Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Farm 2 Fork Festival in Saranac Lake Sept 5th

Farm 2 Fork FestivalHome cooks will serve up an array of farm to table dishes at the sixth annual Farm 2 Fork Festival from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday, September 5, at Saranac Lake’s Riverside Park. This year’s menu features an Adirondack Mediterranean theme.

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


Friday, August 7, 2015

Seed Saving Roundtable At Whallonsburg Grange

The-GrangeThe Whallonsburg Grange will host a free Seed Saving Roundtable this Saturday, August 8, from 9:30 to 11 am.

Local beekeeper and gardener Tim McGarry will lead a roundtable for both experienced and beginning seed savers. Participants can learn how to save seeds from their favorite heirloom tomato and pepper plants this month, and how to prepare for more seed saving next season. The event will also be an opportunity to meet other people in the area who are saving and trading seeds. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Amy Ivy: August in the Garden


Cornell farmer education (Amy Ivy Photo)Anyone growing tomatoes or potatoes needs to be on the lookout for signs of late blight. By mid-July this devastating disease had been found on potatoes in western New York and western Vermont.

This means Northern New York is basically surrounded by it and the cool, wet weather we had in June through mid-July created ideal conditions for this disease. Only tomatoes and potatoes are affected by this particular pathogen. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cattails: A Culinary Tale of Nine Lives

cattailsThe two cats at my place have survived many life-threatening traumas such as falls, fights and even the compulsory “devotions” of small children. It’s amazing the hazards they can evade. I think if pets could drive, only dogs would get speeding tickets – cats would always find ways to wriggle out of a citation. Sadly, my contacts in the veterinary field continue to assert that cats have but a single life, and that the whole “nine lives” thing is just a cat tale.

However, the story about cattails having (at least) nine lives is no yarn. An obligate wetland plant, the common cattail (Typha latifolia) is native to the Americas as well as to Europe, Africa and most of Asia – basically the planet minus Australia, all Pacific Islands and most Polar regions. It can be found growing along wetland margins and into water up to 30 inches deep, from hot climates to Canada’s Yukon Territory. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

AuSable Forks Farm Testing Livestock Forage

AsgaardGoatsInField3005Certain types of pasture plants may help small livestock owners control deadly internal parasites. As part of a Northern New York Agricultural Development Program project, sheep and goats in Canton, Cape Vincent, and AuSable Forks are now grazing pastures planted a year ago with specific species of birdsfoot trefoil, a legume that may have an antiworm effect on the livestock.

With 2015 funding from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, project leaders Dr. Michael L. Thonney and Dr. Tatiana Stanton of the Cornell University Sheep and Goat programs are looking to adapt the success that small livestock growers in the Southeastern U.S. have had grazing animals on forages with high tannin concentration to our region. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gardening: Pinch Now for More Flowers

flowers - courtesy Cornell Home Gardening Growing Guide onlineNothing provides a steady shot of color to your yard more than annual flowers. Once they begin to bloom they will keep producing flowers for the rest of the summer. Perennial flowers are beautiful but are usually only in bloom for a couple of weeks. For non-stop color and plenty of flowers for cutting, annual flowers are ideal.

After waiting for seedlings or young transplants to get established and begin to push out growth, the last thing gardeners are inclined to do is cut them back. But some judicious pinching right now will pay off with many more stems and flowers than if they had been left alone. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fourth Annual Strawberry Festival at Rulf’s Ochard

Strawberry field basketOur strawberry patch is just starting to ripen, but Rulfs Orchard’s U-Pick fields are just waiting to be picked. To celebrate this passage into summer, Rulfs is holding its 4th Annual Strawberry Festival in Peru this Saturday, June 27, from 11 am – 3 pm. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Samaras: Maple’s Other Delicacy

TOS_SamarasHelicopters. Keys. Whirligigs. Samaras. Whatever you call the winged seeds released by maple trees, here’s one more word for them: delicious.

Like many New Englanders, I have fond childhood memories of dropping maple “helicopters” from a height and watching them twist and twirl down to the ground. My children do the same now. They gather fistfuls of maple samaras, toss them over the railing of the upstairs porch, and watch them flutter earthward. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June in the Garden: Transplants and Seedlings Care


SeedlingsJune is a critical time to get vegetable and flowers established. Whether planted as seeds or transplants, these young plants need some extra attention now to help them survive the rigors of summer.

Transplants go through a period of shock as they adjust to their new growing conditions. Bright sun, pounding rain and drying winds can all be a challenge for these tender plants. Their roots are limited to the container they were growing in but they need to reach far into the surrounding soil to seek out water and nutrients and to provide support to the plants as they become top-heavy. The important feeder roots grow horizontally through the soil where there is oxygen and lots of microbial activity, only a few roots grow down deep. To encourage that lateral growth keep the soil around the new plants moist and avoid letting it dry out. It should dry somewhat between waterings but for the first month, pamper these young plants with extra water during dry spells. By August they will be better able to withstand moderate droughts, but not now. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Tips: Coping With Common June Garden Pests


k11094-1potatobeetleusdaPeggyGrebWhenever you have a few minutes, take the time to get up close to your plants. Turn the leaves over to look for eggs or newly hatching insects. Here are some insect pests that show up in gardens every June.

Colorado potato beetles (shown at left) love potatoes, of course, but their favorite crop of all is eggplant, which is related to potatoes. Luckily, they don’t have much appetite for tomatoes, another relative. The eggs are bright orange, about the size of a fat sesame seed and are laid in clusters of 8-12 on the undersides of the leaves. Crush and egg clusters you see. By crushing them now you prevent that whole generation from developing. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Focus On Soil For Gardening Success


NRCS7028ScottBauerSoilHand300Nothing is more important to the success of any garden than the quality of the soil. Rarely is the soil in your yard ideal for growing flowers or vegetables without some amendments or improvements. In almost every situation, the best thing a gardener can do is add organic matter. Adding it just once won’t be enough. Try to add some kind of organic matter at least two or three times each year.

But what is ‘organic matter’? » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wild Salads: Eat Your Weedies

TOS_wild_saladIn the early 1960s, Euell Gibbons wrote Stalking the Wild Asparagus and introduced millions of North Americans to the virtues of harvesting wild foods. Since that time, gathering wild edibles has become increasingly popular, and in our region, woods-grown delicacies such as ramps and fiddlehead ferns appear in grocery stores each spring.

Yet you don’t have to lace up your hiking boots to enjoy the wild repast. If you resist the urge to use herbicides, you are likely to find a diverse array of edible wild plants growing in your lawn and vegetable garden. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

High Peaks Happy Hour: Alpine Grille, Hope

Alpine_ExtFor two years we sought input, but now that Happy Hour in the High Peaks is written and published, people are eager to tell us what bars we missed. Sometime in 2014, someone suggested that we visit the Alpine Grille in Wells. Pam dutifully entered it into her notes under the “bars we missed” category. Resurrected and moved up the priority list by the recent sad news that Lake House Grille in Wells will not reopen this spring, we decided to pursue the Alpine as a potential replacement on the Happy Hour Trail. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England

I'll drink to thatIn 1845, there were 221 distilleries in New York State, local historian and folklorist Marjorie Lansing Porter noted in an issue of North Country Life in 1953.

Moreover, she wrote, “great-grandma made dandelion wine, blackberry cordial, wild grape wine and used persimmons, elderberries, juniper berries, pumpkins, corn-stalks, hickory nuts, sassafras bark, birch bark and many other leaves, roots and barks to make ‘light’ drinks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Black and Yellow Birch: Tasty Teas From Trees

TOS_birch_teaScratch and then sniff a black or yellow birch twig, and the pleasant aroma will likely put a smile on your face. What you are smelling is oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate). This chemical compound is present in the inner bark in both species, although typically to a greater degree in black birch. In the trees, as well as several edible berries that grow in our region, the compound serves as a defense against herbivorous insects. Most people, however, enjoy the taste.

You can make a very nice wintergreen-flavored tea from peeled black or yellow birch twigs. I advise against trying to brew this the traditional way, though (i.e., steeping twigs in boiling water). The reason is that oil of wintergreen is volatile and easily driven off by heat, so if you attempt to make tea with hot water, your kitchen will smell great but there will likely be little if any flavor in your tea cup. » Continue Reading.


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