Lakeside Farmers Market in Greenwood Lake showcases dozens of farmers in the area who are skilled at adapting to growing conditions, weather, and harvest history. One of these farmers is Jeff Bialas, who has been operating his Goshen farm with his family since 2010.
J & A Farm [jafarm.org] began 12 years ago, after Jeff and his wife, Adina, had been working in his parent’s conventional farm. The couple wanted a “safe space for their kids to grow up, where they could run around the whole area without having to worry about what had been sprayed [with insecticides] and what had not,” said Jeff Bialas. “We are Certified Naturally Grown, an alternative pathway to Certified Organic, without having to go through the tedious full certification process with the government.”
CNG farmers don’t use any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. The CNG program is tailored for smaller, direct-market farmers producing food for their local communities.
The 30 or so items that were displayed on the tables at the Lakeside Farmers Market are but a small portion of the dozens of items that his Goshen NY farm, off Pulaski Highway on Maloney Lane, will harvest over the next 30 days. J&A’s growing season actually begins in February and March, through the use of greenhouses and high tunnels that allow leeks and peppers an early start, and continues until Thanksgiving, sometimes later. This week ushers in the string bean season, featuring flat Italian Romano beans, purple string beans, green string beans, and yellow ones in a couple more weeks. “Around that time I’ll have about 20 different varieties of cherry tomatoes,” Bialas predicted, “plus 15 different heirloom tomatoes, beefsteaks, San Marzano plums, and tomatillos together with a variety of herbs, including rosemary, dill, basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley and others.”
J&A also grows baby Napa cabbage, a great, tasty alternative for salads and sandwiches if there is no lettuce available; they are grown in smaller heads which minimizes waste. “We have 10 different types of eggplants, including light purple (Chinese eggplant) and dark purple (Japanese eggplant).” The farm is completely in the Black Dirt Region, ranging from 20-80% organic matter, which determines the specific plots selected for optimum growth of specific vegetables. Some plants do better in less rich organic soils; other do better in richer organic concentrations.
Lakeside Farmers Market offers weekly opportunities for visitors seeking fresh, homemade bakery items, freshly harvested produce, craft beer, distilled spirits, and souvenir items at Waterfront Park. Beachgoers can even place special orders (sandwiches, salads, etc.) and have them delivered right to their blankets. For more information, click on VillageofGreenwoodLake.org/lakeside-farmers-market.
I’ll have about 20 different varieties of cherry tomatoes,” Bialas predicted, “plus 15 different heirloom tomatoes, beefsteaks, San Marzano plums, and tomatillos together with a variety of herbs, including rosemary, dill, basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley and others. - Jeff Bialas