Monday, September 22, 2014

Laurie Davis: 2014 Farm Bill Funding

adirondack harvest logoEvery 5 years the United States reviews and signs into law a new Farm Bill. We were due for a new bill starting in 2012, but it took until this past February for Congress to sort through what didn’t work in the past, add new things for the future, and generally agree enough on everything to have the President sign the bill into law.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a column about the intricacies of government legislation, but the Farm Bill is something we all should pay attention to because it largely governs our food systems. I’ve always thought that it should be called the “Farm and Food Bill” – then maybe we would take more of an interest. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Laurie Davis: The Farm Bill, Local Foods, And You

adirondack harvest logoIt’s been a few months now since President Obama signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014. You probably remember hearing about it under another name: the (long overdue) Farm Bill. There was much hoopla in the press when, after a delay of over a year, it finally became a law. OK, I can sense your eyes glazing over or darting to the next article. But wait! Just bear with me.

The Farm Bill (as we shall refer to it from here on out) is chock full of some good news for the local food movement and, whether or not you realize it, many parts of this legislation will affect you. I’m going to break this article up into two parts to address all the positives that will be supported by this Farm Bill, so let’s begin part 1! » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Paul Smith’s College Launches Craft Beer Minor

Paul Smith's College LogoPaul Smith’s College will offer a minor in craft-beer studies and operations beginning this fall.

The new minor prepares students for careers in micro and craft brewing. “Although hands-on, practical brewing will be an aspect of the minor, the main intent is not to create beer brewers,” said Prof. Joe Conto in a statement to the press. “Rather, the goal is to prepare students for all the management, administrative and operations opportunities the craft-beer industry has created and supports.”

The craft-beer industry boasts impressive numbers. More than 2,700 craft breweries were in operation in 2013, selling 15.6 million barrels of beer. In that same year, sales grew 18 percent by volume and 20 percent in dollars. Craft brewing provides an estimated 110,273 jobs in the United States. Craft-beer production and sales are expected to grow even further in the college’s home state of New York. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Kids Farm Festival In Peru

IMG_0457_newThere are numerous opportunities to continue to education children and families on the importance of local food. The success of the recent Farm2Fork Festival, farm tours and farmers’ markets as well as farm to school initiatives indicate that people are interested in what happens to their food. One place to visit that is continuing that farm to table education is the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum in Peru.

According to Babbie Museum Secretary Carol Rock this weekend’s 4th annual Kids Fair and Festival is a fun educational way to keep families interested in the importance of rural farming traditions. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Farm 2 Fork Festival Set For Saturday

Farm2ForkA bounty of locally produced food and drink is on the menu for the fifth annual Farm 2 Fork Festival, scheduled for 9 am to 2 pm, on Saturday, August 30th at Saranac Lake’s Riverside Park.

New this year, local organizers have partnered with Taste NY, a program of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, to highlight the quality, diversity and economic impact of food and beverages produced in the Adirondack region. A collaboration of the Adirondack Green Circle and the AuSable Valley Grange, the festival’s mission is to expand the support of local foods and local farms and promote food awareness in the northern Adirondacks.

“What could be more fun than a festival that celebrates fresh food and local farm abundance? Not much, at least for me,” said Gail Brill, event coordinator for Farm 2 Fork in announcing this year’s event. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Water’s Edge Marina on Lake George

photo 2The Water’s Edge Marina on Lake George has been family owned and operated for over 44 years. This hidden gem next to the bridge in Bolton Landing offers local favorites from their kitchen, fully equipped cottages with fireplaces and sun-decks, a pool, and a new fleet of rental boats.

This seasonal spot was opened in 1971 by the Waters family, and is now in its third generation of fast, friendly service. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Choosing The Right Stick for Roasting Marshmallows

Roasting Marshmallow by Flickr user Nina HaleI don’t know about you, but I really look forward to those sticky evenings around a campfire. Not the sweltering, sweaty kind of sticky nights, mind you. I’m thinking of those outdoor-fire evenings spent with family and friends, dodging mosquitoes and smoke, and trying to find the perfect marshmallow stick. I realize campers roast other things on sticks, such as hot dogs and fish (helpful hint: don’t eat the fish sticks). For our purposes, though, we’ll stick—so to speak—to marshmallow.

A caller recently asked what kind of tree yields the best marshmallow sticks. It seemed like a silly question since the scientific method for finding the right stick historically involved two criteria: It must be 1) close at hand, and 2) long enough to avoid burning oneself. However, it occurred to me if it’s a fresh-cut green branch, the species of tree is important. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Chateau On The Lake In Bolton Landing

photo 5(2)The Chateau On The Lake, one of Bolton Landing’s newest fine dining restaurants, has simply fantastic food, on point service, a beautiful view, and a great atmosphere. Originally a boathouse on the lake, the building was moved up hill and converted into the home of Hugh Allen Wilson, a talented musician. After Wilson’s death in 2010, the house was purchased by Ed and Jennifer Foy who converted it into The Chateau and brought in Chefs Shaun Hazlitt, Tyren Crain and Bert R. Soto.

The culinary creations change frequently throughout the seasons, but one item that has become an instant favorite is the Cheese and Charcuterie Board for Two.  The Board consist of a variety of five cheeses and five meats such as Stilton, Manchango, Montchevre Goat, a triple crème imported brie, Prosciutto di Parma, Australian Speck, Soppressata and hot Italian Capicolla. The board is garnished with tear drop peppers, green pitta queen & Kalamata olives, toasted Pistachios, a garlic rubbed Crostini, and heirloom tomato jam. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

High Peaks Happy Hour: Paradox Brewery, Schroon Lake

Paradox_ExtFree beer – today! There’s no sign making that claim, but Paradox Brewery in Schroon Lake gives away beer samples all day long. Try one. Even better – try them all!

Located at 154 State Route 9, the Paradox Trail is well marked. A giant trail marker is tacked to the front of the log building and a roadside trailhead sign informs the distances to both the brewery and the tasting room. The brewery, a short hike of .015 miles from the edge of Route 9, occupies the ground floor. The “best climb in the Adirondacks” (the tasting room) is upstairs in the back, an additional .004 miles up, though no specialized gear is required to make the ascent. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Amy Ivy: Appreciating Our Local Vegetable Producers


NCGrownPepperMan30033.25Gardening, especially growing your own food, is one of the number one pastimes across the country. But ask anyone who has actually tended a garden and they will also admit it is a humbling experience! You don’t just drop a seed in the ground and ‘Voila!’ a basket of tomatoes appears. There are bugs, diseases, fertility, too much or too little water, and then there are weeds, weeds, and more weeds to contend with.

Supermarket shelves brim with perfect produce, and farmers markets and roadside stands have beautiful piles of all sorts of vegetables; they make it look so easy. Home gardeners might be content with having enough for a few meals but our North Country commercial growers are in this is as a business. If they don’t make a profit, they aren’t going to keep farming. Today, I hope to increase your appreciation of the work and innovations our growers use to produce all that beautiful food. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bolton Landing: The Lakeside Lodge & Grille

photo 5(1)The Lakeside Lodge & Grille offers a slice of Adirondack atmosphere in the quiet village of Bolton Landing. Established as The Lakeside Lodge in 1945 by the Keating family, the restaurant (which then included guest rooms above) was purchased by the Scott family in 1972 and renamed The House of Scotts.

The Current owners,  Art and Nicole Baker, purchased the business in 2006 and returned to the name as The Lakeside Lodge & Grille. The Bakers are hands-on owners and active citizens in their community.

Although their menu offers a variety of selections – fresh fish, hand cut steaks, gluten-free options – two staples are the Spicy Corn Chowder and The Crown Island.  The bowl of the chowder is a meal unto itself, and the The Crown Island is one of my personal favorites. It features generous portions of turkey and pastrami with swiss cheese, cole slaw and thousand island dressing on panni pressed marble rye bread. It’s a knock out. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In Upper Jay: The Running of the Cows

Swiss Brown CowCows run. Not only that they hop about, kick up their heels, and act like school kids released for their summer holiday. The occasion? Being released from living in a barn all winter and finally being able to get out into a field of fresh grass, which took place on a Sunday morning at the end of May at the Sugarhouse Creamery, a farmstead in Upper Jay that decided to create a picnic, party, and farmer’s market featuring the products of several new farms recently launched across Essex County.

“The plan is at 11:30 or so we are going to let our Brown Swiss Cows out for the first time this spring,” said Alex Eaton of their first public running of the cows. “They are all in the barn at the moment eating a little bit of hay. We are going to release them and then they will go crazy. It is the best sight in the entire year. They kick up their heels, their udders are swinging around, and these massive creatures are so playful. It’s an incredible sight.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

High Peaks Happy Hour: The Garrison, Lake George

GarrisonLG_extShrouded in nostalgia from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, we reviewed the old Garrison for the Adirondack Almanack in 2011 as research for our book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide.

In 2012, the Garrison closed and a “For Sale” sign went up. We weren’t surprised, but remained hopeful that someone would come along and resuscitate the iconic landmark before it was declared legally dead. When we prepared the epitaph for Adirondack bars dearly departed, we knew the Garrison would be back, so it was excluded from the RIP page in the book. Only a few short weeks ago, The Garrison on Beach Road in Lake George took a deep breath, reopened its doors, and welcomed customers new and old. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Warrensburg Riverfront Farmers’ Market Season Begins

Farmers-Market-Sign150-143x300The 16th season of The Warrensburgh Riverfront Farmers’ Market has begun. Gardening information, recipes using local products, music, samplings, refreshments, locally grown and prepared foods and handmade crafts, and monthly festivals are all part of part of market season in Warresnburg.

The market is held Friday afternoons from 3-6 pm, June thru October, on the banks of the Schroon River in the Warrensburgh Mills Historic District, on River Street (Route 418) near Curtis Lumber. The market is a “producer-only” market, limiting sales to locally grown produce, wine, baked goods, preserves, maple syrup, honey, dairy, poultry, meats, plants, soaps and lotions, and more. All prepared foods are made “from scratch”, utilizing locally grown ingredients whenever possible.

This year the market will host a festival each month, starting with their Rhubarb Festival on June 6th. Other festivals throughout the season include Adirondack Riverfront Arts (July 18), Bountiful Harvest (August 15), Apple (September 19) and Garlic (October 11). Each festival provides opportunities for youth and adults to prepare recipes, preserve the harvest and create simple crafts. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Visit To Liquids and Solids in Lake Placid

Liquids and Solids ExteriorStick with this review, kids: Liquids and Solids is something else.

A couple of weeks ago I took a whirlwind weekend trip with my in-laws from Wisconsin to the Adirondacks to look at a house we’re considering. We rose at 3:30 AM on a Friday and drove straight to Lake Placid, arriving late.  We were tired in that road-weary way that invites impatience along with fatigue.

We desired a good late dinner without any more driving, so I suggested the always-reliable Lisa G’s right down the block.  Unfortunately it was closed for cleaning. But I remembered that on a recent visit to Lisa G’s the waitperson had recommended Liquids and Solids across the street. “Their stuff’s really good,” she had said. So we made our way to the other side of Station Street in hopes of being rewarded with decent food. » Continue Reading.


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