We are so lucky to live, work, and play in the Finger Lakes.  We have abundant water resources, greenery that goes on for miles and miles, and four seasons of varied, but equally beautiful, weather.  So this Earth Day, we’d like to celebrate that abundance of natural beauty by publishing a week’s worth of blogs on all things that celebrate the Earth in the Finger Lakes!  Welcome to day #3!

There are numerous cafés, bistros, and restaurants in the Finger Lakes that serve up organic, fresh, home-grown meals using local ingredients.  But, there’s also a great source of Earth-friendly products that’s most likely in your backyard if you live in Ontario County – Wegmans.  Anyone who knows anything about the area knows that Wegmans is more than just a grocery store.  In fact, it sits so high on a pedestal here, that some might just call it a second home.

Wegmans Organic Soup StationThis past week, Wegmans hosted an Organic Open House.  Now, Pete, my fiancé, and I, well, we love going to Wegmans around noon on a Saturday, because we can typically eat our way around the store, sampling different things – it’s tasting prime time.  But this past Saturday during Open House, it was out of this world.  Every few steps we took, there was another tasting table denoted by the colorful balloons strung alongside each station.

Our particular menu on this trip included a stop at the soup stand, where vegetable barley soup was being spooned into small tasting cups.  Naturally, I had to clarify whether or not all of the vegetables in the soup were grown on Wegmans Organic Farm.  I think you know the answer.

Our next station consisted of tastings of three cheeses from local dairy farms – including a smooth gouda and a spicy pepperjack.  Immediately following our dairy fix, we circled back to the organic salmon table, where the chef was serving up their Ireland-sourced salmon that they get from a farm which uses no chemicals, antioxidants, or pesticides.

The rest of the store was no different – as we made our way through the regular aisles, we were met with tastings of organic peanut butter and jam, organic cream cheese spread on bagel bits, and organic trail mix that will make raisins an enjoyable snack for anyone.  And, if all of that wasn’t enough, we then washed it all down with a stop at the smoothie stand, where the Wegmans employee was blending organic frozen fruits with organic yogurt and a bit of Wegmans Organic Soupsorange juice.

So, needless to say, we left with happy stomachs.  And the best part?  Wegmans serves and sells all of these organic foods and products on a daily basis.  So, while there won’t always be balloons accompanying them, you can be guaranteed that they’re always available.  Just another way to celebrate the Earth in the Finger Lakes!