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On the Farm: Squash Blossoms and Flower Workshop

A look at what's happening at Nassau County's Crossroads Farm at Grossmann's in Malverne.

Fresh produce not only tastes good but the latest offering at the Malverne proves it can look beautiful too.

The newest addition to the diverse selection of organic crops grown on the Nassau County-owned farmland and on sale at its indoor market is squash blossoms.

We're told folks like to stuff, batter and fry these pretty edible petals, which you'll find in the refrigerator of the farmer's market along with award-winning goat cheese from Catapano Dairy Farm in Peconic, fruit from Wickham Fruit Farm and organic, free-range eggs, which will be arriving Friday from a farm in Riverhead.

When you enter the market, the entire back wall is stocked only with produce that has been harvested from Crossroads. This week there are plenty of tomatoes - cherry, plum, heirloom and field varieties - eggplant, regular and pickling cucumbers, green and yellow squash, lipstick and bell peppers, basil, parsley, rainbow chard and red and golden beets. Everything picked from the farm is USDA certified organic, free of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

To the left you can find items grown at other farms on Long Island, including peaches, cantaloupe, tomatoes and berries from Wickham and peppers from Krupski's, both in Cutchogue.There's red beets and  potatoes from Wesnofski Island End Farm in Peconoic, and dark green lettuce and callaloo.

Some packaged speciality items from the North Fork such as potato chips, jams, spreads and pickled spreads and honey from Kirkwood are also on sale.

And you can't forget one of the most popular items - corn from a farm in Calverton continues to sell big.

The farm is also starting to host events. On Wednesday they held a workshop teaching residents how to create environmentally-safe, natural household cleaning supplies and on Saturday morning, there will be a floral design class at 8 a.m.

Participates will learn how to harvest flowers and arrange eye-catching floral bouquets with farm volunteer Leigh Fanuzzi. (Donations of vases or glasses to display flowers in are welcome.) All arrangements will be displayed in the farm stand for sale on the busiest days - Saturday and Sunday. RSVPs are encouraged by not required. To sign up, email volunteer@nassaulandtrust.org with "Floral Design" in the subject line.

The farm is also looking for donations of the following items:

  • Hand trucks, dollies, and push carts to move things around the farm
  • A trailer  - to borrow to haul a riding lawnmower from Pennsylvania to the farm.
  • Baskets of various sizes and shapes to display produce in
  • Vases to display basil and flowers
  • Plastic containers of various shapes and sizes keep produce fresh*
  • Regular and commercial dust pans
  • Store broom
  • A couple of 3-ring binders
  • Rags  - clean ones for the farm stand, imperfect ones for the farm.

* Any baskets, vases, or plastic containers accepted and not used at the farm stand will be donated to another charity.

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