Vendors from across New York gather at Mineola-based location
For Mineola residents and those nearby with a free Tuesday afternoon, a hidden gem rests behind Nassau County Supreme Court. Taking place weekly from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 101 County Seat Dr., the Garden City Farmers Market presents a diverse arrangement of local vendors, selling food, drinks, household items and more. This market is just one of many arranged by Long Island Growers Market, an organization spearheaded by Ethel Terry, which hosts similar weekly events in Rockville Centre, Roslyn, Seaford, Huntington Village, Islip, Patchogue and Port Jefferson. With three weeks already under its belt, the market will continue until Nov. 21.
A true staple of the Long Island Growers Market, Terry’s Farm is one of the oldest family-operated farms in the United States, and has been participating in the Garden City Farmers Market for about seven years. Each week, market-goers look forward to the wide selection of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs. Currently in season are lettuce, radish, spinach, watermelon and strawberries, which will soon be followed by broccoli, chard, kale, string beans and multiple kinds of carrots.
Backyard Bees is a small home-grown business, which stems from one woman’s hobby as a backyard beekeeper and gardener. Using her knowledge of the beneficial properties of honey, beeswax and plants, she began to apply it to soap-making. All soaps are plant-based, naturally-scented and eco-friendly, using ingredients such as calendula, rosemary, peppermint and lavender, to name a few.
The newly founded Bella’s Cookie Butters is just beginning to pave its way through the market scene. Cookies are baked from scratch, and once cool they are put in a food processor until they reach an almond flour consistency. Other ingredients are then added to make it a spread, which can be used as a cake filling, on top of pancakes and waffles or as a dip for snacks. Sugar cookie, chocolate chip and peanut butter are the only products available currently, but flavors like double chocolate and white chocolate chip are in the works.
The homemade jam company Peck’s of Maine presents a line of all-natural, low sugar preserves, made predominantly with locally sourced fruits and vegetables from Long Island and upstate New York. The Four Berry Moose Mashup, consisting of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries is the most beloved among customers, with other flavors like Wicked Good Blueberry and Long Island Strawberry Rhubarb coming in a close second.
Hailing from small village in Rockland County, the Orchards of Concklin has its own farmers market on 100 acres of farm, which is open to the public everyday, but has been participating in this weekly event for the past eight years. While the most in-demand item is the apple cider donuts, which “never go out of season or out of style,” other products include an assortment of fruits, baked goods and freshly pressed cider. At the moment, blueberries and cherries are the in-season products, soon to be replaced by peaches, nectarines and plums.
Known for its selection of traditional pickles as well as ones with new, inventive tastes, Pickle Me Pete has been attracting sour flavor seekers since 2009. The Hicksville-based business participates regularly in fairs and festivals throughout Long Island and New York City, this being the second year it has joined the Garden City Farmers Market. Customers tend to enjoy the half sour pickles, full sour pickles and sweet chipotle pickles the most. Other flavors available include wasabi sour, horseradish and bread and butter.
Operating out of A&S Fine Foods in Huntington Station, Gianni’s sells all-natural chicken burgers, which are cage-free and non-GMO, using chickens that are raised without antibiotics and without any growth hormones in the feed. Its newest product, the buffalo chicken burger, tends to be a hot item, others like the original spinach chicken burger, grilled vegetable chicken burger and shiitake mushroom burger fare just as well.
With a mission to create the freshest pretzels using only the finest ingredients, Knot of this World brings the snack game to a new level, incorporating tastes that are sweet, salty, savory and everything in between. For those who like to stick to the classics, the traditional twist comes salted and unsalted, but for the most adventurous foodies, the stuffed pretzel selections include pepperoni and cheddar, jalapeño and cheddar, spinach and mozzarella, chocolate chip cream cheese, and spinach and feta.
The longtime Dyker Heights go-to pasta retailer Papa Pasquale Ravioli Co. is a yearly favorite at the market, presenting a full line of raviolis, sauces, condiments, cheeses and more, all of which are made in-house at its Brooklyn-based facility. It’s extensive list of gourmet ravioli includes spinach, roasted pepper, asparagus with smoked mozzarella, pesto, pumpkin, lobster, mushroom, broccoli rabe and sun-dried tomato.
Despite its name, Jessy’s Pastries is more than just a bakery, presenting sweet and savory empanadas, alfajores, classic Peruvian sides, like black beans and sweet plantains, and several vegan-friendly goods. While beef and chicken empanadas remain the fan-favorites, the black bean empanada is a worthy choice for plant-based eaters and non-vegans alike.