Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fresh, Local and Tasty -- Farm Markets near Bella Rose B&B!

There have been a couple of requests for where we get our local produce this time of year, so I thought this might be the best forum to compile a list of some hot spots we have found.  Not all the local produce we get comes from Canandaigua proper, but from the general area for sure.

The closest farm market, open seven days a week, is just east of the town of Canandaigua on Rts 5 & 20, called Beacon Farm Market.  I visit them several times a week and they always have the latest in what's being harvested, among other things.  It's kind of my "go to" place when time is tight but I want it fresh and as local as possible.  Wegmans does a fine job of this as well, but Beacon will often have locally-grown stuff when Wegmans doesn't, if you can believe it.  So, that's one. Also, on Tuesday afternoons, right on the VA Hospital grounds, there is a very small Farmers Market.  I pick and choose who I frequent there as I know the Hoover Mennonite family will always have a variety of fresh-picked produce.  (If you see a truck selling bananas and pineapple, well, you can be assured they aren't local!  Duh!)   Also right in Canandaigua, on Saturday mornings, the Canandaigua Farmers Market is a hit, but hard for me to visit as it is......well, Saturday morning.  Not the best time to be shopping anywhere when you're in the B&B world!  In addition to these places, there is my new found favorite Mennonite home stand, called Zimmerman's.  It is about 1/4 mile from the intersection of Lovejoy and Havens Corner Roads, about 25 minutes southeast of Canandaigua among the rolling hills of Finger Lakes country.  They will be calling us by name soon as we pull up to their large roadside stand -- just like we were Norm in Cheers!  Yes, dating myself a bit, I know.....  But even though this is a new find for Bella Rose, it's a good one.  Their garden is the size of a small field with rows of flowers and every kind of produce imaginable.  I've gotten all kinds of things that fill the breakfast table in the morning, whether it be berries, potatoes, squash, tomatoes or flowers -- they've been coming from this one place.  It's fun to keep telling people the food we prepare is the freshest, most local ingredients you can find aside from your own garden!  I plan to make at least a weekly visit there all summer long, provided we can sneak away!  If we can't get there, we'll have to make a point to find the stands on Rt 364 and Voak Road, as suggested by a Facebook Fan.  I'm sure they are just as good -- maybe not as big, but just as good.  After all, everything was just picked hours earlier so how bad can it be?

It's hard not to love this time of year and wish the harvest season lasted longer. I keep thinking of all these recipes to try while I can!  Because before you know it, we'll be back to whatever gets shipped in from across the country (or wherever!) and is barely recognizable in flavor. And we'll have to make do with it. But for now, we will savor the moment and the fresh flavor these moments bring.  So, head out to these places and see what you think.  I bet you find something yummy and delicious for your table too!

Bon Appeit!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer in full swing in Canandaigua, and Bella Rose B&B!

Well, you sure can tell it's summer time in Canandaigua, NY!  If it wasn't for the calendar or the hot temps to give it away, then it must be by the number of events, festivals, and overall buzz of activity that gets shoved into two months' time. We call it "high" season, and for good reason.  First of all, I get behind on my blogging -- too much going on to sit at the computer some days (although I miss it), but most of all it's the multitude of fun events that are all around us, keeping us hoppin' as guests pour in from all over the world.  So much to do, so much to see, so little time!  In case you aren't aware, within a 30 mile radius there must be a dozen things to do any one weekend.  In the winter......well, not so much.  But now, it's as if the warm sun demands you get out there and do SOMETHING, if not more than one something.  This very weekend we have the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival.  In Rochester, there's the Blue Angels show and Gay Pride Parade.  There's at least three concerts in the next week -- here and elsewhere.  Sonnenberg has their moonlight strolls every Friday night, and soon will be the Waterfront Arts Festival and Riesling Wine Festival right here in town.  Talk about busy!  Or, you could relax by cruising on the Canandaigua Lady to get a glimpse of a beautiful sunset over the lake, or just take a dip at Roseland Waterpark.  The Park Ave Fest and the Clothesline Fest are just around the corner in Rochester,  the Grape Festival in Naples in Sept., as well as Wine Trail events that will go on through Fall.  Antique shows, the Pageant of Steam, and the Canandaigua Wine Walk, all find a way to make their mark as well.  And, we can't forget Letchworth State Park, especially as the leaves turn, showing their brilliance of color along the river's gorge.  Talk about spectacular!  Even though that's a bit further to go, Fall wouldn't be the same without a trip there.

So, if you ever wondered what there was to do or if you could fill 4-5 days with places to see, be assured that yes, you can! The Finger Lakes offer something for everyone, that is for sure.  The parks and waterfalls alone would keep you entertained, never mind anything else.  It's a beautiful part of the world, we are grateful to live here, and I encourage you to make plans to visit.  It will be SO worth it!