Ok, I’ll admit it. I asked. Really. I just couldn’t help myself. And I wasn’t the only one. It was hot; July in Massachusetts masquerading as August hot. Even in the shade at Williams Barn, being serenaded with a familiar Patsy Cline by Back to the Garden, it was sultry. And beautiful. More vendors arrived this week, and more customers were back from vacation.
I was chatting with Charles Dance, of Open Meadow Farm, Lunenberg. His stand features a display of their own honey. Below the honey is a large black-board, colorfully listing all the meats that they raise and sell: black Angus beef, pasture raised pork and chicken, “Locally raised as nature intended…Naturally!” their website proclaims. And Beefalo.
“What’s Beefalo?” I ask, as do many of the visitors to their stand. Dance smiles amiably as he points to a poster of a cow-like creature with the heading “What is Beefalo”?
When it matters what you feed your family, then it matters what we feed our animals, Charles and Robin Dance, Open Meadow Farm.
Beefalo, as I found out, is: “…a species cross between an American Bison (buffalo) and domestic or exotic cattle of any breed.” (www.openmeadowfarm.com). Combining the species is designed to bring out the tenderness of beef and the leanness of buffalo. The details provided on their website are enough to tempt any meat lover.
The family-run farm has grown significantly since starting with one beehive in 1998. In addition to Groton, and four other farmer’s markets that they make time for, Open Meadow Farm offers a meat buyer’s club. Similar to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), with a fee to join and a set monthly rate, the club differs in that the customer chooses what they want: all chicken, for instance, or a combination of all the meats the farm offers. Stop by and say “Hi” at the market, or check www.openmeadowfarm.com for more information.
What’s Ripe This Week
This Friday (July 20) promises to be cooler and more comfortable for the third week of the Groton Farmers Market. The musician will be Howie Newman so plan to sit on the lawn (or bring a chair) and relax and listen to his great upbeat blend of folk music and humor. You can preview his sound at www.howienewman.com/music-samples.html.
The corn and early tomatoes are in plus a wonderful selections of cucumbers, greens, beets, squash and many other summer vegetables; both vintners are at the Market and offering delicious samples of their ice wine and wonderful selection of red wines. New this week or next will be Samira’s Homemade which sells prepared humus, pita bread and other Lebanese and Egyptian foods. The fruit selection is peak as well, with juicy peaches and blueberries, plus gooseberries, raspberries and even a few remaining strawberries. La Bella Dolce bakery from Westford joins Groton’s own Bliss (formerly Jederman’s) and Bagel Alley for delicious treats; plus Jodie Gilson ‘s plants and Lavendar Lemonade. Groton Local is there with community information and boxes for Loaves and Fishes; Al Wyatt of the Williams Barn Committee will talk about the Barn itself and show you his lovingly restored wagons. — Lili Ott/blockquote>
This Friday, I hope to spend some time visiting with Zoll Winery, a new vendor to the market this season. I’m looking forward to learning about their wines, and I’m sure we’ll find some good pairings among the offerings at the Williams Barn Farmers Market.
Hope to see you there – and please stop by the Donation Table. All money donated is spent at the Farmer’s Market stands; the produce we buy is delivered to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Loaves and Fishes Pantry in Devens.
The Groton Farmers Market runs every Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. through October 5th in the field behind the Williams Barn at 160 Chicopee Row in Groton, just 1.5 miles north of Main Street.