Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sustainable Saturday -Honeynut not Nutinhoney

Ithaca, New York is about an hour away in driving distance from Binghamton, New York.

In some ways, we are similar. We are, after all, both upstate New York metropolitan areas.  We both work within our four season/lots of snow in winter climate.  Our climate is not identical, though- Ithaca is close to Cayuga Lake, which creates microclimes where crops difficult here (such as peaches) can grow.  And, oh yes, grapes.  Ever hear of New York State wine?

We differ in other ways.  I am sometimes amazed at the differences in population and culture between the county Ithaca is in (Tompkins, County, population about 102,000)  and Broome County, the home of Binghamton (county population about 198,000).

Smaller doesn't always mean "less".

We both have major colleges/universities but Ithaca (which has about 17,000 less people than Binghamton) has two (Ithaca College and Cornell University).  That may be part of the difference between them and us, but I think it is more complicated than that.  We both have nearby rural farming areas. But, in some ways of sustainable thinking, Ithaca is way ahead of us in the Triple Cities. 

I've blogged a lot about several of the farmers markets in the Binghamton area, where our downtown Binghamton market struggles for existance.

Meanwhile, in Ithaca, Farmers Markets thrive.

At a later date, I'll blog more about what I found in Ithaca today. But now, time for a little nostalgia. Not totally sustainable nostalgia, but hey - it's Saturday.

The entrance of the Saturday/Sunday farmers market along Cayuga Lake (there is a downtown farmers market on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and still another market location on Wednesdays) is inviting.  It's hard to see the "small print" but the sign promises "locally produced within 30 miles".  And do they deliver.  Not just produce, but crafts, and precooked food of various ethnic groups.

And yes, this market been in existence since 1973.  It will celebrate its 40th birthday on October 27.
Here is a new winter squash (on the left), new to us, anyway, called Honeynut.

I did a Google search for "honeynut" (by itself) and came up with a bunch of hits for Honey Nut Cheerios. As much as I like Cheerios, I then thought of this commercial from a competitor.  It's a play on...well, play it and see.
Strange how commercial themes can stick in your mind, isn't it, because Kellogg's Nut n Honey cereal was discontinued a long time ago.

Along with a lot of other cereals.

But...oh yes, we were talking about honeynut SQUASH.  And, in a quick web search, I found a yummy sounding recipe, inspired by - Honey Nut Cheerios.  No Honey Nut Cheerios in the dish, but there is honey, coconut oil and mixed nuts. It actually sounds quite nice, and there is a certain blogger in Nebraska who I now challenge to make this for her family, and report back.

So, about that Honeynut squash. Turns out it was developed by Cornell - which, as I mentioned above, is located in Ithaca.  So it actually is a local squash variety to Ithaca.

We look forward to trying the Honeynut squash and will report back when we do. They feel dense for their size - heavier than you might think.  If we like this squash, we may try to grow it next year.  It's actually a bush winter squash and that would be nice for our community garden plot.

Now, if they can only bring some of those cereals of the 70's and 80's back.

Do you miss any discontinued mass produced foods?


  1. I'd love to visit this area sometime. It sounds lovely. Are you planning on making the dish you mentioned or cooking the Honeynut some other way?

    1. Since I'm on Weight Watchers probably not, at least right away - although a lot of people have been talking about the health benefits of coconut oil, and I do love nuts. I think I will take advantage of the natural sweetness instead and perhaps just microwave.

  2. Farmers markets are my favorite. We have a large one in downtown Detroit. There is always so much to see, do and buy there. It sounds like yours has become a local staple, too. Hope it stays around for you to enjoy for many years to come!

    1. I'm encouraged to hear about downtown farmers markets in large cities. They are actually needed there, I think, more than in smaller areas like where I live. It's harder for people in urban areas to find good, fresh, food.

  3. I have never heard of Honeynut squash, how cool that Cornell created it!

    1. I can't wait to eat that new squash. Since it was locally developed I'm hopeful it will grow well here.

  4. I'd like to try that honeynut squash. It would seem ideal for a sweet pie. Maybe you wouldn't need to add sugar. After all, sugar is just taken from another natural growth. Isn't nature wonderful? Okay, people in Ithaca helped it along, but just about everything is different from the original nowadays.

  5. Ohhh, Alana, you are ornery! I will take up the challenge, and report back! Although we don't have any of your special HoneyNut squashes (boohoo, they sound really sweet) I think I could substitute Butternut . . . wow (by the way) I'd love to try to grow some of those HoneyNut squashes. Do you know which seed catalogs might carry the seeds? Lovely pictures of your farmer's market, by the way. And thank you, my dear friend, for the mention of the link!

  6. Fun post! Reminder that I want to try different squashes this fall. I always plan on it but don't. Thanks!


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