Niagara Gazette — When you visit a farm stand, bringing your own bags simplifies things but is not necessary. Be sure to bring small bills. I have only been to one farm stand that takes credit cards but with the popularity of smart phones I’m sure there will be more each year.
The most important part of going to a farm stand is to talk to the farmer. I consider myself an experimental cook and I’m willing to try new vegetables. At the McCollum stand I was introduced to lovage (tastes like celery) and Egyptian walking onions. Lovage became an instant favorite and I’m still not sure about the Egyptian walking onions. The small onion bulbs have a sweet onion flavor like a shallot but the stems were woody when I cooked them the first time. The second time I used large 2-inch pieces of the stem so I had the flavor in the dish but could remove them before serving.
Niagara County has numerous farm stands. If you don’t have one near your home or place of business, make it a weekly family outing to visit a farm stand. Take the time to support the small farms in Niagara County.
Jennifer Grier works with Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play. It is a five year grant awarded by the New York State Department of Health to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County. The grant aims to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases among the people of Niagara Falls by making it easier to be physically active and to eat more healthy foods. CCE Niagara County provides equal program and employment opportunities.