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.
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
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
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.
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
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?
#1 Full stalks 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.