Posts Tagged ‘Local Farms’

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 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.



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.



Friday, May 30, 2014

Laurie Davis: Connecting Local Farms And Schools

School to Farm InitativeMany North Country schools are exploring the various scenarios of incorporating locally grown food into their menus.

Can you remember what your favorite school cafeteria meal was? Maybe you didn’t have a favorite meal. Maybe you dreaded finding out what was going to turn up on the steam table each day. It’s a common story, complaining about institution food, and the barbs are often undeservedly thrown at the cafeteria staff.

Fact is it is only in recent history that schools have started to realize the importance of not only good nutrition for kids, but food that is fresh, local, tasty, and visually appealing. Seems like a no-brainer, right? That sort of food is what we all want and deserve to eat. Our farmers are looking for local sales outlets, too. So why isn’t this just happening everywhere? The challenges are numerous, but not completely prohibitive. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Adirondack Farm To School Festival Friday

Saranac Lake students snack on kale while on a field trip to Fledging Crow FarmThe Adirondack Farm to School Initiative has announced its second Farm to School Festival, to be held at the Lake Placid High School and Olympic Oval on Friday, May 30, 2014 from 4-7 pm.  From 4 pm – 6 pm the event will feature area farmers, organizations, dinner with fresh local ingredients, live music from Big Slyde, student environmental groups from the Tri-Lakes, educational booths and activities.  The event concludes with a special presentation by Mark and Kristin Kimball from Essex Farm from 6-7 pm in the Lake Placid High School Auditorium.

The Adirondack Farm to School Initiative is working with schools and communities to rebuild a healthy food system in the Adirondacks and create connections between classrooms, cafeterias, communities, and local farms. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Second Warren County ‘Farm Talk’ To Be Held

Farm Talks PhotoSmall farms, hobby farms, community gardens and backyard gardens are expanding all over New York and with this rapidly expanding farming and gardening community, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District has started a free series of informational agricultural presentations called “The Farm Talks”.

The next talk will include two presentations. The first presentation will be about the SUNY Adirondack (formerly Adirondack Community College) Diversified Farm with Dr. Tim Scherbatskoy. Participants will be touring the campus diversified farm during the presentation. The second presentation will be an “Introduction to Small Farm Planning” with Tiffany Pinheiro of the Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Green Grass Getdown In Upper Jay on Sunday

Adirondack FarmsSugar House Creamery in Upper Jay will be hosting a Green Grass Getdown, a celebration of Spring, local farm food, and cows heading to pasture at the start of the grazing season, on Sunday, May 25.

The event will feature a local food fair and a farmers’ market. The day kicks off with the procession of cows to pasture at 11 am. The parade is based on the Swiss tradition of sending cows to high alpine meadows, a part of Transhumance, the ages-old worldwide migration of livestock and their keepers between seasonal grounds.

Guests will be able to sample and buy fare from Asgaard Farm, The Clay Hearth, Fledging Crow Vegetables, Juniper Hill Farm, Mace Chasm Farm, North Country Creamery, Sugar House Creamery, and other local food providers.

» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ag Program Receives $600k in NYS Funding for Research

NNYADPThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has received $600,000 in the recently-passed New York State Budget for research to enhance the sustainability and profitability of farm businesses in the state’s six northernmost counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence.

The Northern New York agricultural industry contributes nearly $600 million in estimated farm product market value to the local economy and has an estimated local payroll of approximately $53 million. » Continue Reading.



Monday, April 21, 2014

A New Crop of Farmers Take Root in Champlain Valley

asa_courtney_cattle-600x468When Asa Thomas-Train met his future wife, Courtney Grimes-Sutton, she was skinning a pig. Rather than wonder why an attractive young woman was doing a job usually reserved for big, brawny guys, Asa reacted with admiration. “She’s an incredibly capable, charismatic, and strong woman,” he said recently.

That summer of 2010, they were working at Essex Farm, a mecca for edgy young farmers honing their agricultural skills. Founded a decade ago by Mark and Kristin Kimball, the farm has had a prodigious influence, spawning new farmers and a warm farming community. Kristin recounted the farm’s unfolding in her memoir The Dirty Life. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Juneberry Research Nursery Planned For Willsboro

juneberry in New York (photo 2)The farmer-led Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted a new report on establishing New York’s first Juneberry research nursery. The planting at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm in Willsboro, NY, will be one of the largest nurseries of its kind for studying this ‘superfruit.’

Juneberry, scientifically known as Amelanchier, has the potential to be a major novel fruit crop in northern New York, and perhaps the Northeast, say researchers Michael H. Davis, Cornell Willsboro Research Farm Manager, and botanist Michael B. Burgess of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hops Growing Talk Planned in Warrensburg

Franklin County hop-pickers c 1900With the ever increasing interest in locally produced foods and homesteading skills, the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District is presenting a series of informational talks in Warrensburg on agricultural topics.  The presentations are free and open to anyone with an interest.  For reservations contact Nick Rowell at (518)623-3119 or nrowell123@nycap.rr.com, as seating is limited.

The next two talks, on hops growing and soil health, will be Friday, March 28th from 6 pm to 8 pm at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Warrensburg Office at 232 Golf Course Road. Future talks are planned for May.

Hops was once a staple crop of New York farmers, but production ended about 50 years ago and the last beer made with all New York hops was produced in the 1950s.  That is until 2004 when the first new beer was brewed with all New York hops. Today a small amount of hops are being grown in Washington and Warren counties for use in the Adirondack and Paradox breweries. » Continue Reading.



Friday, February 28, 2014

Plattsburgh’s Food from the Farm Day

 Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 3.41.03 PMLike most Adirondack gardeners, my family is just starting to think about starting seeds and planning our summer garden. At Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), they want to make sure that we are all aware that local farmers are not just thinking about what to plant, but have actually never stop growing and making local food available for our tables.

The annual  Food from the Farm event, in cooperation with Adirondack Harvest and CCE Clinton County, is just one way local farmers are making themselves available to let us meet the people that grow our food. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Food From Local Farms: Even in Winter

adirondack harvest logoIt’s still feels like deep winter, spring is a ways off and the soil in the gardens is pretty well frozen solid. Are you dreaming of fresh, local food in abundance? What is to be found in the North Country on the backside of the farming calendar? Locavores can rise to this challenge once again with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Food from the Farm event.

This is the fourth year we’ve turned to our list of regional farmers and processors, hired a chef dedicated to cooking with local ingredients and organized a display area to educate and excite the community. It’s been such a huge hit, we vowed to make this an annual event – yet there is always room for improvement. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

School Fundraising: Why Not Sell Local Foods?

ShipmanFamilyFarmStandCJenkins5We’re big supporters of our sons’ school, and I enjoy helping out and participating in most school events, probably more than my kids would actually like. But there’s one thing that has never been particularly appealing to me (and other parents, judging from the courtside conversations) and that’s class fundraisers in the form of products for sale.

Sure, some of them are fine and I do enjoy my Christmas wreath. But many of the other items seem cheaply made and sometimes totally useless. I’ve been known to skip the tchotchkes entirely and just send in money. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cabin Life: Surviving The Chicken Tent

The Chickens InsideI can freely admit that I am not an expert in basically anything, but let me give you some advice:  Don’t share your four-hundred square foot anything with a dog, a cat, three hens, and a rooster.  Now, nothing against the chickens, but they are noisy.  And stinky.  And no matter what, the rooster will crow whenever he feels like it, regardless of your sleep schedule.

With temperatures predicted to be about thirty below zero without the wind chill, I decided that the time had come to let the chickens have a nice warm night inside.  Now, keep in mind that the chickens had not ever been inside my cabin.  Nor had Pico ever been separated from them by nothing more than a blanket.  Needless to say, I did not get much sleep last night. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cabin Life: The Brown Eggs

Fresh EggsWell, the low temperature last night was still above zero for the first time in a week.  It’s not much, but it’s something to look forward to.  And then tomorrow they’re saying that the highs will be above freezing.  It has been a wild winter so far, weather-wise.

While the rest of the nation was experiencing record cold last week, we were watching the snow melt and the ruts in the driveway disappear.  Then we had bone chilling cold with nasty wind.  So much so that if I didn’t check the chicken coop every hour or so for eggs, the eggs I did find would be frozen and cracked.

One nice development out here at the cabin is that Brownie the chicken has started laying eggs too.  Nice light brown ones that make the egg carton look so pleasant.  With Whitey and Brownie laying now pretty much every day, I’m getting more eggs than I can eat.  At least when I find them unfrozen. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Local Farm Economics: Are You Paid What You’re Worth?

PigsI have often said that I am blessed because I get paid to do something I love.  And I often put in more hours in my week than I get paid for in my pay check, but it is a balance.  I also for the most part set my own schedule.  Of course we have set office hours, and I have a desk and a chair I am supposed to be in during the work week.  But I also have meetings and consultations outside those office walls.  Because of my job, I have gotten to travel to places I probably wouldn’t have gone on my own.  Have seen and experienced places I would not have done if I hadn’t had the job I do.

At the end of the day, I am fairly certain that I am paid for the work I do and the contributions I have made to my organization and community I live and work in.  So it is rather distressing when many of the people I work with (yep I am talking about farmers) don’t feel they are paid or even that their customers could pay them what they are worth.  So they end up settling for what they feel customers can afford, or that customers expect to pay.  For someone who is trying to inspire farmers to raise good quality products for their customers that they as farmers can be proud of raising, growing or making, it is disheartening to hear the heavy sighs followed by such statements.
» Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Local Meat and Community Freezer Space

k8062-3USDAARSMeat13004Shared community freezer space may prove to be a boon to farmers selling meat in bulk quantities and consumers seeking an economical way to purchase and store local meat.

The local food movement is still going strong here in the North Country. During the winter months we tend to be focused less on the fresh fruits and vegetables and more on the products we can access out of season: honey, maple, dairy, eggs, storage crops, value-added items like jams and mustards, and especially locally-raised meats.

We have many Northern New York farmers raising beef, poultry, pork, bison, lamb, goat, and rabbit, but buying meat from your farmer down the road can seem like a puzzling prospect. The cuts may not look exactly as you’re used to, the price may seem too high, and depending on the method by which they were raised (e.g. grass-fed vs. grain-fed), the cooking styles may need to be adjusted. This is a great example of why it’s to your advantage to get to know your farmer. The farmers I know are chock-full of information about how their animals are raised, the various cuts of meat and great recipes to help you turn that brisket into a melt-in-your-mouth meal.

» Continue Reading.



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cabin Life: The Chicken Diapers

Midget, aka Little Jerry SeinfeldMy off-grid, simple living, homesteading lifestyle can sometimes lead me and my thoughts down very different roads.  For instance, if you had asked me five years ago, (heck, if you had asked me five months ago) what would be occupying my thoughts this winter, chicken diapers would not have entered my mind.  But here I am, wondering if and where I can get myself some chicken diapers.

Now, I don’t just go around thinking about chicken diapers.  I actually have a very good reason for shopping around for just such a thing.  It turns out that one of my chickens is a rooster.  Poor old Midget, who is no longer so little, started crowing the other day.

I had noticed some odd behavior a few days ago, but thought that maybe she was just being a jerk to Whitey.  I was watching the chickens in their run through the window, and saw Midget jump right on Whitey’s back.  Whitey is the one laying eggs, and maybe Midget was just a little jealous.  Nope, (s)he was horny. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Finding A Christmas Tree in the Southern Adirondacks

Christmastree_newI grew up getting a tree from a parking lot and yearned for a storybook experience of searching the woods for the ideal tree. Though getting any Christmas tree was exciting, I wanted to give my children a different family ritual.  I also wanted to stick to the legal version of obtaining a Christmas tree. A few of my friends may disagree (and shall remain nameless), but I believe that searching for a tree should not involve stealth, cloak of darkness and a get-away car.

How we obtain our Christmas tree varies year to year, but so far we have either been gifted a tree from a neighbor’s property or we’ve visited one a local Adirondack Christmas tree farm. » Continue Reading.



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