Tag: interview

LunaGrown on WTBQ with Barbara Martinez November 15, 2019

LunaGrown on WTBQ with Barbara Martinez November 15, 2019

LunaGrown Jam on WTBQ with Barbara Martinez

For additional ideas on utilizing jam, marmalade and jellies check out our book “Beyond the Bread~ Tasteful Exploration of Jam and Marmalade” available in both Print and Kindle editions.

Chipotle Pepper Jelly

Chipotle jelly

Barbara: (00:00)
Shouldn’t you be at the market with what’s going on here?
Christopher: (00:01)
I talked to the boss. She gave me the morning off.
Barbara: (00:07)
We have Taylor like it’s Taylor showing us her LunaGrown lemon jam. What is it that she’s loving right now?
Christopher: (00:14)
The lemon lavender marmalade, which was the first product I asked you to try.
Barbara: (00:19)
Yes, it is. Oh wow. That’s amazing. That is an amazing. Um Oh actually all of them are that black forest preserves one with the chocolate in it.
Christopher: (00:28)
I just made chocolate cake with that.
Barbara: (00:30)
I saw the post on that.
Christopher: (00:32)
Your assistant has the other half of that chocolate cake.
Barbara: (00:35)
So I want to remind you, you are listening to us live on 93.5 FM 11:10 AM you can stream us worldwide@wtvq.com and if you follow the Goshen chamber of commerce, you will see us on our Facebook. We are Facebook live. You get a chance to see our market coordinator in the flesh here, Christopher Wilson, LunaGrown. All right guys. So just a couple of things we were talking about. And you know what I think usually I talk about the farmer’s market. How about you take it, you talk about what’s going on at the farmer’s market today. Get you got it, Chris.
Christopher: (01:09)
She put me on the spot here. We have a full market today. We’re running from 10 to two. Um, we have the fish guys, they’re the uh, our meat guys there. Um, we have two goat cheeses and our regular cow cheese people. I mean we’ve got a full market going on, which is really great and this is a perfect time to get your vegetables right cause we’ve got Thanksgiving coming and even if you’re stocking up for the winter, your root vegetables, it’s just a great day to get out there and enjoy it while we have this beautiful day.
Barbara: (01:41)
Well, last Friday we had to cancel the market because it was, it was freezing. Yes. Oh, so I you haven’t been doing the farmer’s market for how long?
Christopher: (01:51)
My first market was 2012
Barbara: (01:54)
with the Goshen chamber of commerce. And, but this year wasn’t it? See, I mean this is my first time, but I felt like it was great weather. We got very lucky this year,
Christopher: (02:04)
this year or two years ago or last year we got rained out for quite a few. So, and we had to move, it was a mess this year we got very lucky even through into November to have a day like this in November. It’s just shining on us
Barbara: (02:18)
I think. Yeah, there’s like something, there’s a certain vibe about the farmer’s market. I just love it. Um, there is, uh, we have great vendors. We do one the farm best market of the year again. Um, which is great. And I, we have like a little, a banner and stuff and presentation that we want to do on the last day of the farmer’s market. Uh, Chris even worked on a, on a DVD video, um, about the farmer’s market pictures throughout the entire season yearbook. That is going to be great to roll out and share with everyone. It’s actually been running on the header of the Facebook for the farmer’s market.
Christopher: (02:56)
There was a clip there for a little while. Yes.
Barbara: (02:58)
So tell us a little bit about the Facebook page for the Goshen chamber of commerce’s farmer’s market,
Christopher: (03:04)
The Facebook page, uh, that started I guess a year ago and it really was not polished. Nobody really knew who was doing what on it. So, um, last year I said, I’ll take this over. And the point of the Facebook page is to let people in the community know what’s going on at market and know what specials we’re running, know what’s in season, which is really tough if you’re used to a supermarket, you don’t know when strawberry season is or when potato season is. But it’s important to know when at the farmer’s market because you’re going to get those vegetables fresh-picked. You’re going to get them right out of the field. They come in and you’re like, wow, this is great. Why doesn’t it taste like this at the supermarket? Because… So it’s important for the Facebook page, for us to be able to reach the community and let them know, Hey, we’ve got this, it’s fresh, the cheese is fresh. Uh, it’s just a really great, um, communication tool for us and for the community to reach out to us as well.
Barbara: (04:01)
I think, um, you have been doing such an amazing job with the Goshen independent. Um, uh, at the very beginning I spoke with Tom leek and I said, uh, I want to be able to do a featured vendor of the week, but essentially have recipes created that Myrtle Pettit from kitchen gardens would put together using items from the farmer’s market. And I think even the featured vendors just doing a conversation with each of the vendors. That was a lot of fun for me. I got to learn a lot and a lot of people that were following on our Facebook got to learn a lot more intimately about, um, the passion behind each farmer and each vendor in each business. And I think that was great. And then when kind of the featured vendor part ended, I, I said, Hey Chris, you know, can you take over the, the remaining articles?
Barbara: (04:47)
I didn’t want to lose that space cause we have a really cool space in the back page. Right. And I’m like, I don’t want to lose that space, but I kind of ran out of it. So it was so great to be able to tag my coordinator for him to say I got it. And so you’ve started a series, um, Thanksgiving holiday planning guide that kind of covered a step by step every week something different. So if you go to the farmer’s market today and you pick up the Goshen independent, you will see Chris’s article in the back on page 12. Tell us a little bit about, um, this, what can they read on this planning guide for this week and for this weekend? What can they expect for next week? The finishing touches?
Christopher: (05:26)
Now, you’re going to have me recap this and you’ve got to go out and get yourself a copy of that. The, uh, the concept behind the planning, everybody has to plan for this holiday. Some people start early, some people start late. But even if you’re starting two days ahead of time, you can still get the Indy and go, Oh, this will save me time. It will help relieve some of the stress of putting the holiday together and make it beautiful. So in order to find out what’s going on for this week, I think this week I suggest that people start pre-ordering and the cheese, right? Your cheese platters, your, your cookie platters, your pies. Get those things ordered now, especially from our local vendors because
Christopher: (06:07)
They’re not only at the Goshen farmer’s market. So it’s important to get those orders in. And really when you’re talking cheese platters, I think I put that in there to make sure that the platters are cool, that what cheeses go with what wines. And you know,
Barbara: (06:23)
just a great article, I mean, I could never write all, I mean this was so great. I read it and I was like, man, I feel like I’m really kind of hungry right now. Right here. Reading is, I don’t even eat cheese. But this is like, it’s so well thought and put together. And another thing that you will notice on the back page of this, besides the Thanksgiving holiday planning guide, is our awesome logo that Chris Wilson also put together. You designed the Goshen farmer’s market brand new logo. And I think it’s so nice. It’s got all the colors, the fruits and vegetables in it. It’s such a great, uh, I think it really captures the feel of that. The farmer’s market. Yeah, you did a great job with that. And another thing that we have is a landing page for the farmer’s market on our website.
Barbara: (07:07)
So, um, Matt Gottleib who’s our website designer with Catskill marketing, does a fabulous job of creating a landing page that’s dedicated to the farmer’s market. If you go there, you’ll get a list of all of our vendors. You will see some pictures. I mean they’re so colorful. S. S & O like the colors that they have are amazing. But all of the vendors, um, you’ll see that you will see, um, hopefully, we’re going to upload the yearbook and uh, we will still have you be able to connect with your vendors. Uh, during off-seasons. You can learn more about them, stay connected with them. Um, we’ll continue to develop that page and that landing page that you can really anticipate a 2020 farmer’s market, 2020, but right now with our extended season until November 22nd, we have about 30 vendors. So it’s like a full market anyway. Um, which is great. Tells you that these vendors love what they’re doing and the people are loving coming to the farmer’s market we’re gonna take a little break when we get back more with Christopher Wilson from LunaGrown. You’re listening to Goshen chamber connects. Stay with us.
Barbara: (08:08)
Hi everybody. Thanks for hanging out with us. So we’ve got hello from Goshen chamber commerce. Lisa Clancy, Mark Kalish. Put the farmer the Facebook for the… Man, You’re getting good at that Mark. Um, I, we got, um, Evelyn is on Matt Gottlieb. How she, how she watchin’ shouldn’t she be peddling cookies. She must be a slow spot. So I’m such a great, having you hear Chris.
Christopher: (08:37)
Thank you for having me, It’s great to finally just sit. Just the two of us.
Barbara: (08:40)
Yes. And you know, um, one of the things, so we check with D&M signs. The banner is, I, I, you know, I put my hair in the wrong direction, so, and I keep this way, don’t trade. Hey, we can’t have the same haircut. Um, so I to D&M signs and the banners ready, um, and then it’s going to be really cool because what we have ordered is the blue, the blue us labels.
Barbara: (09:06)
um, so we ordered one for each of the vendors, so, and it’s made in that kind of material that they can either Velcro it, make a hole, pin it, do, however, they want to affix it to their tent. And it shows a reader’s choice winner first place. It says first place on it. So you’re the first one in the front of the market to know what the, so it took longer because I had an idea of how I wanted it to be and we couldn’t quite find the right material. I want it to be durable. I wanted the color to be really nice and I really had a hard time getting the logo. The blue, the blue banner, the blue seal. Yup. Um, but I finally managed to get all of that at D&M signs is working on it and I can’t wait to, uh, present that, um, on Friday our last Friday.
Barbara: (09:50)
Um, I’m inviting all of our board members and our ambassadors to join us as almost kind of like we did a ribbon-cutting in the very beginning and then we’re just going to kind of do a ribbon back together. We’ve got, um, orange County bagels is going to bring coffee and bagels and breakfast for the, for the vendors. So we’ll all kind of gathered early before, after everybody’s all set up or whatever, you know, I don’t want to stop the market from getting ready, but um, just, you know, a quick thank you and give everybody, so it’ll be you, me and Mark and Lisa walking around to each of the vendors and having them a fixed their winning label.
Christopher: (10:25)
Barbara: (10:31)
Thanks for hanging out everybody.
Barbara: (10:38)
Welcome back everyone and thank you for staying with us here on Goshen chamber connects powered by WTBQ and WGHT. this is Barbara Martinez, executive director of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce. Happy farmers’ market Friday. Thank you for hanging out with us today. That’s right. The farmer’s market is still going strong. We have over 30 vendors hanging out with us. So yeah, I can’t, last Friday it was bitter cold and we just couldn’t handle that. Um, and then one other market we had to like take all the tents down and it would look very weird without the, without the tents. But the market vendors were there. Today’s kind of a beautiful day and they’re out there. A little chilly, but still a beautiful day. They’re there til 2:00 PM and some are staying until four. Like I think like the bread stays until four. I think SS&O stays until four.
Barbara: (11:23)
LunaGrown stays until four.
Christopher: (11:24)
Yes. Conklin stays still four. Madura stays till four.
Barbara: (11:28)
So you can, you can get, you can definitely get your veggies and your fruits are, is, are there any fruits? Is it winter? Do I okay.
Christopher: (11:38)
Yes there’s apples and pears…there are fruits
Barbara: (11:38)
How about, um, how about some of the specialties? Um, how about like our Arlotta or the honey? Uh, are they still until two, until two o’clock, went to two o’clock. So like, um, Talitha with the, Talitha with the, with the.
Christopher: (11:58)
goat cheese and she has warm, warm goat milk today.
Barbara: (12:03)
I can only imagine what that tastes like.
Christopher: (12:05)
Warm Chocolate goat milk,
Barbara: (12:07)
warm chocolate. So like, yeah, so not hot chocolate. Warm chocolate.
Christopher: (12:11)
It’s warm. The kids love it. I mean they absolutely love it. If she doesn’t have it, they get all teary-eyed and you know, kids.
Barbara: (12:18)
and you know, it’s a, I see the kids walking around eating a pickle and drinking the goat milk, but that is quite the combo you got going on.
Barbara: (12:27)
But they love it and it’s a, it’s amazing to have, um, everyone, they’re of course a cornucopia concept. He’s there. We have Hudson Valley seafood with Hilly acres. Is there Pomo orchards? Um, so, you know, I don’t want to miss any of the vendors, but I think I kind of listed them all. Of course, we have the live music by a Glassy Honk who she’s also coming out and playing out in the cold, hanging out. She loves to play and we love to listen to her play. So we do have a beautiful location for our farmer’s markets. I want to say thank you to the First Presbyterian church for making, allowing us to have that as our home. The deacon and everyone that, um, has invited us and kind of made it so that we can make it possible for everyone to be with us at the farmer’s market.
Barbara: (13:10)
And once again, I just want to tell you we are there today and we’re there next Friday. The 22nd is the last Friday for the farmer’s market, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and if you want to help celebrate the farmers with us, the vendors join us next Friday because we have a little presentation we want to do with all of the vendors and just kind of get a nice, uh, good goodbye feels, you know, see you till next year. See you when the market starts up again in May. So just you think, just because the market ends in November, does it mean that we stop working? Uh, we’ve got the application going out and the beginning of the year we’re going to start recruiting for potential replacements if it’s necessary. Although I think a lot of our vendors are just coming back.
Christopher: (13:54)
Yup. We’re just looking at expansion, possible expansion. Looking back guys, what are we missing? Let us know.
Barbara: (14:00)
Like, was that a pun? Did you say? Lettuce no. Like lettuce.
Christopher: (14:04)
Lettuce, no. I did not say let it snow. I said let us know.
Barbara: (14:08)
Let us know. Okay. So before I jump in, we could talk about, I mean, we can talk about the farmer’s market all day long. We actually want to talk to Chris about LunaGrown and you know, did you know he’s a celebrity? He’s all over the place. Everywhere you go, you see those jars. It’s amazing. In fact, we should have had a jar in here with us. When we go on break, I’m gonna grab one from Taylor if she has not eaten all of them and we can just show everybody what the jars look like so that when you’re out and about, trust me, once you see it, the one time you’ll see it everywhere.
Barbara: (14:38)
Cause that’s what happens to me everywhere I go. I see the LunaGrown jam jars, which are amazing. So before I do that, let me show you what’s going on. Save the date for Thursday, Thursday, and we have our deck, the halls with bowling balls. We’re doing it at Quinn’s pins. And yes, we are collecting toys for military tots on behalf of WTBQ, WGHT check out our flyers. Got of a lot of great information. So if you’re coming in, you’re joining us on Thursday, bring a toy, unwrapped toy, please. Um, and that way we can do, donate it for toys for military tots. And remember we have got live music on Thursday. We have a great menu. Um, I posted it on Facebook. Our menu has got great food. Of course, the food is being catered by Quinn’s pins, but the dessert’s provided by Oak in Reed and you know, Oak and Reed is the bomb.
Barbara: (15:30)
They were with us at our farmer’s market. They’re sticky buns. I still talk about them to this day. Absolutely amazing. And then we are going to have a lot of raffles. I couldn’t even tell you. I don’t have enough time to tell you why all the raffles are. But one of the raffles is a 20, uh, employee pack party pack by Quinn’s pins where you can have a party for your entire 20 employees at Quinn’s pins, a Catskill marketing. They are donating a free website design, um, to the uh, that’s one of the raffles. We got a window cleaning and gutter cleaning for, for residential, just so many different prizes. I want to say thank you to Celia’s, um, who is our platinum sponsor and now new proud member of the Goshen chamber of commerce floor covering international. who came in as a gold sponsor and also a proud member of the Goshen chamber of commerce.
Barbara: (16:20)
And, um, the other second, uh, gold sponsor is Oh All-County window cleaning. They are, they’ve been our, our member and a proud member of the Goshen chamber of commerce came in as the second gold sponsor for our events. Um, our entertainments, um, is being offered to photography by EC media group and of course, our sponsors that are helping us promote our promotional sponsors, WTBQ, WGHC and Rob Galmuka designs. We’ve got a lot of people that join together to help us put this mega mixer together. It’s going to be the mixer, of all mixers, and we’re doing it at Quinn’s pins at Thursday, the 21st 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. I’m trying to extend it 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at 13 railroad Avenue in Middletown. It’s only $25 for members, $35 for non-members. For you to enjoy an event with us, it’s gonna be a fabulous, don’t forget to register online and come hang out with us on the 21st and then also save the date for September, September.
Barbara: (17:26)
What is wrong with me today? Save the date for December 7th Goshen holiday experience. This is going to be a fun-filled day of holiday activities for the entire family. The Goshen chamber of commerce is teamed up with the Goshen historic track, illuminate Goshen, Goshen art league, Johannesburg Catholic high school and Catholic charities to bring you a fun-filled day of activities for the families. And I just want to point out that the Goshen historic track, we have a bunch of activities planned and they’re all free. Family-friendly, kid-friendly. Come take some pictures, come have some hot chocolate. Come hang out with us at the Goshen historic track. Um, if you’re doing the house tour that’s through Catholic charities, Berk Catholic has got like 40 vendors over at the, uh, they’re having, um, ugly sweater contest and Santa stroll and jingle jog and food trucks.
Barbara: (18:16)
So all of this is happening at the, in Goshen and then it all then ends with, um, the tree lighting. Um, at the village square where we have our farmer’s market, it’s going to be at 4:30. Kyle Roddy and illuminate Goshen are going to do their tree lighting. Uh, they are. So all of this leads up to just a fun-filled day of activities for families. And I am so glad that the Goshen chamber of commerce was able to pool all of this together and I cannot wait to unveil our finished map next week so that you guys can see the all the shops in the village, all of the did you knows and really learn more about each activity for provided by each not for profit organization. We are humbled that we are able to do this and so excited for to get it done.
Barbara: (19:03)
So again, important dates, the 21st our deck, the halls with bowling balls and then the seventh we are doing our Goshen holiday experience. So make sure you join us. Go onto our Facebook page or check us out on our website at www.goshennychamber.com and that way you can have all the activities as save it on your calendar and hang out with us. All right. Hi Chris.
Christopher: (19:26)
Hi Miss Barbara,
Barbara: (19:28)
Tell us about LunaGrown. How long has that been around and people aren’t just, listen, I did your Facebook live and the jamettes showed up.
Christopher: (19:36)
Yes, they did.
Barbara: (19:38)
You, you have like a whole entire fan club.
Christopher: (19:40)
I do, I do
Barbara: (19:43)
People love your jams.
Christopher: (19:45)
I just found out this week that, uh, we’re in, um, central. What’s a place in New York?
Barbara: (19:52)
Central Valley.
Christopher: (19:53)
Grand central station.
Barbara: (19:54)
Get! Ooh. How did you find out?
Christopher: (19:57)
Somebody called me and asked me to do something in Manhattan and said, Oh, well we, we found your product in grand central. Can you do this? And I’m like, when did I get into Grand Central?
Barbara: (20:07)
That’s awesome. The first time. So I did your interview and then the Jamettes showed up. Yes. And then now every time I go somewhere, I see them. Like, just recently I was at, um, the Woodbury common and they have a nice welcome center and boom. There’s LunaGrown. Yup. That’s, that’s just awesome. It’s like you’re, you’re popular stuff is everywhere.
Christopher: (20:27)
Well, it should be. It’s, it’s, we’re one of the only for a local product. We’re one of the only kosher products and we’re kosher out of, uh, the rabbi’s actually out of Middletown, which you, that doesn’t happen, you know, so that’s pretty cool. And there was something else I was going to say. I forgot what it was.
Barbara: (20:46)
Tell us about your, how did you get started? Like did you just one day find fruit and say to yourself? I can jam this. Yeah, I can. I can jam it. I can can it too.
Christopher: (20:56)
I was working a part-time job and hated it with a passion and um,
Barbara: (21:01)
was it a happy accident or did you know how to make jam?
Christopher: (21:04)
Well, I knew how to make jam, but you in your spare time and you’re like, uh, I hate my job. What am I going to do? And so I made some and the people at this job said, can we buy that? And that started it. The guys, my business partners, um, they own farmland and they’re like, okay, well if you’re going to do that, we’re just gonna plant this stuff here and we’re going to build the barn. And we’re going to put a kitchen in it and we’re going to go all the way. And we did.
Barbara: (21:32)
That’s it. And here you are like your, your jam is like everywhere. And uh, but not only that, there’s a, there’s a poetry behind. Can I say poetry behind what you do? There is like this magic in poetry behind what you do. You, you create these recipes, but you also, uh, uh, are very great at writing stories. So you write a whole story around how you pair this jam with other things. And meals, and it just, it’s almost dreamlike,
Christopher: (21:59)
but it should be, shouldn’t it? I mean, your meals, when you eat that, there’s a certain romance to that, that that’s you. You’re not just gonna. I don’t know. Yeah, we’re not, we’re not peanut butter and jelly. We’re not, you know, it’s, it’s not that we’re not good with peanut butter. We’re not going to say Skippy, you’re going to be like, make your own, you know, right? Because if you’re going to pay for any product and I don’t care what it is, it should be worth the money. And you should know what you’re eating. You should be able to taste that. You should be able to shut your eyes and go, Oh man, this is just, and that sounds, it sounds crazy, but I’m serious and I believe that with any food you eat. Yeah.
Barbara: (22:43)
Well, we’re gonna take a little break when we get back. He’s got some recipes or jam flavors he needs to tell us about. You’re listening to Goshen chamber connect. Stay with us. So Evelyn is saying “Apple jam is the best over some hot pancakes on Christmas morning. Our family tradition”.
Christopher: (23:03)
Yes, it is. I got to market. She said I have to put my order and then I said I have to put my order in too because I get peanut butter cookies from them.
Barbara: (23:10)
Ah, okay.
Christopher: (23:12)
For, I dunno how many years it’s been even the couple of year or two that they were not at market. They still get pints of Apple jam and they have it on pancakes for their Christmas. That’s been their tradition.
Barbara: (23:24)
Do you grow all of the items that you use in your jams or do you like shop at other farms? To get your ingredients?
Christopher: (23:31)
It depends on what it is. It’s strawberries we get from Bialis farms, peaches, we get from Bialas farms. Um, we grow grapes, currants, apricots, pears. A couple of other things. I can’t remember. Oh no, we grow. And
Barbara: (23:49)
so right now, like if somebody goes to the, decides I’m going to go to the market right now, go get some jams. What flavors? I mean I should be asking you this on the air, but for those that are on Facebook live, let’s give them some love.
Barbara: (23:58)
Um, what flavors can they pick up now at farmers’ market today?
Christopher: (24:02)
Today they can get, um, I have one lemon left unless Evlyn has sold it. There is a, the black forest, which is a cherries and chocolates. Um, I have a candy Apple jelly, which is really amazing. It tastes like a candy Apple, like, you know, um, that’s there. I have some raspberry, some razzle Berry. I think I have some Apple.
Barbara: (24:29)
Okay. Alright. Michael is not working. Barbara, what was Michael? I have no idea what she’s talking about. Do you know what she’s talking about? No. Lisa, I have no idea what you’re talking about, Lisa. Michael is not working,
Christopher: (24:41)
Who’s Michael? If she’s saying microphone?
Barbara: (24:45)
Oh, my microphone isn’t working. This one, how would you know?
Barbara: (24:52)
Unless she’s listening to me on the radio. My mind is not working. Yes it is. Can you not hear us? You should hear us. I’m not understanding what she’s saying. I need more information Lisa. So Goshen Indy. Grab it today at the farmers market.
Barbara: (25:23)
and we’re back. Everyone. Thank you for staying with us here on Goshen chamber connects powered by WTBQ and WGHT. this is Barbara Martinez, executive director of the Goshen chamber of commerce. And today I’m hanging out with Christopher Wilson and I just realized what Lisa’s talking about. So Michael Jackson has got a song called jam and I told her to play that song jam.
Barbara: (25:45)
It ain’t too much for me at the market while she’s selling your jams. And I told her she would totally be sold out of the jam because of the song.
Barbara: (25:54)
Anyway, I’m hanging out with Christopher Wilson from LunaGrown jams and I’ll tell us a little bit about the name. LunaGrown and you have this really good,
Barbara: (26:03)
cool logo, has got two puppies on there.
Christopher: (26:06)
It does have two puppies on it. So when we decided that the farmland would be farmed, um, we had Luna, which was, she was a rescue dog from the Bronx and uh, she was, she was our first one. So when we started out, I said, this is going to be LunaGrown. It’s named after her. And then we got another rescue, which was Benny and he was out of Chelsea and, you’re always nervous with dogs. I am. When they first meet. And these two, they, they were inseparable. So Benny and Luna ran the farm. I mean, the tractors would be out and they’d be right there. There’s pictures of them in the tractors. That’s, that’s where LunaGrown comes from. And when they passed it was, that was tough.
Barbara: (26:49)
But you have their legacy. I mean you,
Barbara: (26:51)
we have the legacy and the jam and the story behind the company.
Barbara: (26:54)
Yeah. Yeah. That’s a, that’s a great, great way to, you know, the, and, and, you know, a lot of times people will see the label or they’ll see a logo or they’ll see a name and a lot of times they don’t even know where it comes from. So this is part of what we do here is giving people the opportunity to get an emotional connection to the product that they’re buying. So, you know, when you say shop small support local, a lot of times you, when you hear the story, it makes that bond that much, much stronger. Um, you know, I know the Jamettes love the jams, right, but do the Jamettes. really know the backstory of it. And I, I guarantee you you are, although I know they’re like die-hard fans. They call themselves the jamettes. Um, but you know, to know the backstory or to know the story behind LunaGrown and how it all came together, um, in the passion behind it, it makes you saver that jam a little bit more does.
Christopher: (27:48)
And if you’re in the store and somebody hasn’t seen the label, you can just go. It’s the only jam with two dogs on the Label. Just get the stuff with the dogs on it.
Barbara: (27:57)
It’s, and it’s not, it’s, it’s awesome. So you said it’s kosher. Tell us a little bit about some of that.
Christopher: (28:02)
And that’s reduced sugar. Where a reduced sugar product, which in New York that, I didn’t know this when we started, but it’s kind of a challenge because every time you develop a recipe you have to send it to Cornell to make sure you’re, you know what you’re doing. So you develop the recipe, then you paid to have the recipe double checked before you’re allowed to create it to sell.
Barbara: (28:24)
So you can’t just say, I’m going to make jam and I’m going to sell it.
Barbara: (28:27)
If, if you’re a home processor and you’re going to use sure gel, you can to an extent, but you can’t sell out of state. You cannot sell on the internet because they want to make sure you’re, you’re legit, that you’re, you know, if you’re going to be a business, then be a business.
Barbara: (28:42)
So you just said out of state and across the country. And uh, so I’m guessing you are international.
Christopher: (28:47)
I can, um, I can ship international. We ship across America, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. So when you go on vacation, you let me know and we’ll make sure your jam is at that hotel before you get there. Oh wow. Yup. And uh, as far as retail goes, we’re from New York to California. They, there’s places in, uh, in San Francisco that carry us, butchers.
Barbara: (29:13)
Wait, you know you have like an onion, Jam. You, yes. So your jam isn’t just sweet,
Barbara: (29:18)
Right It’s, it’s savory. It’s across the board. So you can have your sweet, you’re can have your savory. Do you have a spicy? I do. We do a Chipolte a pepper rather than a regular pepper jam. It’s a chipotle. So it has that nice smoky, and then it just kind of melts. You get that honey flavor and then it goes through and you’re like, Ooh, that’s kinda hot. Huh? It’s nice.
Barbara: (29:38)
So jam isn’t just sweet. It’s all, it’s all across the board with the LunaGrown jams. So what if people go to the farmer’s market today? And I said it on the off the air, but let’s do it again on the air. They go to the farmer’s market today. What will they find? They will find some, they are not going to find lemon lavender because Taylor took them off.
Christopher: (29:57)
She did take them all. Okay. We have black forest, which is a cherry chocolate jam. Um, we have a candy Apple, which tastes just like candy Apple. Wow. And it’s pink and it’s really pretty. And uh, what else do I have? I have some Berry jams. Some raspberry, um, razzleberry, which is a triple Berry, at least have some Apple unless Evelyn’s eaten it all. So we have quite a few there.
Barbara: (30:21)
Yeah. Have you had your eyes on the Apple jam? Evelyn’s there. She probably just scalped it all up. Just like Taylor took all the lemon lavender. So you, your jam is also in a, like for example, in Go goat’s milk. She’s got her goat cheese and she’s got it infused or she’s got some of that little jam in it. And it’s like everybody’s favorite. It’s like a bestseller. Yes. What is your best seller? Uh, products, which is the one that everybody is like, you have to have it cause people, that’s what they’re looking for.
Christopher: (30:53)
Well, there are four products I make year-round. Um, the fig and the lemon lavender were the first two that we said we’re going to do this year-round. Most everything is seasonal, but there’s a few. And the reason that that happened is we did them seasonally and I got hate mail. I got emails from customers that were just awful. How can you be in business? Don’t you know what you’re depriving me. I saved them all. They’re wonderful. But that’s why the lemon lavender is… I have to make it, same with the fig, the hot pepper we do year-round and um, the onion jam. Yeah.
Barbara: (31:31)
So the lemon lavender, like what, what do you put in it? What, what is that? It’s well, is lemons year-round?
Christopher: (31:39)
No, but I don’t grow lemons. So they grow them in California. In Florida.
Barbara: (31:43)
Ah, okay. And what about the lavender you go to? Do you run through lavender fields and gather up the fresh pickings of lavender?
Christopher: (31:49)
We used to get our lavender, originally we got it from France. We got organic lavender from France because that’s what you did. And now we get our lavender from Winterton farms.
Barbara: (31:58)
Oh yes, yes. They are actually um, guest vendors at our market. Yes.
Christopher: (32:02)
So they were, they grow, uh, like 28 varieties of lavender from um, edible lavender to the kind they use in soap to just amazing. It’s amazing stuff, but that’s what’s in the lavender and it’s lemons and lavender, little bit of love
Christopher: (32:21)
and the little bit of love. So tell us more about, you have a recipe book. Tell us about that. And because it’s a beautiful book, I mean it’s like full color, just you put a lot of detail and attention in this book.
Barbara: (32:36)
When, when that book started we were going to do a 10-page pamphlet, just a little, this is what you can do with the jam giveaway kind of thing. And the more recipes we developed, well now this isn’t gonna isn’t gonna be a 10 page. So I spoke with, Kasha Bialas and we got together and she did the amazing photography that’s in there. So once we had the photography done, we went and looked at it and said, this isn’t going to be a little black and white. We’ve got to go the extra step and make it worth it, make it the high gloss, the colors that are rich and deep, And that’s what we did. And, uh, we used Chester printing in Middletown. They did a beautiful job and that just kinda how it happened, it took four years. Wow. Four years. Cause every recipe that’s in that book was tried. You got to try then all and make sure they work.
Barbara: (33:28)
And speaking about trying, so how do you come up with the, with the combinations that you come up? I mean, are you just like, Hmm, I wonder if I throw this with this? I mean, have you had ones that you’re like, Whoa, that was a bomb. And those that were a happy surprise,
Christopher: (33:43)
The, uh, the onion jam, which is very good. Uh, and I’m very proud of that. When I told my dad I’m gonna make onion jam, he made a face at me and said, “nah son, don’t waste your money. Nobody’s going to buy that awful stuff”. And the first recipe he was right. It was disgusting. I made that and I jarred it. And then two days later I said, okay, cause you test for shelf stability. I open it up like, Oh my God, this is disgusting. Who would eat this? So that went in the garbage and then you know, you start again, you said okay, what was wrong, what was right, what works, what doesn’t? And you go from there,
Barbara: (34:20)
do you? So do you taste it and go, it needs a little bit more. Put my tongue on it.
Christopher: (34:28)
So I can tell you if I tasted jam, like Hmm, it’s there’s, there’s a hole, missing there. It’s either not deep enough or there’s a layer missing or it’s too something
Barbara: (34:38)
you can reverse engineer it in your mind. Yeah. So how long does the process take? I know you said you go through the process of maybe tasting and then you jar it and then you tested for shelf life. Tell us the, the, the process, how long does it take you to get a new jam out into the world?
Christopher: (34:59)
Well, go, go be free. Jam, make smiles, make smiles and memories. Fun smile. Um, I would say from start to finish at, and this depends on the state sometimes, but uh, in creating the product and getting ready to get-go, it can go, it can take a week. It could take two months. It depends on the product.
Barbara: (35:23)
So do you create it like these huge vats of, do you have a cauldron? And this morning I have a cauldron. Roland trouble with that.
Christopher: (35:34)
I have a cauldron and I put my little hat on. Um, I’m 216 ounces. That’s how many go in a pot? I don’t know. That’s like a gallon and somewhat I don’t know.
Barbara: (35:50)
So you make small, you make them in small batches.
Christopher: (35:52)
No more than 24 jars to a batch. Yep. So this is like, it’s a small batch. This is real. So, so you’re getting what that fruit tastes like. It’s not going in this huge 20 gallon. It’s like some of the commercial that they just did jump pour it in a thing. We pick our fruit, we clean our fruit, we make sure that you’re not getting fruit that’s bruised and yuck. and, yeah, it’s small.
Barbara: (36:15)
So, but so there is a lengthy process. I mean you’re, you’re harvesting the fruit, you’re making, you’re testing the fruit. Makes sense. Yeah.
Christopher: (36:22)
So I’m, I mean, I’m never going to be bony mama or whatever some of those other jams are and I know that, but I’m okay with that because it’s a great product. The people that have it are going to remember it, that their kids are gonna grow up and go. Remember we used to get this really great stuff at Goshen farmer’s market and so they’re going to have a memory, which is really cool. I mean, that’s what life’s about,
Barbara: (36:48)
So, and with that, with the small batches, you can control the quality
Christopher: (36:52)
you can, you can control the quality and you can tweak it. So if you pick strawberries, this is one, one of the interesting things, uh, for farmers, um, or for people to buy strawberries. You go to the (super)market and you see all these beautiful berries and you eat one, you’re like, this doesn’t taste like anything. If you go in the spring at your local (farmers’)market here in the Hudson Valley and you get a strawberry, you’re like, Oh my God, this is incredible because it was growing local. So if we’re using that in our jam rather than the, uh, you know, awful Strawberries you see in the (super)market, imagine the flavor difference and we can do that and you can make those decisions on that batch.
Barbara: (37:35)
Is strawberry in season? Cause now I feel like having strawberry. All right, we’re going to take a little break. Uh, when we get back, we’ve got more with LunaGrown jams, Goshen chamber connects. Stay with us.
Barbara: (37:53)
Okay. So what have we not covered? Oh, hello everybody. Robert Sella, Gerson Gerson is saying delicious. Amy Van Amberg is saying, Hey, happy Friday. Thank you Matt Gottleib for hanging out with us. Um, Oh actually there’s a message in here as well that I wanted to see Bonnie Heaton Wilson. “So much fun to see the jam man live. You also Barbara, best jam ever” oh my mama. So, um, let me move this up so that weakest, see the jam song. Oh, that’s what she was talking about. She’s talking about Michael Jackson. I kept telling her just play jam, you know the song… It ain’t too much for music jam. Michael Jackson when he’s dribbling against Michael Jordan. No,
Christopher: (38:37)
You know I’m 15 years older than you are.
Barbara: (38:39)
It’s Michael Jackson,
Christopher: (38:41)
Yeah, Michael Jackson, ended for me with thriller.
Barbara: (38:44)
Ah, okay. Wow. I’m going to have to show you that song before we leave. I may even play it a little bit for you. Uh, so you know what I’m talking about. Um, so he told me to play that song so that people can really come to the booth and she, her goal is just totally sell out by the time you get there,
Christopher: (39:02)
So, she’s going to hide all my product.
Barbara: (39:09)
Oh my gosh. Okay. So there’s, is there anything that we have not covered because this is our last segment, believe it or not. So anything that you, any message that you want to get out there, um, that you want people to know. Did you know, um, some nugget of wisdom about jams.
Chris: (39:28)
Is there nuggets
Barbara: (39:31)
You can put jam on your nuggets though.
Barbara: (39:37)
We got a call last segment. Um, Chris with recipes you can ask about that. Look, I can’t even tell which direction my hair is going. What a mess. I’m a mess today guys. I’m combing it in the wrong direction.
Barbara: (40:07)
Welcome back everyone and thank you for staying with us here on Goshen chamber connects powered by WTBQ and WGHT. remember we are live at 93.5 FM and 11:10 AM and you can stream us worldwide on wtbq.com and you know, I forgot to tell you that if you wanted to call us, you can always call us at 845-651-1110 and you can stream us worldwide on wtvq.com we are also on Goshen chamber of Commerce’s Facebook live. So if you wanted to see me or Chris Wilson from LunaGrown, you can hang out with us behind the scenes and kind of engage with us. I know your mom was on there saying hello. So six five one one one one zero I knew it. You know what, when I don’t do it in the right flow, I missed the step. It’s (845) 651-1110. If you want to call in and ask Chris or myself a question. So LunaGrown has been in business for how long?
Christopher: (41:01)
Eight. Nine years.
Barbara: (41:03)
Eight, nine years. And it’s been, I guess is, has it been everything that you wanted it to be? Um, do you have, what is your future for LunaGrown what do you, what do you, what do you see being the next step from?
Christopher: (41:15)
I don’t have the slightest idea. That’s the way I, when I started, I had a business plan. By the second year, I had a business plan and that’s just… Why do you write those, just let life kind of take you? I don’t know what the next step is. We’re just going to keep going the way we’re going now. We’re having a good time. And the people like the product, you know that. That’s good. Right?
Barbara: (41:37)
So tell we mentioned four products that are like the lemon lavender and the onion and, the pepper. When did you say pepper and then what was the other one? That’s a strawberry. No, for now. That’s what penalties. That’s the most popular. We only named four, but, but the bottom line is what are other flavors that you do that people can, can lookout?
Christopher: (42:01)
Okay. Right now because we’re in this time of year, what you can watch for is a cranberry. Oh yeah. And rather than that goo that comes out of that can that everybody buys it. I don’t understand it. Uh, you end up really nice. Cranberry jam is not too sweet. Uh, it with Turkey, it’s just a phenomenal thing. Um, especially for sandwiches after Thanksgiving with those nice Turkey rolls and bread and god i’m hungry. Um, so we have that, we do a razzleberry, which is a combination of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries also for the holidays is great. Um, you know, with muffins and whatnot, but it’s really pretty in cookies, those stained glass cookies. It’s just really nice. Um, let’s do, we have this time of year, we do the fig. We do a lot of fig this time of year. Uh, the, um, the black forest is new for this season. We just developed that and just released that like a month ago. So it’s, and this cherry and chocolate. So that’s, that’s new for this season, which is great. Um, we’re doing an, actually Bialas farms has an event and for that event only we’re bringing back a plum (jam) for the holiday.
Barbara: (43:09)
Oh, okay. And so where do you get the plums from?
Christopher: (43:12)
I had to have them shipped in.
Barbara: (43:14)
Okay. All right. So that’s interesting. Throughout the summer though, do you have other flavors throughout the summer that people can expect? What are some of the other flavors?
Christopher: (43:23)
We do a honey peach with cherry, which is very popular. That’s what the Jamettes, we’re there picking up. Okay. That’s a, that’s really a very nice one. Our blueberry, our blueberries actually come from the Shawangunk Ridge. They come off our farm. We have eight acres of wild blueberries. So there’s a little teeny little suckers that take forever to pick. That’s very popular. We do a Tomato jam, which is a requested. Um, and it’s different. I guess it’s one of those you love it. I just go okay. well, that’s what they want.
Barbara: (43:55)
What are, so what are the prices of these jams?
Christopher: (43:58)
All our jams are the same price. And it depends on where you go shopping. If you’re at Goshen farmer’s market there eight, if you go to Manhattan, that’s, yeah, it’s up to the retailer. Um,
Barbara: (44:12)
wait, so how about the, uh, can you get like a case of it?
Christopher: (44:17)
Well, if you know me or if you like me or if you really nice you can get a case of it. If you’re, if you’re a retailer, you can certainly get a case of it.
Barbara: (44:26)
So can someone just like send you a message and be like, okay, I’m going to go to the Goshen farmer’s market and I really need a case of Apple jam because Evlyn says it really good on pancakes.
Christopher: (44:34)
You can, um, or you can order it. Uh, if you’re going to have a family dinner or a family, a function, especially for Thanksgiving, you can order in, uh, we do quarts and we do half gallons.
Barbara: (44:46)
Oh, I didn’t know that you had different.sizes.
Christopher: (44:48)
because we supply a couple of restaurants Massons market place. Um, they carry us and a Hudson Street Cafe up in Newburgh. We’re on their menu and somebody else just put us on menu, but I can’t think of who it is right now.
Barbara: (45:03)
Oh, that’s fantastic. Hopefully Oak & Reed. Will use some of your jams when they open up. Put that up there. Oak & Reed, jams. Um, in your, in your, your recipe book. If somebody wanted to get a hold of your recipe book
Christopher: (45:20)
that’s available. Um, for Kindle on Amazon. Um, it’s available on our website lunagrown.com and of course, if I’m at market then I always have copies with me.
Barbara: (45:31)
Do you know not to give a shout out to all markets, but you do other markets as well, right? No, you only do Goshen. Goshen is It. A Goshen chamber of commerce exclusive. Yes.
Christopher: (45:44)
And, uh, event wise I do Bialas farms. That’s it.
Barbara: (45:50)
So if you want your jam, you have to come to the Goshen chamber of commerce as farmer’s market on Fridays, uh, to get your jam. And just to remind them, you’re just signing on. The market is open today until 2:00 PM for most vendors and then some of the bigger vendors are staying until four. Then next week is the last Friday, November 22nd is the last Friday. So you can get your Thanksgiving. Holiday planning guide, uh, from the Goshen Independent, Independent. Christopher Wilson puts it all together and you can pick that up at the farmer’s market and get yourself together. And I want to invite everybody to join us on the 22nd. Um, I think we have a full market that day, right? Yeah. I mean we were getting people, it was funny because we extended the market and one of the things that we talked about as a committee, cause Chris is also on the committee, not only is he the market coordinator and a vendor, he’s also part of the committee.
Barbara: (46:42)
And we said, you know, we need at least 10 vendors to make it look like for us to extend it. Um, we had an overwhelming response from the vendors and this all started from customers saying that they wished the market was longer. Uh, so we have over 30 vendors that are staying with us for the extended season. That says a lot about the environment and, and how, how much value it brings to them to actually set up. Cause it’s not easy. It’s, it’s hard work. It’s work. I mean it’s a lot of work setting up sometimes, you know, um, I see them especially, S.S. & O. They’re there like 6:30 in the morning, set it up to get ready cause they have a huge booth of veggies and everything that they’re putting out. So the fact that they wanted to stay, the fact that we have a full market, the fact that we are getting emails from vendors saying, can we come to yours?
Barbara: (47:31)
Right. Is, and in us having to say, sorry, we just don’t have enough spots, uh, this season. Um, which is less leading us to say, I think we need to expand it a little bit more so that we can bring in more variety. So we are like taking requests. Like if you are a loyalist to the Goshen chamber of commerce’s farmer’s market and there was something you go, I really wish they had this, just let us know. Send either a message to Chris via the Facebook for the Goshen farmer’s market or for the chamber of commerce. Just send us a message. You could send an email to info@goshennychamber.com barbara@goshennychamber.com or chris@goshennychamber.com and one of us can answer, you know, maybe try to find a vendor. But if you are a vendor and you’re looking for a new home, join us at our home cause we’re, we’re warm and cozy and fun and we have live music during the summer.
Barbara: (48:29)
We have kids’ activities, we have a clinical nutritionist that sets up with us, we have composting. And then we have like guests that come in, um, artists and artisans that come in and hang out with us and do kind of like a guest spot with us, which is a nice thing to have. They’re not our constant farmers because the reality is the farmer’s market is a farmers market. So what you’re going to see there is mostly farm vendors. Um, but every once in a while we invite a guest that does either art or, or jewelry or things like that, just to kind of bring a little something different. Um, so if you are a vendor or know of a vendor that want to join us and hang out with us at the farmer’s market, you can always send Chris or myself or the chamber an email saying we want to be a part of that. Yes. Um, and we’re gonna really be putting that out in the beginning of the next year. Uh, if we have empty spots that we need to fill up, fill in. Although I have to tell you, cause I, I got a funny feeling. We’re really going to have to stretch it out here because I think we’re pretty full.
Barbara: (49:33)
What you gonna do, what you’re gonna do. Just join us on the 22nd so that you can, uh, say a nice farewell to our vendors for the season. Um, be there so that we can hand out there, uh, little, uh, awards that we want to kind of bestow as a token of our appreciation for all of the hard work that they put together. Uh, to make it such a successful farmers market. Cause the reality is the farmer’s market, the Goshen chamber of commerce’s farmer’s market is the way that it is and it’s popular. And number one, because of the vendors that are there every Friday bringing amazing product and really making it the beautiful color that it is. Um, Chris tells your website if people wanted to order your jams,
Christopher: (50:14)
LunaGrown.com L U N A G R O W N.com,
Barbara: (50:21)
And make sure you follow him on Facebook. Follow him on Instagram. He puts some great stories about his jams on there, recipes. He just posted a black forest chocolate cake that I was like, why does he doing to me, you know, and um, but also follow him on the Goshen farmer’s market Facebook page that has a huge following as well. Um, and the Instagram, uh, the colors, the pictures, everything is amazing. Um, in, you know, in the work that you do. And I just want to say, you know, as the executive director of the Goshen chamber farmer’s market and, uh, having you as a market coordinator has been a blessing. I, we are, I think a great team. Uh, we are putting out great product, great information about our farmer’s market. Um, all the work that we’re putting through the Goshen independent, it’s really, uh, taking care of each and every one of our vendors and showing them that we appreciate what they do every single Friday to make it a success. And I thank you for being a part of my team.
Christopher: (51:24)
I thank you for asking me.
Barbara: (51:26)
All right. Everybody makes sure a farmer’s market is open till 2:00 PM for some and some of them are open till 4:00 PM and the next Friday the 22nd and check out LunaGrown.com .com. Alright. Have a nice weekend everyone. Happy Friday. Bye bye.
Barbara: (51:46)
All right everybody. I don’t even know what direction my hair’s going in. Thank you so much for hanging out with us. No, I don’t want it to. Cool everybody. Thank you for hanging out with us. Um, make sure that you go to the farmer’s market there until 4:00 PM in the next Friday. Yup. Next Friday. That’s it. That’s it. Yeah. Your stuff. Get your stuff before the farmers market ends. say bye, Chris.

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LunaGrown Interview with Executive Director Barbara Martinez June, 2019

LunaGrown Interview with Executive Director Barbara Martinez June, 2019

LunaGrown Jam Live with Executive Director Barbara Martinez

For additional ideas on utilizing jam, marmalade and jellies check out our book “Beyond the Bread~ Tasteful Exploration of Jam and Marmalade” available in both Print and Kindle editions.

LunaGrown strawberry jam

Barbara: (00:00)
have my jet pack powered by Verizon Wireless. From Montgomery, Newburgh, and New Windsor. So it’s recording for now. I think I might try this, but if not I’ll do a do-over with Chris. I just want to make sure that you get to see his booth. You get to see Chris really quick. He is the featured vendor of the week for the Goshen Chamber of Commerce‘s farmer’s market. And he’s also the featured vendor listed in the Goshen Independent. So there’s Chris. He’s doing a little transaction first, with his beautiful shopper here who just got her Goshen Indy. Uh, all right. So we got our Goshen Indy here. Hi ChrisChris: (00:39)
Hi.Barbara: (00:40)
LunaGrownChris: (00:40)
LunaGrown Jam. Beautiful Day here in Goshen.
Barbara: (00:42)
And how long have you been in business?
Chris: (00:46)
We’ve been in business since 2012 and we’ve been in Goshen since 2012.
Barbara: (00:50)
and you are a proud committee member of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce farmer’s Market Committee. So He’s here, he’s a fixture and he’s a constant. Um, he’s got you. He had me try for the first time is lemon lavender jam and that was awesome. Um, but there’s all kinds of flavors. What are some of the flavors that people can find here?
Chris: (01:10)
Today We have raspberry, we have strawberry um, onion is a very popular one this year to pair with meats and any of the products that we have our wonderful to pair with other vendors in the Goshen market, bread and cheeses and meats, and vegetables. You sauté vegetables with a little jam inside. Absolutely amazing.
Barbara: (01:36)
I just was over at go goat’s [cheese] tent and she showed me one of her containers that has your,
Chris: (01:44)
That has the lemon lavender marmalade with beautiful goat cheese. Yes.
Barbara: (01:48)
So if in case you guys didn’t know the [Goshen] farmer’s market has an awesome Facebook page, that Facebook page is this guy right here. So all those thoughtful stories, all those combinations of recipes, everything’s has to do with the farmer’s market. This guy putting it together and you know, I love Facebook posting and all that stuff. So when I see someone that does it the right way, it just, I get all like, okay, this is it. This is the kindred spirit right here.
Chris: (02:16)
We’re here for the community
Barbara: (02:17)
and for the farmer’s market and the market vendors
Chris: (02:20)
Yes, we want it all together.
Barbara: (02:21)
So this week he’s the featured vendor of the Goshen Indy. So you pick up the Goshen Indy right here at his booth. The LunaGrown booth. Okay. He’s going to be here until five o’clock. Pick up the Goshen, Indy checkout the recipe is the Goshen farm to table, plant-based recipe by Myrtle Peda and Kitchen Garden, strawberry, almond, Biscotti Parfait.
Chris: (02:44)
Barbara: (02:44)
Holy moly.
Chris: (02:46)
Barbara: (02:46)
So which of the jams are they supposed to pick up for this thing? I think anything you do with any of them, right? Where’s the strawberry one? Show us your strawberry jam.
Chris: (02:55)
This is, can we get it here? This strawberry jam.
Barbara: (02:58)
How much do these? This beautiful container.
Chris: (03:01)
It’s $8 for one. Two for $15. and we are a reduced sugar product just more than half of what? More than half the sugar. Less than half the sugar, than the stuff from the supermarket. And we are kosher.
Barbara: (03:16)
Kosher, kosher. You said the magic word. It’s Kosher. Here’s another thing. You have a book. You want to show your book. Alright. So he’s going to pull out his book so he can show you. He’s got a book that he sells here at the farmer’s market as well as a bunch of recipes with his marmalades and his jams. So in case you want to try different recipes that are tried and true, you can get it from his book. What’s your book
Chris: (03:40)
beyond the bread.
Barbara: (03:42)
So Tasteful Exploration with Jams and Marmalade. How much is this book?
Chris: (03:49)
Barbara: (03:49)
$18 you can get it here from Chris. You should check out his website. What’s your website?
Chris: (03:57)
Lunagrown.com L U N A G R O W N.com
Barbara: (04:02)
and you have Facebook.
Chris: (04:05)
We’re on Facebook. LunaGrown if you Google LunaGrown. You’ll find us and we do ship nationwide and we’re selling 32 stores in New York to California. [list of retailers]
Barbara: (04:15)
I just spotted you at Mason’s Marketplace.
Chris: (04:17)
You did. Mason’s marketplace has us on the menu.
Barbara: (04:20)
Oh!, I need to check that out. Okay I’m gonna spot that. Let me show you guys the logo. Okay, so you have are these rottweilers, pit bulls
Chris: (04:29)
Those are pit mixes. They’re both rescue dogs. That’s Luna. Luna-grown, and that’s her companion. Ben.
Barbara: (04:36)
Luna and Ben are part of your logo, I love this. Again, go to LunaGrown.com and learn more about this vendor, but today at the farmer’s market until 5:00 PM pick up your Goshen, Indy from Chris. Tell him the Goshen Chamber of Commerce sent you. Check out the jams, taste a couple of flavors, and then get cooking.
Chris: (04:55)
Get Cooking.
Barbara: (04:55)
All right, thanks Chris.
Chris: (04:57)
Thank You!
Barbara: (04:57)
All right, bye everybody.

For additional ideas on utilizing jam, marmalade and jellies check out our book “Beyond the Bread~ Tasteful Exploration of Jam and Marmalade” available in both Print and Kindle editions.

LunaGrown joins Anne Maxfield of the Accidental Locavore, July 16th, 2018

LunaGrown joins Anne Maxfield of the Accidental Locavore, July 16th, 2018

Hi, I’m Ann Maxfield, and you’re listening to the Accidental Locavore Live we’re on WPWL Pauling Public Radio 103-7 FM or PaulingPublicRadio.org if you’d like to livestream us… If you’re a jam lover we’ve got a program today, that you’re gonna love. Welcome, Christopher Wilson of LunaGrown jam. Hi Chris.

LunaGrown on WGNY Fox 98.9, November 7th, 2018

LunaGrown on WGNY Fox 98.9, November 7th, 2018

LunaGrown on WGNY Fox 98.9, November 7th, 2018 1LunaGrown on WGNY Fox 98.9, November 7th, 2018

The Morning Show with Bob O. Guest Christopher Wilson of LunaGrown

Blueberry 8oz LunaGrown

Bob O: I really, I really love this guy, being a here, Chris Wilson. A good morning to you, how are you… This morning.

Chris: Good morning, I see here.

Bob O: Oh yeah, I… Now, this right here is right up my wife’s ally, it’s up mine too with what you do and you know what, we go right ahead and tell everybody what you are doing right here, in the Hudson Valley and have been for the past six years.

Chris: We’re LunaGrown jam and jelly and we make jam we make a reduced sugar product, and so that everyone can enjoy it the whole family we grow a good portion of our fruits, the stuff that we don’t grow we get from local farmers like peaches, apples, those here in the valley, and we put it together, and it’s been six years. That’s been great so far.

Bob O: Now this is your brainchild.

Chris: This is my brainchild, yes…

Bob O: Wow, what but whatever made what happened there. I mean, what would give you the signal.

Chris: I have friends that got land. They have farmland. We had dogs and we let the dogs run. And the one pup Luna, that’s the company name. Got a lost… And we found her and she was in eight acres of blueberries. Just picking them off the bushes.

Bob O: Oh, you’re kidding.

Chris: So no, I’m not kidding. And we said, “Well what are we gonna do with all these blueberries? And we started making jam.

Bob O: I’ll be darned… Yeah, I will be a dog-gone yeah.

Oh, no, getting that is crazy. That is really, really crazy, it and I mean you do marmalade… Do you do jellies?

Chris: We do a few jellies. As you mentioned earlier, there’s a Chipotle jelly for this season and our Candy Apple, which is only available during the holidays.

We have marmalades are here in touch and go with us because we’re picky about our fruit because we don’t grow the citrus but usually in December, will come out with blood orange and raspberry marmalade so which is usually gone really fast, but we try to make enough to keep everybody happy.

Bob O: So now I’m a marmalade type guy, I really am. I love when my step-mother, I used to make home-made preserves. They lived down to West Virginia.

Oh, it was so good. She used to make fresh blueberry preserves because they were in a very rural

area very, very remote their property was surrounded by the Shenandoah mountains, they lived in the Shenandoah Valley to give you a little bit of a brief idea right across the dirt road from them, and they were basically the only house on the road, they called Blueberry Hill, and she would go over there and pick all the blueberries.

I mean, you’re like 20 years behind the times down there, but I know the flavor I know that the taste I’m very much alive, with salivating right now. When you say the blueberry… Blueberry jam, you make…

Chris: Yeah, so it’s got the whole fruit, it’s got the skin, it’s got the pulp… It’s all there.

Bob O: Oh, how awesome is that? It’s nice, but now where are you located? You have a store where you located.

Chris: No, our farm is in Wurtsboro, but we’re not open to the public, so we sell to retailers, we sell to its about 24 stores in the tri-state area, most of which are in the Hudson Valley. Because this is our home.

Bob O: Oh wow, so… So I can’t just walk in your front door and say, I want this to one to to do an that.

Chris: No, you can’t, you can order it online and I’ll send it to you but you can find at one of the incredible local retailers here in the valley, you can pick up your cheese at the same time, because some cheese shops carry us, there are butchers that carry us, so you can really put something together. That’s beautiful, it’s all right there.

Bob O: Oh yeah, absolutely. But I mean the purity of all of this is what really attracts me to everything.

Chris: And that’s our goal, is so I just keep the garbage out of it because there’s no sense in that… Not for us, and we don’t wanna give it to our customers we want it clean we want them to taste it, we want them to enjoy the layers of the fruit, and what it has to offer.

Bob O: Oh, yeah, now, there… Is there something on here that’s really sparked my curiosity? You have a spiced fig jam. A spiced fig jam.

Chris: Yes, it’s spiced actually, with cinnamon and Bourbon.

So you get the fig and then you get that nice little hint of cinnamon and then you hit a layer of bourbon which isn’t a strong bourbon Bourbon flavor but it’s there you go. Oh, that’s nice, that’s different. It’s warm. So it’s very inviting.

Bob O: Wow… Oh, now, now, now, I have to ask you the art. Is this something that maybe your grandmother did or your ancestors did? And enjoying this stuff with the recipes?

Chris: No, these are my recipes, really…

Bob O: Do you have a background in culinary with this or…

Chris: My background actually is in the bar business, Yeah it was Bar and in some restaurants but that’s my background.

Bob O: No Kidding, I be damned. I’m not kidding you, this, this is great. So how do we get to your website?

Chris: Lunagrown.com. L-U-N-A-G-R-O-W-N.

Bob O: Oh wow. Now, now, these batches of these preserves or jams, jellies that you make is all of this in a limited number.

So in other words, if I go online to your site, and I order like three jars of this, two jars of this and three jars of that, do have production limitations on what you do here, I guess.

Chris: No, I… Whatever flavors we have now will run through the holiday season and when we run out, I just make more and that’s just how it goes until the season is over. And then we change varieties again, come January because we try to stay seasonal so we can remain fresh, keep our fruits fresh, keep everything fresh.

Bob O: And it’s only you doing all this. Wow, did you ever think about really getting out there and set in a world on fire with this…

Chris: Well, sure everybody does. And I think when I hit the right age, and the company grows to the point that I’m ready, then you look at selling or having somebody else take over the responsibilities like any business does, and I don’t care where you are in the United States, but that’s the goal of most businesses is to grow in a healthy way to leave your mark on the world in a positive way.

Bob O: Oh, oh no, we absolutely… And let me tell you something, now you get to a point in your life where it’s all about the food. When you get up in the morning and you have a little piece of toast or something, but yet the delectable of all of it is…

Chris: So you have a little piece of chocolate with some “Cranbury jam on and you’re good you. That’s breakfast, you’re good to go.

Bob O: Give us your website address again.

Chris: LunaGrown.com L-U-N-A-G-R-O-W-N dot com.

Bob O: Well, I and, people can request a brochure, or do you naturally mail that out with every order?

Chris: Can they request what?

Bob O: A brochure?

Chris: No, we don’t send that out. That’s actually the one that I gave you is actually our wholesale catalog.

Bob O: Oh wow, wait till my wife sees I seriously folks check it out. LunaGrown.com Really, all I’m telling you, people you gotta go there, you gotta go there, check this out, alright. LunaGrown.com and it was really good having you in the studio a seriously it.

Chris: Thank you it was a pleasure to be here with you as well.

Bob O: Thank you and you know what the story but the dog is just, “that’s crazy.

Chris: It’s the truth.

Bob O: Wow, so can I ask is Luna… Is still around.

Chris: No, she left us last year and her, her buddy, or best boy, left us the year before, that’s the two. If you look on the jars, there you see two dogs and our logo on the back of the catalog, that’s Luna & Ben.

Bob O: You almost made me have a tear in my eye.

Chris: They started us and they carry on.

Bob O: Oh my gosh, I’ve always heard that people can learn from their animals, they have something to show us. Boy, here’s some positive proof right here. They touched your heart enough for you to name your company, after Luna.

isn’t that amazing, great job, thank you, “great job, absolutely and thank you for being with us this morning.

Chris: Thank you, “My pleasure.

Bob O: Alright, alright, let’s see what are we gonna do now?

I gotta tear my eye over Luna, right, and boy, I’m telling you these jams and everything look absolutely sensational. Folks don’t forget. LunaGrown.com.

right now, Hudson Valley traffic “This traffic report sponsored by Leo S-Italian Restaurant and pre-.

LunaGrown on WTBQ August 28, 2018

LunaGrown on WTBQ August 28, 2018

LunaGrown on WTBQ August 28, 2018 2

LunaGrown joins WTBQ Scott Lask & Susan Glusica, August 28th, 2018

“Wall Street to Main Street” Scott Lask & Susan Glusica on WTBQ 93.5 FM & 1110 AM. Guest Christopher Wilson of LunaGrown Jam. LunaGrown Jam Maker joins Scott and Susan for a fun and informative interview.

For additional ideas on utilizing jam, marmalade and jellies check out our book “Beyond the Bread~ Tasteful Exploration of Jam and Marmalade” available in both Print and Kindle editions.

Spiced Fig Jam

Interview Transcript:

Scott: Well, for all of those out there who enjoy delicious foods, we have Chris Wilson with us from LunaGrown jam and I am prefacing this by saying I’m diabetic and I could eat this stuff by the spoonful.

Okay, so I…

Chris began on LunaGrown as a home-based business in 2012 and LunaGrown currently operates a commercial kitchen on a small Berry Farm and vineyard in the Hudson Valley of New York.

All LunaGrown products utilize small batch production, which you’re gonna have to explain to us. Are Kosher certified and are a reduced sugar product, which is really great for everyone. Now Chris began his career in visual merchandising before seeking employment in the bar and restaurant industry, “This field offered hands-on experience involved the front and back-ends of the restaurant bar business and with the focus on management and culinary art he refined his skills. He has a Master food preservation certification from the prestigious Cornell Cooperative Extension and is working to acquire his better process control certification from the University of California.

He’s also a retired singer-song in this. And I play music, too. Were never retired.

Okay, with numerous recordings released, his book “Beyond the Bread” is currently in its second printing, Chris is an avid reader. He also enjoys his time outdoors, hiking, and tending the fields. His spare time is focused on agricultural studies, website development, and his dogs.

Chris, welcome to the show.

Chris: Good morning, thank you for having me.

Scott: So tell us how you came to wanna do jams.

Chris: LunaGrown, It came at a necessity actually. Being in the bar business, when the State did what the State did to the businesses as far as smoking regulations and DWI regulations, a lot of places closed. So at my age, I’m going, “What am I gonna do?

So friends had purchased land and we discovered blueberries on the land, eight acres of wild blueberries, and I said, “Well we’ll give us a try.

And I made some and sold a little so I said, “Well we’re just gonna wing it and we’re gonna go and we’re gonna see where it takes us and here we are, six, I don’t how many years later?

Yeah, We had to build a commercial kitchen after the first year because…

Scott: Which is no joke.

Chris: We wanted to go, reduce sugar, you have to have a commercial kitchen, so you put that up and you file all the paperwork and you just go, you just do… So that is…

Scott: Tell us about some of the Jams. I know we just tried the strawberry, which you…

Chris: You tried the raspberry.

Scott: That’s right I’m sorry, I apologize.

It’s only my second cup of coffee -but the point is, I’m looking at the clock on as much as I love doing the show, I wanna get back out there and have another bagel with that jam on it.

So tell us about some of the flavors and some of the things that make LunaGrown unique.

Chris: Right now, we are actually in the next month, we’ll be switching to the holiday season products, we’re coming into Apple season pear season cranberries, which we don’t grow we actually have to get those from Massachusetts, but those are the upcoming items that we’re focusing on.

Susan: So are you doing any pumpkin spice? Anything…

Chris: I don’t do anything pumpkin…

Susan: That seems to be like a hit on the taste of register.

Chris: The challenge with pumpkin, apple butters. Any of the butter products, the acid levels are different, so the pH is different. You get into this whole food chemistry thing and different federal regulations it’s crazy.

Scott: Chris, we have a caller. A good morning, if you could tell us your name and where you calling from.

Caller: Yes, it’s Mark.

Scott: Hey Mark Good morning how are you.

Mark: Good morning Scott, Good morning Chris and good morning Susan. I just had a question for about the Jams Chris, can you tell me if they’re organic, or not and if so, USDA or anything like that? How many carbs how many sugars the product would have?

Chris: Okay, we are not organic certified, we do not spray pesticides however we’re not organic certified, that’s a whole another deal.

Our sugars and our carbohydrates, the sugars, usually fall between five and seven grams per tablespoon. So the carbs one or two of that, I, I only said we’re not organic. Was there another question?

Mark: Yes, the carbs, the total carbs for the product or depending on what the product is, of course.

Chris: Well, it’s gonna change per product of course. But the cars were gonna fall around the sugar area so I… So carbohydrates would range anywhere between 7-9 For tablespoon.

Mark: Okay.

Scott: Which, actually, I’m gonna cut in here ’cause I’m a huge peanut butter and jelly fan and when you take the standard Jellies off the shelf they’re 13 to 15 grams of carbohydrate, per tablespoon. So this is much better and much easier for us. Diabetics.

Mark: Right? And Chris has… Normally Fruit generally has sugar in it naturally. And what tends to be the lower carbs is one lower than the other. Let’s say if we’re talking a blueberry versus say the strawberry or something like that.

Chris: Well, in general, the fruits that are lower in sugar will have less carbs, so if you’re a keto person, you can actually…have raspberries or blueberries on that specific program because they have lower cars than say Banana, which we don’t make banana jam, but peaches will be higher because it’s a higher sugar fruit.

Mark: Right, depending on the content of the fruit.

Chris: Correct.

Mark: Alright. Okay, thank you very much, I appreciate it.

Scott: Mark, as always we love hearing from you, and have a great and safe labor day. That thank you.

Susan: I actually follow a keto style, so I have actually a fruit net carb list for the serving for and Strawberries are one of the lowest.

Scott: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, seriously. When you’re diabetic, and your sugars are low you wanna reach for that banana or pop of Orange juice. Talk about to switch over to the holiday season, or what are the big sellers that we should all try to get before they sell out.

Chris: What everybody tries to get from me, in December we do a blood orange marmalade with raspberries, and it comes in, I’m sorry, the oranges, we have brought in, of course, that gets made and it’s gone. I mean it’s gone within a week. Yeah, that’s one of the…

Susan: What was that again?

Chris: Blood orange with raspberries which… And that won’t be available to December, but what we’re coming into a…

Susan: So can you pre-order it?

Chris: No.

Scott: Ha Ha, that was my next question.

Chris: We don’t do pre-orders because we don’t know how the crops are gonna be… A challenge.

Susan: Right, that makes sense.

Chris: Three or four years ago, we did an apricot a fresh apricot right off our trees and it was beautiful, it was an absolutely beautiful product. And then the year after was so challenging with the harvest. We didn’t get any, wow and we had this year, we had a limited amount.

Susan: This has been so wet. So you have that effect.

Scott: The people forget that with all the science and technology farming is still, it’s a very volatile business.

Susan: Such a natural process.

Scott: And do not mess with mother nature, she’s the boss.

Susan: So I have a question, is it are you represented at any farmers’ markets locally.

Chris: The one farmers’ market is Goshen farmers and that is the One, is probably the only farmers’ market, I do every year on a regular basis. It’s a great market and the people that run it are wonderful because they… Diana, the market manager, she polishes her people.

So, I, when I first started there six years ago that was my first farmers’ market every… And if you listen to your market managers and your fellow business people, they’ll bring you up, they’ll help I guess hone your skills so that you’re better in the public eye and your product starts to look better. It’s just a really great experience.

Scott: Let give you an example of that. When I went to the Goshen market a couple the lease go, I bought some broccoli and some other vegetables and the stand that I bought it at said “Now go over here because they have the best onions in the best garlic”. And so it really was like, “Well, we’re the first step in the recipe. Now go see these folks”, right?

Susan: It’s a tag-team effort…

Scott: Yeah, I so how do people get in touch with you and can they actually just come to the farm?

Chris: No, we do not, as most farms you’ll find if they’re not a market they don’t allow people on it anymore. The insurance is crazy. So, sadly, nobody visits the farm. However, we are available online, of course, we ship nationwide, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Susan: What is your site?

Chris: Lunagrown.com.

Susan: How’d you come up with “Luna-grown.

Chris: Luna? When we got the land where my partners got the land, they had a dog named Luna, and I had a dog named Ben and they were best pals I mean, the best pals the… We let them run the land, it was 50 acres and then we couldn’t find Luna, we didn’t know where she went, so we found her sitting in the blueberries… She was sitting there picking these blueberries off the bushes that’s kind of how it started, but how could you not name it after her?

Susan: That’s awesome, I love that story.

Scott: And folks, just so you know, it’s L-U-N-A-grown.

Susan: Yeah, that’s beautiful. So we have to go to break when we come back. We’ll have more discussions with Chris Wilson and…

Scott: And keep your appetite going.

[commercial] 10:55 – 12:20.

Scott: And welcome back everyone. This is Scott Lask with the belt Management Group and Susan Glusica with label prosperity solutions. You’re listening to Wall Street to Main Street where money matters matter and of course, today, we’re talking about food, our favorite topic, that’s right.

Scott: Well the money is really there just to facilitate the food.

And we are here, with Chris Wilson, the owner of LunaGrown. So with the holiday season coming up, what do you wanna let all the moms and dads out there know that they should order right now so that we have a better Thanksgiving.

Chris: Well… They don’t have to order anything right now, but they should go to the site and familiarize themselves with it and then at least look at where our retailers are ’cause we do have a lot of really wonderful retailers in the Hudson Valley from cold spring up to Albany, and everything in between.

Scott: Well let’s say in Orange County.

Susan: I was up in Albany yesterday so well.

Chris: There are two stores in Warwick that carry us, Warwick Winery and the olive store in Warwick.

Oh, I cool.

Chris: There are three different “butchers-specific butchers that carry a product to pair with the meat sure, and to pair with cheeses ’cause that’s our goal. We tell folks. Skip the bread.

Yeah, because you can do so much more with the product. You meet graves, you can have cheese pairings you should have wine pairings you can really add it to your life and just that little just a little bit of sweetness in the world.

Susan: And it does change the pallet when you’re testing things.

Scott: Oh you’re killing me because I got a pork loin in the freezer… Yeah, that what my plan was, is to slit it up and put some cinnamon apples in and wrap it in bacon and you put it in the oven for about half out, and then you throw it on the grill. But I’m gonna take a step back and I’m gonna look at some of your jams.

That’s a great idea.

Chris: I do it that way or nice glaze on top is just a beautiful thing, we can say, or way to go.

Scott: Yes, so, so are you doing any events and tastings anything of that at…

Chris: So, our next event is actually in two weeks and we’re doing the Hudson Valley, Wine, and Food festival, in Rhinebeck.

Scott: Oh, very nice.

Chris: And after that, I believe we are doing in August. Warwick Applefest, and there’s a few in between. And Thanksgiving we always do to Bialas farms has a very nice Thanksgiving event with fresh vegetables and different vendors to help people get ready for that holiday.

Scott: What about… Just mind-boggling that I’m already thinking about Christmas gifts? Do you do like baskets?

Chris: No, no we don’t specifically.

Scott: Are there any gift services that specifically buy a lot of your product.

Chris: There are some florists that buy us in smaller jars because they’ll do gift baskets and such for the holidays.

Scott: So before we conclude what’s the one message about LUNA farms that you would like to get out and have the public really understand about what you’re doing?

Chris: Well, our goal was to offer a better product and to offer a product lower in sugar with great taste. Because we also have family members that are diabetic. So that was a big thing. But I would say to anybody that’s looking at life is, we can go back a little bit.

You’re looking at life and you’ve got a new business or you have an old business. The biggest thing is to not be afraid, that is the biggest killer in business, yes, and what we’ve learned along the way is I’m uncertain about it. We’re gonna do it, we’re just gonna go, the only time you’re gonna fail, you’re gonna fail to yourself, nobody else is gonna know so.

Susan: And there are great learnings it’s.

Chris: It’s the most important thing in business and for us, and we hope that we have a good following, but we hope that that continues.

Scott: I do, I think that’s great advice.

Susan: It’s sage advice, yeah.

Scott: Well, I mean, think about it, and of course we’re in financial services, but can you think of any business during the crash of 2008, there wasn’t sitting a go. What’s gonna happen and everyone was forced to take that step back. And I know the one thing, ’cause I did a massive restructuring that it took three years to get some traction, but the one thing that kept me going was the famous story about Thomas Edison, when his engineers and scientist said, Mr. Edison. We’ve tried to find that film and 10000 times and we really can say we gave it our best and that we failed because now we just found 10-000 ways that didn’t work. So I think that really that speaks very highly to the way you run your company. And I love businesses that founded based on a desire to do something better for the people that they love.

Susan: To improve the lives of those they love and the community at large. Absolutely.

Chris, you’re gonna have to come back. We’re pretty, pun intended, that we’re pretty jammed up until the end of the year… But if we find the spot that we can have you, or at least maybe you’ll call in, as we get close to Thanksgiving, so we can help promote some business we’d love to do that for you.

Chris: Well, thank you very much and thank you for having me.

Scott: My pleasure.

Susan: I have a question. How can people get your book?

Chris: The books available on the website or at events.

Susan: “Luna-grown, dot com yes, yeah, so.

Chris: The Kindle version is on Amazon.

Susan: You have recipes in the book.

Scott: Oh yeah, So I see we’re looking at graves and saute. So, of course, I just turned to the desert, to look at this look at this I’m drooling.

Susan: That’s beautiful.

Scott: Yeah, you know what is in many ways to this, can we take some pictures out of the book and put it on our social media sites?

Chris: Sure!

More great interviews, music, and more on WTBQ Radio. One of the last privately owned community radio stations in the United States and the only station in NY with Live call-in shows!