Ethel's Farm Stand in Milan, NY




Ethel’s Farm Stand

Before leaving for Cape Cod, Karen and I had discussed what easy-to prepare, healthy, organic foods each one of us could bring.  Tuna, (ok, tuna is not that healthy but I love it) tomatoes, potatoes, rice, pasta, beans, mayo , olive oil and vinegar , red wine, white wine. There were foods from our garden;  zucchini, peppers, shallots, cucumbers, my favorite cooking seasonings: organic salt/garlic/parsley mixture, fresh lemons and limes, dill, and Italian herbs.  With these items I can make a wondrous marinara, or some mean black beans over rice,  savory eggs, and so much more.

I had all that I needed.  But then it hit me about 25 miles from home:  SHIT: THERE WAS NO GARLIC. 

I knew we would find some somewhere on our journey.  About five minutes after I said to Larry that I was going to be culinary handicapped if I did not have garlic, and were about to get onto the Taconic Parkway, we saw a simple home made road side road sign, its black letters unevenly printed: GARLIC. 

It was magic. One simple word turned our trip into an adventure.  A mile or so down the road there was another sign  <-GARLIC.  We turned, and went for another mile or so, and found the last sign, GARLIC ^.  A few miles back into the country and from the first sign, was a wonderful piece of real estate run by a garden goddess named Ethel.

Ethel has a prime piece of real estate in the countryside replete with chickens, small out buildings, and her garden.  Out of her garden came a few kinds of garlic, potatoes the size of my head, blemish free tomatoes, home made pickles, fresh eggs, many kinds of onions, green beans that were 8” or more long, that were tender and had no strings.  She had greens and more…and willingly shared her knowledge of organic gardening and varieties that do well in the Hudson Valley.

Her produce is excellent, beautiful and impressive, grown with love and without chemicals that will hurt you.  I cooked her tomatoes in an omelet yesterday, and used the garlic for a zucchini saute that was served over angel hair pasta for dinner.  You know I will be back for more when I travel to the “other side o’ the ribber” to support Ethel.

And me…I look forward to my “next life”, farming my little piece of land and making art.  Maybe I too will open up a stand.  And put signs on the road that say “FART STAND”. And they will come-if for nothing else, out of curiosity - like we did.

Patti O


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