Tuesday, December 27, 2016

January Farm Talks Planned For Warrensburg

Warren County Soil & Water is beginning year four of its “Farm Talks” on Friday, January 13th from 6 to 8 pm at DEC’s Warrensburg Office, 232 Golf Course Road.

The first presentation of the night will be “Soil Blocks: A Better Start” with Rand Fosdick, Farm Manager of Landon Hill Estate Farm. In the northeast, starting your vegetable seeds early and correctly will lead to healthier plants with a head start to transplanting in spring. The soil block methodology is growing in popularity due to the success vegetable producers are having with this pot-less technique. The general concept behind it is using a soil recipe with structure and nutrients and a tool called a “soil blocker” to form the soil mixture into blocks to directly plant your seeds into. Soil blocks reduce transplant shock and add nutrients to your garden beds. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Support For Shiitake Mushroom Growing Offered

shiitake mushroomThe Cornell Small Farms Program, with support from the USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program and New York Farm Viability Institute, is engaged in a two year project to elevate development of a new niche crop in the New York; log-grown shiitake mushrooms.

Research and development at Cornell over the past decade, along with several partnerships and research projects has enabled greater understanding of the technical and business aspects of a small farm log-grown shiitake enterprise. Woodland log-grown mushrooms are a relatively new, niche crop and are low-input, high output enterprise that can also offset land taxes. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On The Color of Cranberries

cranberriesAs a kid fidgeting at my grandmother’s Thanksgiving table, I often wondered, what’s the point of cranberries? She had a live-in Irish cook who insisted on serving whole cranberries suspended in a kind of gelatinous inverted bog. If I ventured to eat a berry I experienced the power of my gag reflex.

How times change! The humble American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, in my opinion, is worthy of a downright homage. I am a fan. Yes, cranberries are tart, sour, and even bitter, but that makes them both good food and strong medicine. The Wampanoag called them ibimi, meaning sour or bitter berries. They crushed them into animal fats and dried deer meat to make pemmican, a food full of energy and vitamin C for long winter trips. Mariners brought them on sea voyages to fend off scurvy. According to passed down knowledge, the Algonquin used the leaves of cranberry to treat bladder infections, arthritis, and diabetes-related circulation problems. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nutting Season: An Old-Time Ritual

blackwalnutwikipdThanksgiving, with food a major holiday component, calls to mind a time of year that was once the subject of great anticipation: nutting season. I’m not old enough to have experienced it first-hand, although back in the 1980s I did explore many natural edibles. Among my favorites was beechnuts, which we harvested and used in chocolate-chip cookies. Outstanding!

But in days long ago, when many folks earned a subsistence living that utilized home-grown vegetables and wild foods, nutting season was an important time. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Growing and Buying Heirloom Apples

heirloom applesAs Eve so famously discovered, apples are alluring. These brightly colored orbs tempt us with crisp flesh and juicy sweetness. It’s no wonder that apples have spread throughout the temperate regions of the world.

The mother of all apples, malus sieversii, which originated in the rugged mountains of Central Asia, has given rise to thousands of varieties over time, bearing names ranging from regal to whimsical, including Maiden’s Blush, Blue Pearmain, Bellefleur, Duchess of Oldenburg, and Seek No Further. Apples first arrived in the Americas in the 1600s, and by the early nineteenth century were being grown to make everything from cider, sauce and pies to apple butter. » Continue Reading.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Gingerbread Contest Theme Is “Camps and Cottages”

gingerbread houseThe 2016 Sugar & Spice gingerbread display will open at The TAUNY Center at the organization’s annual Holiday Open House, on Saturday, December 3. Bakers are encouraged to get creative and imagine the camp or cottage of their dreams, build a model of their own camp or cottage, recreate a landmark, or find their own way to interpret this year’s theme to craft their own unique gingerbread house.

Since 2002, contestants from throughout the region have competed annually in various age categories as well as for the People’s Choice award, which is announced at the end of December. Past themes have included local landmarks, fairy tales, children’s literature, and gingerbread around the world. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Old Forge BrewFest Set For Saturday

old forge brewfestView, the multi-arts center in Old Forge, has announced the 2016 BrewFest will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from noon to 5 pm. The Blind Owl Band will be at BrewFest from 1 pm to 5 pm, a bluegrass-rock-country-folk band, hailing from Saranac Lake.

BrewFest Craft Beer Festival will take place at the North Street Pavilion in Old Forge. Old Forge on Tap will showcase over 60 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries. Attendees will receive three hours of sampling along with a souvenir sampling glass. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Precision Apple Orchard Management Project Results

precision-apple-project-sensory-panel-members-evaluate-honeycrisp-apples-sampled-weekly-from-several-orchards-throughout-new-york-stateThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of recent precision apple orchard management research evaluating the impact of applying precise orchard management practices to improve the yield, fruit size and quality of the regional apple crop for a more consistent higher economic return per acre.

Three specific strategies are under evaluation by a research team of Northern New York apple growers, Cornell University faculty, and Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel. The orchard management practices, designed to enhance the efficiency of apple production, include precision orchard thinning, irrigation, and harvest timing. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival Saturday

adirondack homesteading festival, 2012The 2016 Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival will be held Saturday, October 1st at the Paul Smith’s College’s Adirondack Visitor’s Center.

The festival features exhibitions on logging and farming with draft horses, and a demonstration of competitive lumberjack sports by the Paul Smith’s College Woodsmen’s Team, along with workshops on canning, cider making, woodworking, renewable energy, cord wood construction, small-scale farming, and primitive skills. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

An Abundance of Caution: Wild Food and Risk

solanum nigrum“I’ve got a botanical question for you,” my friend said as he came into my classroom the other day. “Is black nightshade edible?” He’d found some growing near his chicken coop. “I took the tiniest bite,” he said. “I’m not sure if I felt funny because of what I ate, or because I was nervous.”

I told him that black nightshade is edible, if what he had was actually black nightshade (note: there is also an unrelated plant called deadly nightshade, which is toxic). I asked him to describe the plant, and after some discussion, he asked if I had ever eaten it. I never had. “Why not?” he asked, and I had to pause. At least partly, I haven’t eaten it because of fear. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Willsboro Hardy Grapes Nursery Being Remodeled

Grape GrowersThe cold Hardy Grape Variety Research nursery in Northern New York is getting a make-over.

With new funding from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program that helped establish the nursery at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm in Willsboro in 2005, old vines have been removed, the soil is being refreshed, and new varieties of grapes have been selected for planting in 2017.

The evaluation of new varieties has been named a priority by growers associated by the wine grape industry across New York state. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Champlain Area Harvest Fest, Hamlet Hikes Sept 16-17

CATS hikeThe Adirondack Harvest Festival will be held at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport on Friday and Saturday, September 16th and 17th. The event, which celebrates local farms and farmers with food, drink, music, and hikes, is supported by supported by the Hub on the Hill, Adirondack Farmers Coalition, Champlain Area Trails Society, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, The Adirondack Cuisine Trail, and adirondacks, usa.

The fairgrounds will feature a farmers’ market, over forty vendors, farming demonstrations (learn how to make sausage, cheese, and more), Ben Stechschulte’s film “Small Farm Rising,” and “Eat, Meet, & Be Merry,” a get-together hosted by Essex Farm’s Mark Kimball and the Adirondack Farmers Coalition, to sample local foods and exchange stories about our area’s new farming culture.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Last Farm 2 Fork Festival in Saranac Lake Saturday

IMG_5392According to Adirondack Green Circle and Farm 2 Fork Founder Gail Brill “All good things come to an end.” In its seventh and final year, the festival that connected people to regional farmers through local food using traditional recipes and techniques will go out with a bang. For anyone knowing Brill and her passion for local food, “over” just means reinventing.

This year’s Farm 2 Fork Festival, a collaboration between the Adirondack Green Circle and Ausable Valley Grange, is bringing local food under the Big Top. This year’s circus themed festival continues to celebrate local food and farmers with other fun activities. In addition to the tasting ticket, there will be stilt walkers, face-painters, live music with Slow Pony and even a dunk booth. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saranac Lake Farm 2 Fork Festival September 3rd

farm 2 fork festivalThe seventh installment of the annual Farm 2 Fork Festival will feature a new twist. For 2016, Farm 2 Fork presents the “BBQ Under the Big Top,” a celebration of local food and farmers infused with a circus atmosphere.

Farm 2 Fork is a collaboration of the Adirondack Green Circle and the AuSable Grange. The festival’s mission is to expand support of local foods and farms, and promote food awareness in the northern Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

High Peaks Happy Hour: Ledge Rock Hill Winery, Corinth

LRH_SignsWine making in the Adirondacks dates back to early settlers who fermented wild grapes and other native fruits and berries. Grape cultivation in this region is no easy feat. Thanks however to new hybrid varieties and a greater understanding of the region’s terroir, the number of vineyards are growing.

New York State recognizes five wine grape growing regions, or American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), including the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley, but a group of local growers are petitioning to create an Upper Hudson AVA. Like the Farm Brewery Law, which has led to a local increase in hops and barley farming and the beer and distilling industries, an Upper Hudson AVA is expected to encourage similar growth in the wine industry. Gary Akrop, owner and founder of Ledge Rock Hill Vineyard and Winery in Corinth, is among those working toward this goal. » Continue Reading.


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