Tweefontein Herb Farm may have one of the smaller selections at the Greenmarket, but their offerings are also some of the most unique. It's not that hard to find fresh herbs at the market, but Tweefontein goes further with herbal sorbets, fresh pesto, maple sweetened ginger-cayenne iced tea, and more.
Located in New Paltz, NY, Tweefontein was one of the first farms to participate in the Greenmarket. Though the same family still owns the farm, it is now run by a team of young people with a passion for farming, cooking and gardening. "It's really a community effort now. We've got a large household with up to ten people volunteering," said Sarah Marcisak, who has been the farm's acting manager for two seasons and counting.
In addition to growing herbs, garlic, and a handful of vegetables, Tweefontein's team also prepares the other items they sell at the Greenmarket. The farm was founded with the goal of growing medicinal and culinary herbs, and today the farm stays true to that vision. But since there are so many farms selling fresh herbs at the market, and Tweefontein doesn't have a huge volume of herbs compared to some of the larger farms, they've taken another tack. "We prefer to do a lot of value-added products—herbal sorbet, pesto, soaps and salves. And we'll have more skincare items as it gets colder," Marcisak said.
On Wednesdays, expect to see the teas, sorbets, pestos, and salves that make up Tweefontein's top sellers. The rotating flavors of iced tea—and hot tea as it gets cold outside—are also popular. This week there was a flowers-and-mint flavor as well as lavender-lemon verbena, plus the staple ginger-cayenne. "If I don't have the ginger-cayenne, I'm not sure what will happen," Marcisak half-joked. The other staple of Tweefontein's stand is their homemade pesto. Like the teas, the flavors rotate.
On Saturdays, there are even more options. "It depends on the man-hours that we have available on Friday," Marcisak says, "and what's prolific enough." Recently Tweefontein has sold fresh herbs on the weekend, including sweet basil and oregano as well as the more unusual apple mint and holy basil, which Marcisak describes as fruity. "Honestly, the smell reminds me of Froot Loops—it has a sweet, fruity taste to it." Bargain hunters should keep their eyes peeled: in the name of reducing waste (and good old fashioned customer relations,) Tweefontein offers discounted bunches of basil at the end of the day.
Click through the slideshow to see what Tweefontein had to offer at the market this week.
Tweefontein Herb Farm can be found at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Saturdays through October.