Nice cauliflowers, kid. Detail from a historical photo from the vault at the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce, who have a bunch of wonderful photos from the heyday of the Catskills brassica boom on their Cauliflower Festival website.
Ah, cauliflower. Mark Twain’s "cabbage with a college education" was once beloved by French monarchs; these days, it’s beloved by those who like fiber and antioxidants. In between, in the first few decades of the twentieth century, the hardy veggie was so important to the economy of Margaretville that its current price was front-page material for the Catskill Mountain News.
The Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce and the good folk of Margaretville celebrate the only vegetable that resembles a human brain at what may be the only festival in its honor at the Tenth Annual Cauliflower Festival this Saturday, September 28, from 10am to 4pm.
There will be a tractor parade at 11:30am and a square dance on the pavilion with the Catskill Mountain Boys in the afternoon. All day long, you can browse a splendid array of Catskills crafters’ wares, let your kids pet rescue animals or ride the Papa’s Little Hillbilly Barrel Train, and nosh on top-notch festival fare. (Cauliflower is featured, but not obsessively so.)
Pure Catskills, the local-food-promoting arm of the Watershed Agricultural Council, will be on hand, celebrating their twentieth birthday and ready to fill you in on what’s new with local ag. The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will be equally forthcoming with their expertise on the Golden Era of the Catskills Cauliflower. And you can, of course, buy some to take home -- and a recipe book to cook ‘em up by.
Margaretville Cauliflower Festival, Saturday, September 28, 10am to 4pm. Village of Margaretville Pavilion, Bridge Street, Margaretville. For more information, see the Cauliflower Festival website.