Origin of the Adirondacks
Interesting Fact: Did you know that the term 'Adirondack' originated as a derogatory term that the neighboring Mohawk tribe used to refer to the Algonquins of our region? It is said that when food was scarce, the Algonquins would eat the inside of the bark of the white pine trees. The English transition of "Adirondack" means "Bark Eater."
Whether or not this is completely accurate, or simply a little Adirondack folklore, to me it is not seen as the insult that it was intended to be. Rather, I see it as just one of the many ways in which those who have inhabited the Adirondacks over the years have shown ingenuity, toughness, and the willingness to think outside the box. We've made it work simply because the advantages of being in this beautiful region far outweigh the disadvantages. And thankfully we are now able to say that when it comes to finding great food options, the Adirondacks are bountiful.
With the momentum of the local food movement (also known as "farm-to-table" or "farm-to-fork") on the rise, options for finding fresh local produce and products in Tupper Lake continues to grow. From farmers' markets to a new natural food store -- let's follow the trail of fresh, local, organic offerings.
The Health Hub
Bringing organic & GMO-free food to Tupper Lake
Located at 211 Park Street in Tupper Lake, The Health Hub, is increasing the availability of local organic and GMO-free products in the region. Since their opening, locals and travelers alike are realizing that this new and evolving natural food store is committed to making it convenient and affordable to get farm-fresh produce and other products. From offering CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and wholeshare programs to a weekly farmers' market & a great in-store selection, The Health Hub offers a variety of different avenues for accessing healthy food both for your home and for on-the-go.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Kristen Amell from The Health Hub to discuss the birth of the store and some of the additions they will be making in time for the summer growing season. Kristen spoke with passion as she talked about the relationship the store has with Whitten Farm's and the orchestration they have created to move good food from the farm directly to the consumer. I had the pleasure of purchasing Whitten produce last summer and agree that the product they bring is fantastic. Starting in late May, the weekly farmers' markets will once again take place outside of The Health Hub on Friday afternoons.
In addition to produce, the store itself offers a wide selection of organic-groceries, gluten-free products, bulk dried goods and spices, local products and more. They also feature a Kombucha bar, daily soup specials, and will soon have a daily selection of grab-n-go options such as sandwiches, paninis, burritos, and prepared dinner "care boxes" with partially baked meals. Kristen expressed that they are still working out some of the details, however she anticipates that the specials will include ethnic offerings such as African and Mexican inspired dishes... yum!
An Educational Approach
What makes The Health Hub stand apart from most natural food stores is the approach. The store has set up a large educational space where they host weekly and monthly classes and workshops. Some of their programs include German New Medicine workshops, Reiki courses, yoga and relaxation techniques, cooking classes, and pot-luck dinner meet-ups. We want The Health Hub to be "a place where people can be creative." The ideas and offerings at The Health Hub are growing as fast as the produce so make sure to keep an eye on the events calendar for some of the new things popping up in the area.
Tupper Lake Farmers' Market
Thursday's at The Wild Center is farmers' market day! Join the Adirondack Farmers' Market Cooperative as they host a weekly market in the Esplanade Tent. Starting June 9, visitors to the market will once again have the opportunity to meet farmers and take home some of the quality products grown and made in the Adirondacks. Museum admission is not required for admission into the Tupper Lake Farmers' Market. On days when the museum is busy, free reserved parking is set aside near the tent entrance for market patrons.
Weekend Farm Stand
In addition to the farmers' markets offered at The Wild Center and The Health Hub, Prey's Farm & Orchard out of nearby Peru, NY sets up a peddler's stand on the corner of Demars Boulevard and Santa Clara Avenue. Typically open on Saturdays in the summer, this third option of purchasing straight from the farmer makes it easy for locals and visitors to grab fresh produce for home, camp, hiking treks, and more.
Looking for a fresh getaway idea? From natural food stores and farmers' markets to locally brewed craft beers, Tupper Lake offers more than simply another growing farm-to-fork experience -- we've got fresh mountain air, glorious waterways, breathtaking mountain vistas and of course an abundance of nature to back it up!
This week in ADK farm and mountain cuisine: