattern, painting it and sealing it after the paint dries completely.

I would look for inspiration from blouses, plaid shirts, wallpaper and Pintrest patterns. The Pintrest patterns are great. I shouldn’t even have put that link in here because now you will likely forget about reading my next article and get lost in a world of patterned excess.

Come back and visit farmstand culture soon!

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Best 5 items at the Lizzie’s Corner farmers market stand

October 9, 2018

All summer I tried and failed to make it over to the Seymour Farmers Market behind the historic Seymour Congregational Church about 25 minutes drive from New Haven, Connecticut. You should see it. Ok, I should take some pictures so you can see it. There’s a powerful terraced waterfall in the Naugatuck River across the street. The church itself is tall and white, a true classic New England meeting house of worship.

The farmers market is only a half mile from the 18th century preserved Seymour Antiques district. When you walk down the streets in the district, you can feel what it was like to take the same stroll 100 years ago. The buildings have hardly changed, including the little gem that houses Lizzie’s Corner, a handcrafted and specialty gifts shop.

On Tuesday afternoons, the curators at Lizzie’s select some of their finest goods and set up a display at the Seymour Farmers Market. Here are my top picks from Lizzie’s Corner.

Goat Boy Goat’s Milk Soaps

Homemade goat milk soap

It’s enough to make you wish you could get a breath of these fresh scents through the phone or computer screen right now. Goatboy Soaps started 17 years ago. The handcrafted products are produced in small batches using fresh goat’s milk. There is goat’s milk soap in my shower right now. It’s so soothing.

#4 Vintage bottles re-imagined

Vintage bottles repurposed into do-it-yourself inspirational quote decor

A charming home craft turned into a business, these are Bookworm Bottles. Decorating with vintage items is a win-win. Your house looks like a designer planned it, and these old bottles get a new chance at life. The littlest ones would be so cute at a wedding. The warm brown bottles would be beautiful down the center of your table paired with candlesticks and vases of cut twigs or greens from your backyard.

#3 Elderberry apple shots

Elderberry apple shots

Oh stop, you can make gummies with these. Or cocktails. Or shoot some non-alcoholic Elderberry Apple Shots as they’re intended, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy, Tiffany, not boozy. You’ve already read the ingredient list, more or less: elderberries and apple cider vinegar. Both are organic and produced by the small farm that makes the shots, Fat Stone Farm.

#2 Swedish dishcloths

Swedish washcloths

Swedish dishcloths aka eco-friendly cleaning cloths are really starting to pop up in shops, and it’s wonderful! They are all-natural, last for 6-9 months and then biodegrade. Mine will go into the compost bin someday. Google trends shows searches for “swedish dishcloth” started to increase in June 2016. I first saw them in the gift shop at a nature center in Cape Cod. My first one is still going strong after three months. You can machine wash them, but I just put mine in the dishwasher sometimes. They don’t stink like sponges. I’m going to do a whole article on these because I use and love them. In the meantime, see what all the fuss is about. You don’t need a 10-pack, just pick up a few to start.

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#1 Homebrew maple syrup

Pure New England Maple Syrup

When it’s time for comfort food and the warm smell of cool-weather baking, enter organic, local maple syrup. In New England, it’s popular to drizzle some maple syrup over sliced, baked acorn squash, another farm stand favorite. My kids and I make pancakes from our own modified recipe almost every weekend. My little daughter licks the plate clean of maple syrup if you don’t stop her. Ahh, childhood.

Have you seen the original Farmstand5 from Cape Cod?
Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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Farm stand vs. farmers market

What’s the difference between a farm stand and a farmers market?

It’s like the difference between a thread and a shirt. It’s like the difference between a room and a home. You can’t really have a farmers’ market without a collection of individual farm stands.

Still, the stands at farmers markets are not the same as the permanent stands in fixed locations at the farm or the end of the driveway. It’s easier to offer a bigger selection and make more intricate displays if you have a stationary farm stand, which means that there is something unique about the selection at the stand at a farmers market.


While preparing for a market, the farmers have to be choosy when it comes to what goods and produce they will offer. Over time, they will learn the preferences of each unique community they serve and change their offerings to suit their customers.

Your neighborhood farm stand may moonlight at three, four, five farmers markets each week! It’s tough work. There might even be subtle differences between the goods they offer at each of those markets. Top sellers can differ even if the markets are just across town from each other. A town can be so different from the east side to the west.

There are some great things that just won’t travel well. My favorite fruit is mulberry. It’s so sweet and delicious right off the tree, but it would squish and ferment if you tried to transport it any distance. I’m actually surprised that more farm stands don’t offer mulberry. One mature tree could produce a small fortune in pints. I never got sick of eating mulberries as a kid. The walk from my house to my grandmother’s had several neighborhood trees hanging over the sidewalk, offering fruit to passers-by.

food red plant fruits
Photo by Pixabay on

Am I wrong? Are farmers markets really, truly more than a collection of individual farm stands? Maybe the market itself takes on a persona? I could wrap my mind around that.

The personalities of the individual farms might change just a bit when they come together in a community market. It’s not that different from anything humans do, really. We all use different language when we are out with our friends than we would in a professional atmosphere. Wild and crazy sports stars fall in line just enough to lead their team during a championship.

The idea of the individual farm stands as a thread that winds through and around all of the others until it makes up the fabric of the farmers market is probably right. It’s a beautiful synergy.

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How do you define a farm stand?

Not by it’s food. Define a farm stand by the people.

The people who run it and the people it serves.

Don’t define a farm stand by its size.

A simple egg stand at the end of someone’s driveway and a sizeable mini-market attached to a commercial farm are both farm stands. Each connects neighbors to each other and reflects the way their communities live as well as the food they prepare.

farm fresh eggs at a neighborhood farm stand

A table set up at a farmers market is a farm stand. The market itself is a collection of farm stands. Each operator selects the seeds, the produce, the products to offer for sale to the community.

Food isn’t the only thing sold at a farm stand. Art, soap, flowers, and home décor are all possible farm stand finds.

Mosaic garden stepping stones decor decorative farm stand find

Pay attention to what the people behind the stands choose to offer for sale (or give away for free). At first, the offerings give you insight on the personality of the grower or producer. Over time, the community will share ideas and recipes. The farm stand will start to reflect the people it serves.

You can learn a lot about the incredible variety of heirloom and hybrid fruits and vegetables that can be grown in small batches. Items that can be grown without the pressure of having to preserve it for shipping and appealing to a generic grocery produce selection.

You will learn a lot about how different cultures blended in a region based on the offerings at their local farm stands. You can get a sense of what’s missing in the big grocers in a community from looking at the selections of their micro-growers and small batch producers.

I am happy to draw attention to this amazing subculture. Farmstand culture.

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Ground cherries. I did not expect so many questions.

Whoa. It’s not often that I’m stunned into silence.

I mean; when I first saw them at the farm stand, I thought ground cherries were cute and tasty. They fit my mission to showcase interesting and unusual farm stand finds perfectly. Plus, I could snack on them in the car during my long commute home.

It was fun creating a salsa recipe for them from scratch.

What I did not see coming was that so many of you would send requests about where to find them. I’m even getting ground cherry locator requests in-person from my long-time friends and neighbors.

If you can help us find other sources for ground cherries, please post an idea in the comments.

Ground cherries are also called husk cherries, winter tomatoes, and strawberry tomatoes, which would only be true if you saw the world in sepia tones.

RB ground cherries

How could I do this to you? I made you aware of these captivating little oddly-beige tomato-grape surprise lanternssurprise! there’s a berry inside that papery huskand then you frantically try to find them. And inevitably fail.


If you happen to be one of the 20 million people who live within an hour of Connecticut, you can still get them from Rose’s Berry Farm Stand. Rose’s brings their ground cherries around to lots of farmers markets. I know they are in Hartford, New Haven, and Greenwich at least once a week from June until November.

Now if it’s the right time of year, and you promise to water them, you can buy ground cherry seeds. Not good with growing from seed? Have a lot of patience? Try a live plant.

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If you do happen to get your hands on some mildly sweet ground cherries, try my original recipe for fresh ground cherry salsa!

Where did you see them first? Ground cherries star in this farmstand5.

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Best 5 items at Killam & Bassette Farm Stand, Hartford, CT

August 7, 2018

K&B’s farm stand always has really fresh fruits and veggies and so much variety. It was particularly tough to narrow down this farmstand5 to just my self-imposed limit of five choices.

The Killam & Bassette Farmstead is actually in South Glastonbury, CT. The location listed here is for one of their mobile farm stands at the Old State House Farmers’ Market in downtown Hartford. It’s small but still one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the country, established 1643.

K&B farmers have personality. You’ll spot them right away in their tie-dye shirts.

Debunk the myth that you need cash at all farm stands. K&B accepts major credit and debit cards, too. Naturally, I overspend every time I visit them.


KB scalions

Add them to stir-fries, rice dishes, omelets, soups, salads (I recommend miso dressing), or make my Aunt-in-law’s most popular hors d’oeuvre, scallion pancakes. They have a light oniony flavor and are a good option for people like my mom who think onions have a “weird texture”. For the record, I am not one of those people.

Italian flat beans

KB long beans

The more you visit farm stands, farmers’ markets and CSAs (community-sponsored agriculture), the more you will appreciate the vast and interesting variety of beans in this world. How is it that we can go our entire childhood and only eat green beans in America? The only variety I knew growing up was yellow wax beans or haricot verts (close-enough pronunciation “airy-co-vare”, yes, the “h” is slient). It wasn’t always this way. Thomas Jefferson grew a wide variety of beans. Beyond the culinary uses, he favored the color and flowers they contributed to the aesthetic of his gardens.

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KB broccoli

One of the top favorite veggies in my household, broccoli. Boil it in sea-salted water, and it’s ready to serve. At the Killam & Bassette farm stand, I found fresh broccoli. It is not as easy to grow as my other choices so K&B deserves extra bonus points for taking on a more fickle vegetable.

Hot peppers

KB hot peppers

Not everyone can take on my #2 choice. In fact, I used to be one of those people who avoided spicy foods. Until…my second pregnancy, when I craved spicy food every day. It is funny how our tolerance for hot stuff ebbs and flows during our lifetimes. Now, the see-through compartments in my fridge look a little like this basket, full of different kinds of hot peppers for my morning omelets and homemade salsas.

Ball zucchini

KB round zucchinis

Before visiting this farm stand, I did not know zucchini grew in balls. Now, I plan to grow them in my garden next year. For the past thirty years, I only thought of peppers when I wanted to stuff and bake a veggie. But these zucchini balls can be hollowed out and stuffed with your favorite stew, rice, potato, meat, casserole or cheese concoction. For a fast, impressive and practical Thursday night dinner, make a stuffing using all of the leftovers from the week. Just cook them in a saucepan with some herbs, chicken or vegetable broth.

I hope you are having fun and learning, too. Did you see this farmstand5 post?…

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

Back to farmstand5 full list.

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Best 5 items at Hollister Farm Stand, Hartford, CT

Hollister Farm truck fruit produce greenhouses North Granby Connecticut at the Hartford Farmers Market

August 7, 2018

Hollister Farm is actually in North Grandy, CT, but I tend to visit their mobile farm stand at the Old State House Farmers’ Market in downtown Hartford. It’s the oldest farmers’ market in Connecticut, est. 1643.

On Fridays, the Hollister farm stand usually has a great spot right next to the band that plays in front of the old stockade. A legit stockade.

I have personally enjoyed my #1 pick from Hollister’s for several years. Really, one of my finds from this farm stand has lived for two years on my window sill. How old is your oldest farm stand find? If you know, leave the answer in a comment.

Yellow plums

Yellow plums from the Hollister's farm stand at the Hartford Farmer's Market

If you follow my posts, you already know how exciting it is to find fruits and veggies in surprising colors. Purple plums are great. I have nothing against them. My great-grandparents had a purple plum tree. There’s just something special about discovering something so ordinary in an extraordinary color.

Tomatoes with timing

Holl colorful tomatoes

Just in case you aren’t going to eat all of your tomatoes today, Hollister’s offers tomatoes that are still ripening. SO thoughtful. Buy a standard red, ripe tomato and a semi-ripe marbled one for later in the week. In a sunny spot, green tomatoes would ripen to red over time. If you bring some home and decide you can’t wait that long? Fry them up!

Tumbling eggplants

Holl eggplant.JPG

I love how these eggplants just tumble out of this basket. It’s like they’ve leaped on stage for their big debut and are screaming, “Look at me! Take me home.” If you weren’t going to peel them, you’d have to pick through them a bit to find one with perfect skin. Your ancestors would all think that was funny, by the way. As if fruits and veggies were supposed to all look like a perfectly painted picture. Reconnect with your roots.

Summer sweet corn

Holl corn

I once had a French roommate who had never eaten corn on a cob. Corn, yes, but never just thrown into a pot and boiled right on the cob. It’s such a farm stand staple in the States. Corn on the cob is one of the first items I remember buying from farm stands when I was a small child. The kernels actually burst with sweetness. These did. Delicious!

Potted plants (featuring my favorite, aloe vera)

You don’t have to go to the big box store to find seedlings for the garden or houseplants for the window sill. In fact, when bugs, pets or kids take out one of my garden plants mid-season, I am known to visit this stand and replace it. The rosemary and basil in this photo went right into one of my raised beds.

I love aloe. My personal aloe plant came from the Hollister farm stand and has been living happily on my window sill ever since. Outdoors in warm weather; indoors in cold weather. It barely needs any water. Aloe vera plants are champions. Plus, succulent collections are trendy right now.

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Did you see this one?…

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

Back to farmstand5 full list.