Posts Tagged ‘Local Farms’

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

For That Real Evergeen Experience, Buy Local

local spruceOf all the memorable aromas of the holiday season, nothing evokes its spirit quite like the smell of fresh-cut evergreen. Although over 80% of American households where Christmas is observed use artificial trees, about 11 million families still bring home a real tree.

Every species of conifer has its own mixture of sweet-smelling terpenols and esters that account for that “piney woods” perfume. While all natural Christmas trees share many of the same aromatic compounds, some people prefer the smell of a certain type of tree, possibly one they remember from childhood. No chemistry lab can make a polyvinylchloride tree smell like fresh pine, fir or spruce. A natural Christmas tree is, among other things, a giant holiday potpourri. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stock Up: Local Vegetables in Soups and Stews

winter vegetablesCookie baking season is here, but before I bring out the sugar and butter, I’m going to cook up some healthy soups and stews for the freezer. My garden potatoes are starting to sprout so I plan to make a potato soup using my own onions and garlic, as well as the corn I froze in September.

I’m busy, so I like to make a big batch of soup or stew and then freeze it in pint-sized canning jars to get a lot of meals out of the one effort. These single-serving sizes are easy to grab on my way out the door in the morning and then heat in the microwave for a warm lunch at work. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Celestial Burial And Rocky Cabin Chores

DSCN1728In Tibet they practice celestial burial. The deceased’s body is cut up into pieces small enough to be fed to the gathered vultures, who, because of this practice, are considered sacred birds. In our part of the Adirondacks we see few vultures, but, in part, a like ubiquity of rocks drives certain practices here.

During our early family summers on the edge of Adirondack wilderness, we children dreaded being assigned to bury the garbage. Waste disposal still decentralized in the early 1950s. To find where you could dig a hole deep enough to inter garbage was a serial ordeal of trial holes frustrated by hitting nonnegotiable rocks. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Lip Balm, Or Death Of A Microwave

Lip balm and cutting boardThe snow has come and gone, and then come and gone again. It’s been a wet fall, but with the transitions from rain to snow and back again, we still don’t have a lot of the white stuff on the ground.

The chickens are happily pecking away in their new coop and run, and I do feel better having them in a fully insulated coop, now that the night temperatures are getting into the single digits. They’re all huddled on the perch, snuggling to stay warm. At least now I can flip a switch and they have heat. Last winter it was warming a piece of granite on top of the woodstove and then running it out there to try and keep them warm. I like that they won’t be in my living room this year. At all. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

1816: An Adirondack Year Without Summer

Caldera_Mt_Tambora_Sumbawa_IndonesiaLast week’s cold snap, news reports about the Polar Vortex, and a November snowfall of historic proportions in Buffalo and Watertown has some folks teasing that they could use a little global warming about now. Adding to the concern is a recent book by John L. Casey, former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant. Casey claims that it is solar activity, namely sunspot eruptions – and not carbon emissions – that trigger climate changes here on earth. The recent diminished solar activity, he claims, will cause the earth to rapidity grow colder. Casey’s book Dark Winter predicts the worst of the cooling cycle will hit in the late 2020s and a shortened growing season will trigger food riots around the world. His thesis is sure to trigger heated responses (sorry, couldn’t resist) from global climatologists around the world, many of which have been measuring the loss of ice at the poles and warming global temperatures.

All of this has reminded me of a time two hundred years ago when the Adirondacks were, at least for a while, unusually cold. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Amy Godine On Black History in the Adirondacks

TMDA LogoBlack history in the Adirondacks has an anecdotal quality, maybe because the numbers of black Adirondackers have been so few. Here’s a story of a black homesteader who was good friends with John Brown. There’s a barn that may have sheltered fugitives on the Underground Railroad.  Outside Warrensburg is a place in the woods where a black hermit lived. And so on.

The temptation – and I should know; I’ve been a lead offender – is to make a sort of nosegay out of these scattered stories, pack them all into a story by its lonesome, a chunky little sidebar, and let this stand for the black experience.

It makes a good read, and it’s efficient. And it’s wrong. It reinforces the idea that the black experience in this region was something isolated, inessential. It ghettoizes black Adirondack history, and this wasn’t how it was. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

North Country Junior Iron Chef Competition Planned

Super Chefs-ActionMy daughter has brought the same sandwich to school everyday since the 1st grade: turkey on 12-grain, with an occasional side salad. My son not only brings his lunch, but sometimes manages to eat a second school lunch. His school food isn’t the stereotypical cafeteria lunch however, but part of the Adirondack Farm to School Initiative that is making quality food while supporting local farms and local food.

The North Country Jr. Iron Chef competition is another resource that is bringing students and commercial cafeterias together in a fun, educational environment that mimics the television show “Iron Chef” with a local twist.

Inspired by Jr. Iron Chef VT, middle and high school students in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, create healthy recipes using a combination of local and USDA commodity foods that could be realistically prepared in a school cafeteria. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Essex County Cheese Tour Offers Local Dairy Treats

asgaardfarm_newI’ve made my own yogurt for years and recently started experimenting with fermented food. I’m now struggling to produce Kefir without a grainy taste.

I just can’t seem to get the balance right. With a cupboard full of sourdough starter and ginger beer plant grains, my pantry looks like a science experiment.

With everything else bubbling and brewing, the one product I have no desire to make is cheese. » Continue Reading.



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, August 29, 2014

HoboFest And Farm2Fork: Fresh Food, Fresh Music in SL

HoboFestThe term hobo means different things to different people conjuring up images of the Depression, freight jumping, and an independent spirit. For my family it brings up my grandfather’s stories as an orphaned runaway immigrant living on the streets of Brooklyn. His stories were colorful and glossed over a hard street life. After spending a brief time on the rails, he lied about his age to join the military where he would recall the first time he ate a meal until he was full. Years later he was able help others and always fed anyone that passed by or knocked on the door.

With Farm2Fork and the HoboFest, Labor Day weekend in Saranac Lake brings together three elements that my grandfather would love: fresh food, music and railroads. » 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.



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.



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