Ben and Jeannette Shaw, first generation farmers, started Garden of Spices eight years ago in Greenwich, New York, just a few miles east of Saratoga Springs. The Shaws raise chickens, ducks and turkeys on their farm and have about 400 egg-laying chickens on pasture. In addition to whole birds, Garden of Spices sells broken down chicken breasts, legs, and thighs, plus livers and hearts, and prepared items like marinated chicken, chicken broth and liver pate. Click through the slideshow to meet Ben and have a look at the goods!
Garden of Spices's birds are all pastured, which is completely different from free range. "You can't get pastured chicken in a store. Free range simply means that it has access to the outside. Chickens go to the feed, so if they're fed inside, they're not going to go outside. They just have a little bit of room to move around inside of the barn." Chickens sold in a supermarket can be frozen for up to 90 days, then thawed and sold. Garden of Spices' chickens are rarely more than 24 hours old. "On top of that, the taste is not even comparable. I guarantee that this is the best chicken you've ever had. The duck also."
What's Ben Shaw's favorite item? "We enjoy eating the duck. We eat more chicken than we do duck, but we do enjoy the duck." Most popular? "Out of every thousand people that try the pate, I'd say one person doesn't like it. My children eat it by the spoonful."
You can find Garden of Spices at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and at the Borough Hall Greenmarket in Brooklyn on Saturdays.