Bee Man Candle Company
The Audience Choice Award for the inaugural Martha Stewart Presents American Made small business competition went to Brian Howell, who has kept his own beehives and operated Bee Man Candle Company since he was 13 years old. He intends to use his $10,000 cash prize to build educational installations in his New York State retail store.
Photo Credit: Bee Man Candle Company
Flora Grubb Gardens
Ten small business entrepreneurs were selected by Martha Stewart Living editors, who consider it a major part of their job to constantly seek out small farmers, crafters and other worthy enterprises in towns and cities across the USA. When she was selected as an honoree, nursery owner Flora Grubb had already been featured on the pages of the magazine and hosted a talk by the magazine’s executive gardening editor.
Photo Credit: Flora Grubb Gardens
John Jay Homestead Farm Market
Though it’s relatively new—2012 was only its second season—this Saturday morning summer market is already a weekly tradition with Bedford area residents including Martha Stewart. It’s held at John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, which used to be a working farm. Take Ms. Stewart’s advice and, whether you’re shopping here or at another farmers’ market, look for produce clearly marked with “locally, sustainably grown” signage.
Photo Credit: John Jay Homestead Farm Market
Fayetteville Farmers Market
Voted most popular among “large” farmers’ markets in this year’s annual American Farmland Trust consumer poll, Fayetteville Farmers Market is a year-round tradition, with Saturday and weekday markets, plus special events throughout harvest season and during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Photo Credit: Fayetteville Farmers Market
Woodstock Farmers Market
Not just a gorgeous display, this is a testament to community bonds and local pride. The Woodstock Farmers Market in Vermont was wiped out by Hurricane Irene in summer of 2011, but opened to the public just four months after the devastating floods came through. Exactly one year later, the market ushered in the 2012 harvest season with gorgeous fall produce, shelves stuffed with locally made Vermont delicacies, and a seemingly endless stream of customers from near and far.
Photo Credit: Woodstock Farmers Market
Vermont Cheese Trail
Cheese is one of the most famous products that this scrappy green New England state produces—and with good reason. Tour the Vermont Cheese Trail, either as part of an organized group or on your own, and taste the Farmhouse Cheddar at Shelburne Farms (pictured), Alps-style Tarentaise from Thistle Hill, and a variety of artisan cheeses from American Made 2012 honorees The Cellars at Jasper Hill.
Photo Credit: Shelburne Farms
Winemaker for a Day
From Sonoma to Santa Barbara to Long Island, wineries allow eager consumers to get their hands, er, juicy with “winemaker boot camps” and afternoons in the vineyards during the busy fall season. Though they probably don’t let part-time “helpers” anywhere near the actual Crush activity (which is time-sensitive and often quite stressful), winemakers at participating wineries will let guests participate in de-stemming, blending and barrel tasting…for a price.
Photo Credit: Margerum Wine Company
Hartman’s Herb Farm
Massachusetts is one state where farm stay programs have become popular in summer and fall...thanks to places like Hartman’s Herb Farm, an exceptionally picturesque property where guests can stay in simple B&B-style lodgings surrounded by greenhouses where exotics flourish year-round.
Photo Credit: Hartman’s Herb Farm
Set on 4200 acres in the Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is perhaps the ultimate luxe farm stay. Its grounds contain livestock herds, orchards, organic vegetable gardens and flower gardens…and the "artisan staff" that look after the farm and guest programs includes a beekeeper, cheesemaker and butcher.
Photo Credit: Blackberry Farm
Do you ever wonder whether a business is just jumping on the locavore/sustainable bandwagon, or whether it’s sincere? Answer your own question using Martha Stewart’s rules: Look around, read the signage, and make the time to find out where your food is coming from. Places like MacCallum House in Mendocino County have been doing this for decades, and are so proud of their commitment to local quality, they have a map that pinpoints the farms, fishermen and producers that contribute every part of the daily fare.
Photo Credit: MacCallum House