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Best five things to buy at Log Cabin Farm Stand, Eastham, MA!

July 25, 2019

Log Cabin Farm Stand, Eastham, MA

Next time you visit a farm stand, try playing a little game. Rank the top five items! You’ll feel more mindful of the freshness of the food. You’ll probably notice a few items you might overlook if you just rush through your visit.

It’s fun! I make a farmstand5 ranking for every stand I visit. Here are the five best things to buy at a quaint, roadside farm stand in New England! Today I poked around the Log Cabin Farm Stand in Eastham, Massachusetts, a little more than half way up Cape Cod.

#5 Fresh (and cheeky) corn on the cob

Yes! Fresh corn season arrived. Notice the cheeky sign above the corn. In New England, we pull off the husks, boil it for about half an hour, then eat it right off the cob. My friends from France always thought it was so funny. Guess they always cut the kernels off first. How do you eat your fresh corn?

#4 Assorted potatoes

Love the colors. What a beautiful potato salad these three kinds of spuds would make! It makes me want to chop up some celery and pickles for a potato salad tonight. Oh yeah, gotta have pickles in my potato salads!

#3 Adorable, colorful cherry tomatoes!

The Log Cabin Farm Stand only had two little containers of these brightly colored rainbow cherry tomatoes left by midday! Guess everyone wanted a fresh, tomato salad side dish with dinner tonight. There was a big container of fresh-picked basil to slice up and add to the tomatoes, a little sea salt on top, yum!

#2 Seasoned firewood

Firewood is just one of those special farm stand finds I had to highlight here. At $10 per bunch, they’re a good money-maker for the farmers. Plus, everyone loves a bonfire on a cool summer night. In Eastham, you can wake up early (I mean E-A-R-L-Y) and wait in line for a permit to make a bonfire on one of the National Seashore beaches! Makes for an amazing night, staying warm by the fire, watching the seals swim by.

#1 Handturned wooden bowls

A local, Cape Cod tree cutter turns his extra wood into handcrafted bowls. So beautiful. I held each one and looked closely at the different grains. A tag on every bowl identified the species of wood. The fourth one in – the one with all that grainy character – lives in my kitchen now.

A quick preview of Apple season before you read on…

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Top 10 handcrafted items on Amazon Handmade Marketplace, October 2018

Top 10 Bestsellers at Amazon Handmade Marketplace October 2018

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Now that you know about the Amazon Handmade Marketplace, catch up on the unique items that made their Top 10 Bestsellers list for October 2018. Who knows? Maybe there’s a handcrafted idea or two in here for the holidays. Gift giving. Tree trimming. Grab bags. Hosting gifts. My mom’s birthday. It’s all happening in just a few weeks!

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Top 10 Bestsellers on Amazon Handmade

October 2018

#10

Oh sure, now that I saw it at a farm stand, organic elderberry juice is really taking off! I think my other hot farm stand find, Swedish dishcloths are gonna be the next big thing.

#9

#8

#7

#6

Be sure to catch the next Handmade Bestsellers list!
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#5

#4

#3

#2

#1

Leave a comment and let us know, which handmade item catches your eye?

Nothing caught your eye? No problem. You can still scan through the Handmade Marketplace for other unique, small batch products. The handcrafted, small batch skincare is my favorite.

Top 10 Bestselling Handmade items on Amazon

Any of these 10 Bestsellers would make really unique gifts for the holidays. Since my coworkers like to exchange gifts (a habit that makes me feel undue pressure; I mean, how well do we really know the new guy?), I’m happy to support verified small business artisans and give them Amazon Handmade gifts. ‘Cause it’s either this or another Starbucks gift card. My colleagues are gluttons for Starbucks gift cards.

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Best 5 items at Midway Farm Stand, Durham, CT

A basket of colorful orange and white gourds minipumpkins

September 29, 2018

How’s this for stumbling on a gem?  I had the family in the car on our way to the Durham Fair. A really beautiful, classic New England autumn fair, you should visit next year. Go early in the morning, as soon as it opens. We didn’t. After 30 minutes of waiting in the line of cars trying just to get a glimpse of the parking lot, I asked the kids if they’d rather go pick out one toy each at Target. A unanimous “yes”! It worked for me. It worked for them. A win-win. I pulled a U-ie and as we headed back up the country road, I spotted a captivating farm stand, pulled another U-ie and parked the car.

I hope you enjoy these finds from the Midway Farm Stand in Durham, CT, as much as we did. The kids loved the pies, breads, honey and stepping stones. I loved the displays and the kind, honest people who ran the stand. One thing, in my opinion, they are UNDER-charging their customers. They could really up their prices just a little and still be fairly-priced.

#5
Giant orange carrots

carrots

Whether you are planning to make a vegan soup or a roasted chicken, these awesome giant carrots could play a powerful role.

#4
Handmade stepping stones

Handmade DIY mosaic stepping stones for a garden

There’s a certain kindness about a handmade stepping stone. You can almost feel how sincere the artist was as she or he planned the design, chose the colored glass and placed each mosaic piece with care. I find it moving to think about all the time and thought put into each stone; so did my five-year old who would have bought every one.

#3
Raw ginger root

raw ginger root in a farm stand basket for sale

Raw ginger root. You should eat more of it. It’s so healthy it makes broccoli look like junk food. It’s rare to see it offered at a local farm stand. Use it in tea, yogurt sauce or stir-fry. You’ll feel healthier if you do.

#2
Colorful gourds

A basket of colorful orange and white gourds minipumpkins

Colorful gourds appear in several of my posts and Instagrams. Ok, I may possibly overuse these visually-stimulating baskets of gourds in my Insta gallery. In my defense, it’s autumn. Find some gourds and decorate the house, office, and car. Just imagine these babies on your fireplace mantel or above the entryway. They’re lovely.

#1
Pickled anything

pickled jars of carrots and cucumber homemade

Pickling is having a moment. It’s funny; when I was a little girl, my mother’s Eastern-European farm folk family used to take anything left over from a garden harvest and toss it into the pickling brine from store-bought pickles. Now, this simple garden hack has become a movement. Whether you make your own brine or just borrow one from the grocer, you and your guests are sure to be pleased with farm-fresh pickled veggies. Put some on the apps platter at your next get-together.

 

Midway farm stand Durham connecticut

 

Hope you’re enjoying my top picks from local farm stands.

Have you seen this farmstand5?

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

Or, shop farm stand style, like these decorative and practical half-bushel baskets featured in this farmstand5.

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Best 5 items at Treat Farm Stand, Orange, CT

Treat Farm Orange CT sign

September 9, 2018

In its first couple centuries, the Treat Farm was focused on dairy and milk delivery. Wait, what? Rewind. Yes, I meant to say it, centuries. One of the great things about living in New England is the rich history. The region’s farmers are proud to be able to preserve and share America’s Colonial legacy.

I want to say that the delicious apples and sweet corn are my favorite thing about this farm, but the truth is, my favorite thing isn’t edible at all. It’s the old well. Even a quick study of it’s hand-placed stones leaves me imagining all the life that happened at and around this charming old watering hole.

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The Treat family offers more than just a farm stand. As the seasons change, they offer cut-your-own Christmas trees, pumpkins and a five-acre corn maze! Be sure to check back again or (easier route) follow this site, as the seasons change, I will post again about this historic, picturesque Connecticut farm.

Take a quick look at some of the fresh, classic offerings of an Early American farm.

#5
Bushels of sweet corn

Sweet corn at Treat Farm Orange CT

Nothing says late summer harvest like sweet corn. All along the way to my son’s fall ball baseball games, we see signs for sweet corn. It’s so exciting. We boil some up fresh a couple nights each week. Treat Farm has a massive display with a full table piled high with fresh corn cobs and bags and bushels of corn all around the stand.

#4
Zephyr Summer Bi-color squash

Zephyr Summer Squash a bicolor squash at Treat Farm Stand Orange CT

One of those delicious-looking veggies you might have to visit a farm stand to find and google to figure out what it’s called. My little daughter was immediately drawn to these zephyr summer squashes. Of course, we bought one for our dinner.

#3
Fresh-picked pears
Fresh picked pears in a basket at Treat Farm Orange CT

We don’t always see pears at the farm stands. It’s exciting when we do. Let them sit in a brown paper bag for a few days, and these pears should become soft and sweet. You’ll need a napkin to eat them, or else you’ll embarrass yourself. That’s the sign of a really good, farm-fresh pear.

#2
Pressed apple cider

I walked into the Treat Farm Stand, turned around and saw it. It took my breath away: an old-fashioned ice box holding the fresh-pressed apple cider! The only thing that says autumn more than my #1 pick, is a cup of cider. I serve it chilled with ice in September and warmed on the stove with a cinnamon stick in October.

#1
Colorful gourds

Basket of colorful gourds at Treat Farm stand Orange CT

Gourds! One of the darlings of farmhouse style décor. If you’re on Instagram or you open a magazine this autumn, you will see so many of these little suckers sitting on dark wood tables and bright white mantels, you might actually get sick of them, but I won’t. There are several baskets of gourds at the Treat Farm Stand. All are beautiful. We brought three home with us to decorate.

Treat Farm has upgraded their farm stand over the years. They operate out of this fancy little structure next to their giant barn. Notice the mums and pumpkins out front and the deep blue September sky. Autumn was just a few weeks away!

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Hope you’re enjoying my top picks from local farm stands.

Have you seen this farmstand5?

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

Or, shop farm stand style, like these decorative and practical half-bushel baskets featured in this farmstand5.

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Best 5 items at Off Center Farm Stand, Woodbridge, CT

August 30, 2018

Welcome to the new kid on the block. Off Center Farm’s stand just opened up a few weeks ago. Last time I was there, they were already starting to sell out of certain items. I personally bought out their stock of my #2 pick.

Even though the farm is new, the farmer, Kristyna, represents the sentiments of farmstand culture perfectly. She passionately manages her farm while reaching out to the community. You will notice I credit her in other places on this site for the help she’s given to me.

Enjoy the beautiful and unique items you can find at her farm stand.

#5
Big, happy dahlias!

Dahlia’s have strong stems that explode into powerful blooms. The colors find almost every shade of the rainbow. You might notice that I included a small photo of a mix of sunflower varieties with the choice. It’s a great example of flowers that bloom simultaneously and pair really well in arrangements. I picked up a handful of the darkest sunflowers and the lightest dahlias for a vase in my kitchen.

#4
Maitake mushrooms

OCmush

Maitake mushrooms are believed to have medicinal properties. Off Center Farm goes above-and-beyond in harvesting and drying these remarkable mushrooms for their customers. The little basket of hand-packed mushrooms is reminiscent of the offerings you might have found at an old-time apothecary.

#3
Tomatillos

OCtomatillos.JPG

I have a confession: an obsessionwith tomatillos. They add a vinegary flavor to soups and sauces. I almost always blend them in a verde salsa with jalapenos, onions and cilantro. A spice-paring tip: the flavor of tomatillos is really complemented by a smoky ground cumin.

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#2
Kermit (Thai) eggplant

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I did not know what these were when I saw them at the Off Center Farm standof course that was enough of a reason to buy them. A quick google search told me they are eggplant. Actually, they are closer to the shape of their namesake (and my #1 pick) than a traditional purple, Black Beauty eggplant. I got home late one night and made a quick dinner by sautéing these chopped Kermit eggplants with onions, basil and chicken.

#1
Fresh, hand-gathered eggs

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Yes, that little table at the end of your neighbor’s driveway with the hand-painted “fresh eggs” sign is a farm stand. Egg stands are one of the best examples of the farmstand culture our communities gave up when big grocers cornered the market. But, as keeping flocks is becoming a popular past time again, I predict you will see more egg stands in your neighborhood. People with hens usually go through a time when the supply of eggs exceeds their personal need. I love the bright chartreuse cartons Off Center uses for their fresh eggs.

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I hope you are having fun and feeling inspired to shop farm stands and cook fresh. Or at least to find some friends who do and let them do all the cooking.

OCtablevine

Did you see this farmstand5 post?…

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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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.

#5
Scallions

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.

#4
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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#3
Broccoli

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.

#2
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.

#1
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

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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.

#5
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.

#4
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!

#3
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.

#2
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!

#1
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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Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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Best 5 items at Roses Berry Farm Stand, Hartford, CT

August 24, 2018

Sometimes I write about favorites. And please, do let me know in the comments what your favorite farm stands are! Rose’s Berry Farm Stand is my current favorite.

If you know of Rose’s, you might be confused as to why a farm that is in South Glastonbury, CT, is listed here as Hartford. I go to their stand on Fridays at the Old State House Farmer’s Market.

What makes Rose’s Berry Farm Stand my current favorite?

#1 – variety, #2 – kind people #3 – freshness (OH! a bonus top 3 inside this farmstand5)

#5
Dinosaur kale (aka Lacinato kale)

rb-dino-kale

My little boy asked me recently what was the best vegetable for you. I told him the darkest, greenest vegetables are the best. Dino kale might fit that bill. The second reason it’s my #5 pick is that it is the toughest, thickest kale for making baked kale chips at home.

#4
Colorful raspberries

rb-two-color-rasp

It would be hard to feature a berry farm and choose their berries for a top picks list! What I liked so much about these raspberries is that you could buy them in a rainbow. My kids usually have fruit with breakfast. We like to make a rainbow designit’s fun for them to eat-by-the-bow and after the dark-green stuff, the most colorful fruits and veggies are great for your body.

#3
Collard Greens

rb-collards

There are few things I like more than stewed collard greens. Hey, I’m not the only one. Right before I bought a couple of bunches of these fresh, strong collards, the lady before me bought the entire display, and the farmer had to go to his truck to find me more. It’s a good sign when such a healthy veggie sells out fast!

#2
Rainbow carrots

rb-rainbow-carrots

Talk about eating your rainbow. Cue the rainbow carrots. Rose’s Berry Farm does a great job of growing long, straight colorful carrots. If you aren’t too familiar with the purple, pink, white or yellow versions of your favorite orange veggie, you should try them because they are fun and look so pretty in soups, salads and baked dishes. Butand you can disagree in the commentsif I’m totally honest, I think the orange carrots still have the strongest, best flavor.

#1
Ground cherries (in Latin: Physalis pruinose)

rb-ground-cherries

Ground cherries are my #1 pick because they represent one big reason to shop farm stands. Treasure hunting! It was exciting to find these little golden, berry-like relatives of tomatillos. You can peel back the delicate husk and eat them like grapes. Make a salsa, add them to salads (fruit or veggie-based salads). Basically, anything you can do with a tomato, grape, or berry, you can do with a ground cherry. More bang for your buck!

Did you see this one?…

Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

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Best 5 items at Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA

July 23, 2018

The family’s vacationing on Cape Cod this week. Like every year, we don’t really vacation in moderation. My husband, kids and I joined 20 extended family members here. At least we don’t all try to squeeze into the same 3 BR, 1 BA house anymore.

With a little extra family time on our hands, my sister helped me put together this #farmstand5 for Fancy’s Farm Stand in Orleans, Massachusetts.

#5
Heirloom tomatoes

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These vine-picked tomatoes are enormous, full of flavor and naturally bright color. Our #5 pick is in honor of my five-year old who just announced to everyone that she eats tomatoes now.

 

#4
Beach Plum jam

18-0723 - FancysFarmJam v.2

Hugely popular on Cape Cod where small, purple beach plums mature slowly on bushes around ponds and sand dunes. I normally don’t eat carbs for breakfast, but beach plum jam on my homemade beer bread is pure, edible comfort.

 

#3
Cantaloupe melons

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I think I would have put these at #4, but my sister’s vote moved them up a spot to #3. Our kids like to color the skin with non-toxic markers. When it is cut up like a watermelon, they have a lot of fun choosing the piece they’re going to eat based on the artwork.

 

#2
Pluots

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Excuse me, did you just make that up? Nope, this enticing offspring of plums + apricots is a must-try sweet summer fruit.

 

#1
Sunflowers

18-0723 - FancysFarmSun v.2
These medium-sized sunflowers are so perfect; they look like they might just last forever. Picked at exactly the right time, the stems are strong and straight. The leafy foliage is deep green and would be worthy of a vase of its own.

 

18-0723 - FancysFarmsign v.2

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Longnook Meadows Farm Stand

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