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Speaking of ants

>> Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yippee!  After all my whining and lamenting, it turns out there are plenty of industrious ants who worked hard all summer on their food stores.  Even better, some want to sell their food to this lazy grasshopper!

My Dad, his girlfriend, and my favorite aunt came for a visit on Saturday.  After sitting around and chatting for a while we worked up quite an appetite, so Spouse and I took them to lunch at a lovely little restaurant only about 15 minutes from home, called the Restaurant at Elderberry Pond.  We had actually been there once before with friends, and found their dinners are beyond delicious.  The best beef I have ever eaten in my life was at this restaurant.

We were so distracted when we were there before that we didn't pay enough attention to the whole story behind the place, and its mission.  I walked away with some vague impression of organic-ness and home-grown veggies, but that was about it.

Saturday, happily, I paid more attention.

Elderberry Pond is a 100 acre mostly organic farm, and they serve home-grown and home-raised foods at their restaurant.  Local AND organic.  Even better than that, they will cater to my weird dietary restrictions.  Plus, the restaurant is set in an idyllic, pastoral spot, surrounded by beautiful fields and orchards.  The building is elegant, inside and out, and is tastefully furnished with antiques, arts and crafts.  In short, the place has atmosphere.  For me, it doesn't get any better than that combination.

Or so I thought.


Until I discovered they have a store, right next to the restaurant, where they sell the stuff they grow.  Hip, hip, hooray!

Apples!


And squash of many varieties, and Swiss chard, herbs, apple cider, eggs from the chickens we could see out the window, beef, pork, potatoes, pickles, and jams, and

in short

Mecca!


It doesn't hurt that the store is a beautiful and charming old stone community pork rendering and smoke house from the 1800s.  They've done a lovely job preserving that old-world country store feel.

Like all good farmers, these folks are scientists.  Check out some info about their farming practices, and how they work this land that has been farmed since the 1800s.  It's amazing to me how much can be done with a little thought, planning, creativity, ingenuity, and an incredible amount of hard labor.  A whole heck of a lot of apparently profitable, sustainable and yummy farming can be done without pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

I now have apples aplenty to get me through the holidays, of three different varieties.  Their Swiss chard is a work of art.  Seriously.  It's so pretty I hate to cook it.  Some of our haul:


Sadly, the store will close after next weekend and will be closed until perhaps May, when the asparagus and rhubarb can be harvested.  You can bet we'll be there for their grand spring re-opening.

For now, this grasshopper is so happy she's Muppet Happy.  (Come on, you can picture it  - remember Kermit from the intro of the old Muppet Show?)

6 comments:

Ellen Rathbone November 19, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

I love it! Muppet Happy!

How fortunate to find this restaurant/store! And what a bummer they are closing for the winter - just when you WANT such a place to be open! Stock up now while you can, eh?

Anonymous November 19, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

Sorry, I knew about the store from the time I went there with Diane about two years ago. I did mention that they have apple judging in the Fall as well. I had forgotten all about the place. MOM

Woodswoman Extraordinaire: November 19, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

Gee - thanks for holding out on me, Mom! ;)

Their apples are fantastic... but their apple cider is better. Very impressive!

Woodswalker November 19, 2009 at 10:37 PM  

So where IS this Elderberry Pond place? It's obvious you live in the Adirondacks, but I haven't yet figured out which town. Even though the store closes for the winter, how about the restaurant?

Woodswoman Extraordinaire: November 20, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

Woodswalker, I most sincerely wish I lived in the Adirondacks! I live in a little Village west of Syracuse, and Elderberry Pond is sort of between Skaneateles and Auburn, NY. I used to live in the North Country, up by Canton, and that's where my heart is. One of these days we'll manage to move back. We dash madly to the Adirondacks every weekend chance we get.

smallpines November 22, 2009 at 5:14 PM  

Wow -what a neat place that is! Besides the food, the place is just gorgeous! Sad that they'll be soon closing, but what a terrific find. (Besides, cider is just about my favorite thing in the world.) I'll have to look them up. Thanks!

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