Bwog loves the farmers market. You love the farmers market. The farmers market loves Columbia. A new chapter in our grand ‘Getting to Know…’ history, we present the first installment of Tales from Farmville, the lives and loves of the Morningside farmers market. Contessa Gayles reports.

Every Sunday, Ruby, with dyed hair to match the name, works at the Milk Thistle Farm stand at the Columbia University Farmers’ market. Ruby mans the booth for 28 year old farmer, Dante Hesse, who owns the small, certified organic farm in upstate New York, Columbia County. The milk is produced by a small herd of cows, pasteurized at the low temperature of 145°F for 30 minutes, and bottled in glass.

Bwog: Why glass?

Ruby: It’s the ultimate container for milk, in terms of taste and shelf life. We charge a dollar deposit on the bottle, and when people bring the bottles back they get their dollars back. We sterilize the bottles and reuse them. It is recycling and green at its best.

Bw: Why this stand?

R: I was working for another farmer in the market. I am genetically coded to adore milk and I had stopped drinking milk, because it was an empty experience for me. Then I tasted Dante Hesse’s milk and I was like, “I’m yours!”  And I just love the milk, its perfect.

Bw: Your previous milk consumption experiences were empty…?

R:When I was a child I would drink a quart of milk at a time, because of the taste and the flavor. We used to get milk delivered in glass bottles where I lived in Brooklyn, one hundred thousand years ago. And the stuff I was buying in the supermarket; the conventional milk, even the organic milk in a carton, it just didn’t taste good. It wasn’t a pleasurable experience. So, I just stopped. And when I tasted this, I lost my milk mind!

Bw: Why the Columbia Farmer’s Market?

R:This is a neighborhood market and I get to know the people and the big student population buying. I get to…not play mother to them, but help direct them into healthier choices.

A Ruby moment: It’s cold. And something about my spark plugs, they’re not all firing in harmony for combustion here!

Tips for customers: The chocolate milk contains no additives or emulsifiers, so there are two rules; shake well and enjoy thoroughly.

Specs and prices: