July 23, 2010

We go Local with FreshDirect + 20% Discount for you!

Do you know where your food comes from?  Other than when we shop at farmers markets or go "shopping" in our parents' herb/vegetable gardens, we admit we don't often know what goes into the groceries that we buy.  So when FreshDirect, an online grocery store, invited me out to Long Island to tour where they source some of their local products from, I eagerly accepted.

On the bus ride up, everyone on the press tour was served a hearty breakfast made with FreshDirect products.  I enjoyed the fresh yogurt with granola, nuts, and local peaches and then stuffed myself with the Everything bagel with horseradish cheese and Scotia lox.  I was even more happy to see that our breakfast was served on VerTerra plates - beautiful biodegradable plates made out of leaves and created by one of my business school classmates.
Less than 3 hours later, we made it out to our first stop, Wickham Fruit Farm.  This 13th generation farm is the oldest one in the area.  It features a market where they sell everything they grow and produce - including hydrangea flowers, honey, peaches, corn, berries, squash, cucumbers, and more.  They even grow kiwis - unfortunately for fun and not for sale.
For FreshDirect, Wickham Fruit Farm produces tomatoes.  They were so fresh and grown without pesticides that I could pick and eat a cherry tomato straight off the vine.  So good!
My favorite part of the tour was picking (and eating!) fresh blueberries.  
Next stop was Satur Farms that is owned and operated by Paulette Satur and Eberhard Müller (who was the Executive Chef at Le Bernardin and later Lutece, the historic NY restaurant that's been mentioned in episodes of Mad Men).  Having a four-star chef run a farm means that you know their Butterhead lettuces and Baby Tokyo turnips will taste like perfection.  If it's good enough for clients like Per Se, it's definitely good enough for us!
Paulette Satur showed us around her farm where all crops are irrigated with pure artisanal well water (the best source for food safety).  She also spoke with great passion about making her farm's operations running year-round (by growing some products in Florida) so that her workers would have regular employment.
Our final stop was Paumanok Vineyards, where we were all treated to a lunch prepared by Eberhard Müller himself with fresh produce (picked that morning!) from Satur Farms.  And of course, we had a glass or two of wine from our hosts (which is also sold at FreshDirect in conjunction with Union Square Wines). 
Bean salad, colored beets, crunchy bread, purple/orange/white cauliflower, and striped bass with colorful carrots...
Wild arugula with fresh lemon juice and mashed potatoes rounded out the lunch.  Having such fresh produce reminds me that the fresher and more flavorful the natural ingredients are, the less additives (like salt and sugar) you need in cooking.  Also, the fresher the herbs are, the less you need.
To end our meal, we enjoyed shortbread cookies with a fruity peach and berry dessert...all on the most beautiful vineyard backdrop.  

For those in the NY area, FreshDirect brings the farm to you through the convenience of online shopping.  As an added incentive, FreshDirect is currently offering a discount code as a special deal for our NY readers.  The SUPPORTLOCAL code is good for 20% off their entire Local Market and is good all summer long.

* Limited time offer. Expires August 31, 2010. May not be combined with any other offer. All standard terms and conditions apply. Limit one use per customer/account. Residential orders only. Void where prohibited. Offer is non-transferable.

6 comments:

  1. What a great experience! I'm lucky enough to be able to take advantage of a great Farmers Market every weekend. I think I should take my camera with me next time:) Loved you post and pictures.

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  2. wow what a great experience lovely pics thanks for taking us along, and I think I will add a lil scotch to my next pancakes!

    enjoy the weekend Rebecca

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  3. What a great day you must have had. While no where as upscale as the places you visited on your tour, I live in an area that teems with small farms and orchards and through a farmer's cooperative am able to get fresh produce, eggs and local beef and lamb. This is my first visit to your blog but I'll be back often. I hope the day treats you well. Blessings...Mary

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  4. looks like you had a fabulous day there :) had lotsa fun eh?

    I'm gonna add you on my blogroll so i have your lovely blog save :) feel free to do the same too!

    PS: Have a fabulous weekend love.

    Jen

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  5. Just jumping back in to tell you how happy I am you came for a visit to my blog. I love company. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  6. This looks like quite a wonderful experience to meet with farmers and see the wonderful bounty they have to offer.

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