If Black Friday is synonymous with all that is wrong with capitalism, then the worthy antithesis to this unofficial sale-worshipping holiday is the Basilica Farm + Flea: an annual gathering of regional makers, farmers, food vendors and vintage collectors who show off what Hudson Valley and its surrounding areas have to offer. Under the roof of the 19th century factory-turned-event space Basilica Hudson, the juried fair (meaning vendors are selected through an application process for a diverse mix) is celebrating its second year, with a few new surprises up its sleeve.
Taking place from 28-30 November 2014, the Farm + Flea will kick off with the Black Friday Soiree from 5-9PM, where independent brewers, wine and spirits makers (including cocktail samples by Lady Jayne’s Alchemy and cider from Albany’s Nine Pin Cider Works) will offer boozy tastings while shoppers mingle and peruse the goods. Below are a few vendors to keep an eye out for while walking throughout the 17,000 square feet of the Basilica Hudson.
Sarah Monteiro is the one-woman show behind Farmhand Flowers, where she grows pesticide-free flowers—from typical summer annuals to more old-fashioned, unique varieties that are less common in the floral trade—on a one-acre patch of land. She notes that she doesn’t want to expand until she is able to offer workers a fair living wage (more than $10 an hour, which is rare among farm laborers), so until then, it’s just her and her dog Fern. Her summer flower CSA program and wedding services are in high demand, but she has some options for the colder months, too, that she’ll bring to Farm + Flea. “Since I work with truly seasonal material, the end of November is a little late for fresh blooms,” Monteiro tells CH. “So, I will mostly have wreaths that I make out of foraged goods. I spend a lot of time in the woods with my dog and have always liked finding tiny things. I always have collections of birds nests, feathers, turkey tail mushrooms, pieces of moss, insect wings, tiny bones and skeletons. I incorporate them into wild, witchy wreaths. I will have something along those lines for these austere November/December days.”
Founded by March 2013 in Kingston, New York, Brookside Bungalow was founded by husband-and-wife duo Sebastian Rennella and Maggie Salesman. With Rennella’s tinkering skills and Salesman’s photographer eye, the store sells one-of-a-kind lights (even chandeliers) they make from reclaimed wood that’s washed up along the banks of the Hudson River. Newer items show how they’ve been experimenting with other upcycled materials like copper and glass vessels. Be sure to check out their vintage items, too; currently they have an Art Deco-inspired chrome coffee carafe and a Hohner Chord Organ from the ’50s or ’60s.
Hudson Valley Seed Library
For a unique stocking stuffer that could last for years, Hudson Valley Seed Library has you covered. At the Farm + Flea, they’ll have more than a hundred heirloom varieties of flower, vegetable and herb seeds. Think heat-tolerant piracicaba broccoli from Brazil (produced on their small New York State farm) to Good Bugs Bloom, a mix of flowers that attracts beneficial insects to your garden. Other popular packs include the Brilliant Beet Blend, Kaleidoscope Carrot, Little Gem Lettuce, Panther Edamame and Teddy Bear Sunflower—and if the names don’t entice you, each pack (starting at $4) has also been illustrated by a commissioned artist. There will also be greeting cards, their favorite gardening tools and even vintage library card catalog drawers on sale, as the ultimate Seed Library gift basket.
Good Fight Herb Co.
We appreciate Lauren Giambrone’s herbal remedies so much that a few years ago we collaboratively produced an exclusive blend of smokable herbs designed to ease stress. The community herbalist creates a range of medicinals and body care products from herbs, many of which she grows herself in her own garden in Germantown, New York, and sells under the label Good Fight Herb Co.. Two products she’s featuring at this year’s market are Self Love Potion #9, “a delicious medicine that focuses on and supports the heart during times of grief, heartache and disconnection from your personal power,” and the Self Care Kit, filled with medicinals to support healthy immunity, decreased stress and more. “The event uplifts the incredible and important work happening throughout our region, by folks I may not have otherwise met, in an authentic way,” Giambrone recalls from last year. “It truly feels like a celebration!”
The second annual Basilica Farm + Flea will take place at the Basilica Hudson from 28-30 November 2014; general admission is $3 and free for children under 16. Visit their website to view the full list of vendors and for more information about the special events.
Images courtesy of the respective vendors