Posts Tagged ‘Local Farms’

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mid-19th Century Adirondack Farm Life

An early 19th century scene at Wisconsin’s Living Museum (photo by Glenn L. Pearsall).While researching and writing my latest book, Leaves Torn Asunder: A Novel of the Adirondacks and the American Civil War, I knew I wanted it as historically accurate regarding Adirondack farm life in the mid-1800s as it was about the movement and moods of the soldiers during the war.

Getting good information on the soldiers was relatively easy; there are a multitude of letters, diaries, and many books on the subject. Researching Adirondack farm life of the time proved to be more of a challenge. » 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.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Wevertown Farm Is A Microcosm of Adirondack History

kenwell farmTravelling on NYS Rt 28 just north of Wevertown, you may have taken little notice of the old abandoned farm on your right. If you did, you’ll probably gave it little thought; it is, after all, just a few run down barns and pasture overgrown with weeds and “poverty grass”. Yet this farm is a microcosm of Adirondack History.

Andrus Wever and his family were the first to open up the forest and to settle and farm on this site. Andrus was a Revolutionary War veteran who had served with the 6th Albany County Militia. At that time, Albany County included most all of Northern New York, the present state of Vermont and theoretically extended west all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The 6th was called up when General Burgoyne’s Army invaded from the north and Andrus likely saw combat at the battle of Saratoga in 1777. The 6th Albany County Militia was also part of the pursuit party that chased Sir John Johnson and his Royal New Yorkers back north after Johnson’s raid of Johnstown in 1780. It’s unclear if Andrus was a member of that pursuing party, but it’s intriguing to speculate he first came through the wilderness of what is today Wevertown during that pursuit. Andrus’ father, William, was also a patriot and apparently served in the American Revolution on Long Island. He was captured and died of small pox on a British prison ship in Boston Harbor. » 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.


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.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Bike The Barns Supports North Country Farms

mace chasm farmRegistration is now open for Bike the Barns, a new, fully supported recreational road cycling tour providing a personal connection with the rich agricultural movement of the North Country.

The Saturday, Sept. 24 agritourism event is presented by the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and will feature rest stops and interactive experiences at seven farms in the Champlain Valley. Three routes of differing lengths will begin and end at Mace Chasm Farm in Keeseville, where a celebration of local food and music will cap off the day’s activities. » 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.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Recent Crop Study Shows Good Results For Ginger

freshly harvested gingerThe farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has released the results of field trials indicating that fresh market baby ginger produced by regional growers can sell for four times the price of conventional ginger sold in stores.

But should every grower start planting ginger?

The market potential of ginger as a season extension and profit builder for Northern New York growers was evaluated as part of the Advancing Season Extension and Protected Culture Efficiency Project funded by the farmer-driven research program. The project also included enterprise budgeting for growing the high-value alternative high-tunnel crops of ginger, turmeric, summer lettuce and basil. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Life With Horses, And Hunting Parties

Ranger Bowback Cover - Adirondack FarmThe Ranger’s brother Charlie did most of the horseshoeing and set many a shoe. Uncle Charlie was a little harsh. He expected obedience and may not have believed in ”horse lib,” but he could make and train a horse.

Nellie and Topsy were young horses Papa bought from his brother Wilber, who had a mare name Mabel and had raised these colts, a beautiful pair. Prince was a lovely horse Papa liked very much. We were a large family, and many times cash was not plentiful. Papa would get his supplies on credit at the Frank Thissell store in the village of Bakers Mills. Papa wanted to get the bill paid and made some arrangement for paying them $100 and the horse Prince. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ranger Bowback: Stone Boats, Snowdrifts, and Church on Sundays

Ranger Bowback Cover - Adirondack FarmUncle Charlie Dalaba was one of the helpers many times for sugaring. He was a bachelor for years. Then he married a lady preacher, pastor of the Bakers Mills Pentecostal Holiness Church. Esther Thomas was a city girl from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and before her conversion and ministry she had played in theaters. One name she mentioned was Helen Hayes, who was a child. When the opportunity for a part in a movie came, she listened. The child must have curly hair, which she did not have. Her mother thought her daughter would make a good actress and carefully curled her hair. Esther got the part and a movie career.

In the country, Aunt Esther Thomas Dalaba decided to learn what she could about her new way of life. One of those experiences led her to go watch the making of maple syrup. Aunt Esther was so large that walking was impossible. The men helped her onto the lumber wagon box and gave her a joyride to the back roads. Over the bumpy roads and swaying on the seat as the wagon wheel hit a stone, she laughed with pleasure and some alarm. What a good sport. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ranger Bowback: His Horses and Labors

Ranger Bowback Cover - Adirondack FarmHillmount Farms on Edwards Hill Road was made of many rolling hills. The Ranger’s team of horses was his companion for many days of labor. The team drew the plow over the hilly terrain. There were several kinds of plows used by the farmers, such as the side hill plow, flat land plow, and sulky plow. The Ranger used the side hill plow most, for plowing deep furrows, turning the sod to the right as he went up and around and down a field. The next furrow overlapped, falling into the path of the one just plowed.

Long wooden curved handles were fastened to the plow for the farmer to hold onto. It was difficult for the teamer to hold the lines, so he tied them together and threw them over his shoulder. They dropped to his waist, leaving him in control of the plowing. The horses were well trained with “gee” to turn to the right and “haw” to turn to the left. The horses understood these words. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 13, 2016

The Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum

BabMus01In the northeast corner of New York State, the first weekend in June features Museum Days, during which 16 facilities in Clinton County offer free admission. We were among many who appeared as special guests on both days, offering our books for sale and visiting with attendees, which meant talking a lot about “the good old days.” From that experience, I can assure everyone that a trip to the Babbie Rural & Farm Learning Museum in Peru, where we spent Saturday, is a great idea from several perspectives.

As a museum, it’s a real pleasure, and for children and adults alike, it’s fun and entertaining. But it occurred to me that it’s also a priceless gift to people in their sixties or older, and to the offspring of those folks who have heard stories about childhood chores, tools of yesteryear, and appliances that preceded modern devices. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Edible Forest Garden Tour Planned For June 18th

A Forest Garden (courtesy Chickenshack, North Wales)Adirondack Harvest is co-sponsoring an educational workshop in Cross Island Farms’ Edible Forest Garden on Saturday, June 18 from 1 pm to 4 pm.

Over the past three seasons Dani Baker, co-owner of Cross Island Farms, has developed just under an acre of her certified organic farm as a multi-functional edible forest garden encompassing numerous permaculture principles and practices. Attendees will join her as she describes the process of planning and planting over 300 cultivars of edible fruits, nuts, berries, and other edibles, both native and uncommon; learn about factors considered in deciding where and with what to plant the seven permaculture layers she has incorporated; and identify a large variety of supportive plants integrated into the landscape. Attendees will have an opportunity to sample edible fruits, flowers, greens and herbs in season and go home with a potted plant to begin or add to their own garden. » Continue Reading.


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