Ferry Plaza Farmers and Food Makers Share Their Holiday Feast Traditions

Selina Knowles, Communications Coordinator
November 11, 2022

Photo of Dede Bois at Root Down Farm, by Frederica Armstrong.

As we enter the heart of fall, the days become shorter, berry baskets give way to citrus bundles at the farmers market, and we look forward to the warmth and traditions of gathering with our loved ones for holiday feasting. For Ferry Plaza Farmers Market farmers and food makers, local foods always take center stage on the table.

“I feel like we live in such a special place where we can source most things for any of our meals, let alone the big ones of the year, from ourselves and our neighbors.” says Dede Bois, farmer of Root Down Farm. “What’s been really great the last I-don’t-know-how-many years is that our traditions are always kind of unfolding and growing as our family grows.” To kick-off another season of holiday gatherings and festive feasting, Foodwise asked a few farmers market vendors about their holiday feast traditions.

Aruna Lee, Volcano Kimchi

I made a couple of small batches of persimmon kimchi, with Fuyu persimmons that I bought from farmers markets, and people really loved this. So, I made another batch this week and will bring it out to the farmers market. It’s something that is very seasonal and great with the holiday meals.

I grew up in Korea, and living here, we have different kinds of holidays. But whatever the holiday or the meal, we always pair it with any kind of fermented dish. Kimchi is not meant to be eaten alone. You have to eat it with other dishes and also share with the family and friends.

Boonie Deasy, K&J Orchards

The family just loves sweet potatoes, so we will find as many varieties as we can at the farmers market and put them all into one bowl. Then, we’ll roast them in the oven and drench them in a lot of butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows. That’s served for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I know I’m a fruit farmer, but I love sweet potatoes. I never did as a kid, FYI. Every time sweet potatoes were on the plate for the holidays, I was like, “That is so disgusting, mom and dad.” Nowadays, I just can’t get enough of them. I think your palate changes as you grow up, or maybe it’s having more appreciation for food. 

Charles Farrier, Crumble & Whisk

I actually switch it up every year. My family looks forward to my cooking because I always make something new and interesting and keep it exciting. This year I’m going to do a turkey confit, I’m probably going to do curry glazed carrots, and then some other type of green vegetable. 

Sometimes we make a seasonal tart, like the pumpkin, citron meringue, or Dutch apple tarts that we’re doing for our Thanksgiving menu. I will make an extra one just to bring it over, because sometimes I don’t feel like making a traditional dessert.

Dede Bois, Root Down Farm

We tend to eat turkey because we raise them. What I’ll do is give a turkey to one of my dear friends who’s a very good cook, and she prepares it. And that arrangement works out great for me: “I’ll raise and grow some good meat. Would you please cook it for me?” We’ve been doing that for six years now.

We have some great neighbors that grow pretty incredible vegetables and flowers and herbs as well. Fifth Crow Farm [also at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturdays] is just up the road from us a couple of miles, and we definitely get a good amount of our veggies and beans from them. In the past we’ve done big friends’ Thanksgivings with a lot of other local farmers and friends. Needless to say, those are pretty delicious, too.

Lorraine Walker, Eatwell Farm

We used to do a bigger Thanksgiving, but, with COVID, everybody had to cut way back, and life just really changed for everybody. So, the last couple of years, it was pretty much just our tight family, which was very nice. One of my favorite traditions is a collard greens gratin that we make every year and definitely uses collard greens from our farm. And we do pumpkin pie made from roasted butternut squash, also from our farm. If I can find them, I’ll get green beans at the farmers market.

Mollie Sitkin, Old Dog Ranch

I almost always make a maple walnut pie, with our walnuts and eggs. It’s Mollie Katzen‘s recipe. My dad knew her from Ithaca, and there’s an amazing recipe that she has for a maple walnut pie. A lot of times when I’m feeling lazy, I will use a Three Babes Bakeshop pre-baked pie crust. [You can pre-order your pie or pie shells for pickup at the farmers market here.]

Stephanie De La Cruz, De La Creamery

When I think about holidays, for sure in my culture, we always do tamales and pozole, but that’s usually just for Christmas. That’s a must, it’s a family event. Everyone gets together to make tamales. You cannot have Christmas without that. 

For Thanksgiving, we always have a very traditional Thanksgiving, and we always have really great desserts that are a big part of that. For Thanksgiving the last few years, we’ve been making my partner’s grandma’s German apple dessert. It’s called an Apple Kuchen. So I try to pick really great apples, I love Honeycrisp apples for that. 

Fill your holiday table with locally grown goodies and support these local farms and food businesses at Foodwise’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. De La Creamery will be popping-up at our Fall Holiday Farmers Market on Tuesday, November 22, 10 am to 2 pm. (Note that the market will be closed on Thursday, November 24.)

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