A farmers market shepherd’s pie – with purple potatoes!

Thank you to Sabols Farm for the blue and pink Adirondack potatoes, russet potatoes, and leek. Thank you to Ceres Gardens for the sweet potatoes, Autumn Harvest Farm for the pork, CRS Growers for the carrots and garlic, and Early Morning Farm for the parsnip! Also, thank you to Plenty of Posies for the beautiful dried flower centerpiece! This would look wonderful on any autumn table!


  • 1lb of ground pork
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of mushrooms diced
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 tbsp of beet or tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of flour of your choice
  • 1 ½ cups of broth
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 6 potatoes of your choice (I used a mix of pink and blue Adirondack, russet, and sweet potatoes)
  • 2 tbsp of oil of your choice
  • Butter or oil or your choice (for flavoring the potatoes).
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  Cut potatoes into chunks (either with or without the skins, whatever you prefer). Add the potatoes to a stockpot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook covered for 20-30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the potatoes are cooking add 1 tablespoon of oil (I used olive oil) to a stockpot and sauté one minced clove of garlic until fragrant. Add the pork and cook on medium heat until browned. When done, remove from the pot and set aside. Dice the leek and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot along with the leek and garlic. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Clean, peel and dice the carrots, celery, parsnip, and mushrooms. Add these to the pot and sauté for 15-20 minutes on medium low or until tender.


Add the pork back into the pot as well as the peas, beet* or tomato paste, flour, 1 cup of broth, thyme, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid has cooked down (about ¾ of the way) and thickened. 


Turn the heat off and set aside. Drain the potatoes. Using butter/oil, a minced garlic clove, and broth prepare the mashed potatoes to the consistency you prefer. You can mash the potatoes, put them into a food processor, or use an electric beater. I like to keep the potatoes very thick so I use less broth. Experiment with the topping! For something different and flavorful try a sweet potato and parsnip topping! A plain sweet potato topping is yummy too! Colored potatoes tend to be more jelly than russet potatoes and when cooked they puff up like marshmallows. This creates an interesting visual effect. Fill a casserole dish with the pork mixture. Spread the potatoes on the top. Cook the pie in the oven for 30 minutes.


Remove from the oven. Serve and enjoy!



*Beet paste Take a large beet and remove the stem but leave the skin on. Put it in a saucepan and fill with one inch of water. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Once the beet is cooked all the way through remove the beet and let it cool. Rub off the skin with a paper towel. Slice the beet and put it in a food processor. Process until the beet becomes a smooth thick paste.

Pumpkin and Pear Stew

Pumpkin and Pear Stew Thank you to Ithaca Organics for the pie pumpkin, Straight Way Farms for the pears, and Glenwood Farms for the bison!


  • 1 lb of bison (cut into stew chunks)*
  • 3.0 Ibs pie pumpkin
  • 2 large pears
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 3 ¾ cup broth
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • salt to taste
*See below for the vegan variation! In a saucepan brown the bison. This should take around 15 minutes. While the bison is browning, deseed, peel and chop the pumpkin into 1 inch chunks. Set aside. Dice the onion. Remove the bison when it is done browning and set aside in a bowl. In the stockpot add the oil and sauté the onion for 5 minutes or until it is translucent. Mince the garlic and peeled ginger root and add to the stockpot. Cook for five minutes or until fragrant. Add the broth, wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.


Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, and salt and simmer for 15 minutes.


Chop the pear, skin and all, into 1 inch chunks. Add to the stew and simmer for 15 minutes.


Chop the mushrooms. Remove the thyme leaves from the sprigs and rub between your hands to release fragrance. Add the mushrooms and thyme to the stew and simmer for 15 minutes.


After 15 minutes turn off the heat, serve and enjoy!


Vegan Variation: This stew can be made with just the vegetables or with your favorite protein. A vegan sausage would taste great or even lentils.



Simple Bone Broth and Vegetable Broth

With the weather becoming colder, soups are a wonderful way to warm up. In my opinion, homemade broth is more flavorful and nutritious than store bought. Try these simple vegetable and bone broth recipes in your autumn soups and stews! Thank you to Buried Treasures Farm for the cabbage, carrots, onion, and garlic. Also, thank you to Kirby Farms for the bones. Bone Broth:
  • 1.5-2 Ibs of bones
  • 2 tbls of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful of fresh herbs of your choice (I used thyme and rosemary)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Scrub vegetables.

Cut vegetables, with the skin on them, into large chunks and put into a crockpot. I like to use the celery leaves and keep the onion and garlic peels on. I recommend wedging the onion into 6-8 pieces and cutting the garlic clove horizontally in half. Place the bones on top of the vegetables. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the bones. Add 8-12 cups of water (or enough to cover everything). Add the herbs and bay leaf. Pick some of your favorite herbs and add about a handful. Add salt and pepper if desired. Cook in the crockpot on low for at least 12 hours. The longer it cooks the stronger the flavor becomes. I have cooked it for up to 24 hours. When the broth is done cooking, strain it. Use the broth for soups or drink it by itself. Bone broth is packed full of healthy vitamins and minerals and tastes great by itself. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you will not be using it right away store in the freezer (I like to store the broth in mason jars).   Vegetable Broth: Ingredients:
  • 5 small carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • half of a small cabbage
  • handful of herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8-12 cups of water


Scrub the vegetables. Chop the carrots and celery into large chunks. Leave the peel on the carrots and include the leaves on the celery. Put into a stockpot. Wedge the onion (with the skin on) and chop the garlic bulb horizontally in half. Add to the pot. Wedge half of a small cabbage and add it to the pot along with your choice of a handful of herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley) and a bay leaf. Add salt and pepper if desired.


Add 8-12 cups of water depending on how strong you want the flavor. Less water for a stronger broth and more for a lighter broth.


Bring water and vegetables to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the broth simmer for an hour to an hour and a half depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. IMG_7962 Strain the broth into a large dish. Use the broth to make soup or drink it warm by itself. The broth can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze the broth in mason jars if you do not plan to use it right away. IMG_7965   Next week I will be posting a wonderful stew recipe so save your broth!  

Saturday AND Sunday Markets Continue Through November!

Hello market customers! In 2014, the Ithaca Farmers Market will be extending farmers market hours further into the fall season. Our Sunday markets will continue every weekend until December, to accompany our existing Saturday markets in November. This change was made to accommodate more farmers growing later into the season with protected agricultural techniques, like high tunnels, low tunnels, and crop row cover, and the increasing vibrancy of the shoulder season markets as a destination for locals and out-of-towners alike! Both markets begin at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m., and will take place at our Steamboat Landing location on the Ithaca waterfront. Starting in December, the market holds only Saturday markets until the Rutabaga Curl on December 20th, which marks the end of our 2014 season. Market continues starting January 10th at our indoor location at the Space@ Expect to find a wide variety of produce, from fall greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, potatoes, pumpkins, roots and more, along with meat, cheese, artisanal crafts, prepared food and much, much more! Enjoy music, friends, neighbors and more in  beautiful pavilion on the Cayuga Lake waterfront. For more information about the Ithaca Farmers Market, where vendors live, work and grow within thirty miles, visit ithacamarket.com. To keep up with our vibrant market vendors, visit facebook.com/ithacamarket.  

Stuffed Autumn Squash


Thank you to Stoney Creek Nursery for the wonderful squashes, McDonald’s Farm for the ground lamb (not pictured), Reisingers Apple Country for the Honey Crisp Apples, Blue Oyster Cultivation for the Blue Oyster Mushrooms, Wild Apple Well Earth Farming for the carrots, and Earthly Mirth for the leeks and garlic! Ingredients:
  • 3-4* squash of your choice (acorn, delicate, or kabocha)
  • 2 lbs of ground lamb (or meat of your choice)
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small leeks diced
  • 4 small carrots diced
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 apples (I used honey crisp)
  • 1 ½ cups of diced mushrooms (I used Blue Oyster Mushrooms)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp of apple juice (Optional)
*The number of squash depends on how full you wish to stuff the squash. If there is left over filling it is wonderful in breakfast scrambles!   Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.


Wash and cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds with a spoon and place the squash cut side down in baking dish. Fill with a ¼ inch of water. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes to an hour depending on the type of squash used.


While the squash is roasting, mix the lamb, mace, cloves, sage, salt, and minced garlic in a large bowl.


In a large pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the lamb mixture. Cook the lamb on medium for about 15 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through. Break the lamb up while it is cooking.


While the lamb is cooking chop the leeks and set aside. Dice the carrots and celery.


When the lamb is done, remove it from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the diced leeks to the pan. Sautee for 5 minutes on medium-low. Add the celery and carrots to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.


Dice the apples and mushrooms.


Add the apples and mushrooms to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 7-10 minutes.


Next, mix the lamb back to the pan with the vegetables and fruit and cook covered on low for five minutes.


Take the squash out of the oven and test with a fork to make sure it is done.  If more baking time is needed, test every ten minutes until squash is tender. Drain the water from the pan, turn the squash over, brush the inside of the squash with either olive oil or apple juice. Then, fill the squash with the mixture.


Put the stuffed squash in the oven for 10 minutes to brown.


After ten minutes, remove the squash from the oven and enjoy! Tip: If you are vegetarian or vegan try this recipe with your favorite protein (maybe crumbled tofu or seitan)!