It’s Harvest Time in the Adirondacks and events are planned across the region that feature locally-grown foods and local farms. The local food and farm economy is a growing part of Adirondack economic life as more residents and businesses choose local food first.
Over the past several years new farmers markets have sprung up in communities across the region. In Chestertown, a new weekly farmers market is bringing 500 people a week into the village. Local business people are praising the effort, the Grand Union has added staff for the Wednesday market, and local restaurants are seeing increased lunch business. “This is the biggest thing to hit Chestertown in 20 years,” one long-time businessman said at a recent town meeting.
Here in Chestertown, and around the Adirondacks, young farmers are working to reverse unhealthy food trends by supporting local and regional foodsheds. According to the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) there are approximately 4,200 farms working 1.11 million acres in the North Country. The local farm employee payroll is about $52.9 million, and Northern New York farm products’ market value is more than $595 million. The Northern New York region currently has some 20 vineyard wineries. Farms that sell directly to the consumer in the six Northern New York counties are growing vigorously.
Harvest Time is the perfect time to get to know your local farmer and join with Adirondack neighbors in creating a vibrant local food economy. Here are some upcoming events where you can do just that:
September 1 (Saturday)
Farm 2 Fork: The Adirondack Green Circle and the Ausable Valley Grange present this celebration of local small farms and foods at Riverside Park, Saranac Lake, 9am—2pm. A $10 tasting ticket includes eight tasting stations from Home Cooks, the Artisan Beverage Bar, Pickle Booth, Hand-Cranked Ice Cream station and Cider Press. An additional $8 will cover the Locavore Grill serving up Harmony Hills Sweet Italian Sausage or Eat n’ Meet Harmony Hills Farmstead Pulled Pork on handmade Lake Flour Cakery buns with locally produced relish and coleslaw.
September 7-9 (Saturday-Sunday)
Lake Placid Fall Farm Tour Weekend: On September 7-9, the Golden Arrow, Lake Placid’s only “green” hotel is hosting a Fall Farm Tour Weekend, featuring a welcome reception on Friday evening at Snowslip Farm with farm fresh hors d’oeuvres and beverages; on Saturday, a discussion on the history of local farms and opportunities to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organization, followed by tours of Edgley Bison Farm, Tucker Farms, and Atlas Hoofed It Farm. A special barbecue dinner will be served at Tucker Farms.
September 8 (Saturday)
Chefs and Farmers: Taste the Adirondacks: regional chefs will prepare a tasting menu using food from local farms as their focus and inspiration. The event will take place 5-8 pm at the Saranac Lake Train Depot.
September 15 (Saturday)
A Taste of Local: As a kick-off to Adirondack Harvest’s Festival Week, the Adirondack History Center Museum, 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown is hosting a new food festival: A Taste of Local from 11 am to 2:30 pm. Restaurants will showcase their favorite appetizers, entrees, desserts or other items featuring local foods. An apple dessert cooking contest is open to the public. No admission fee to the festival, however $1 tickets will be sold for purchase of samples at food booths. Prices for food samples will vary by restaurant. For more information contact the Museum at 873-6466.
Farmers, Friends & Food: Ben Wever’s Farm, run by the Gillilland family and featuring grass-fed beef, poultry, lamb, trout, eggs, honey and more, is presenting a farm tour and potluck dinner, in the field and under the stars, featuring food from local farms. Farm tour begins at 4:00, dinner at 5:00. Bring a dish to share, get a “Brigadoon” CSA membership. BYOB. Call 963-7447 or 962-4810 x404 for more information or to RSVP. Reservations appreciated. Ben Wever farm in located at 444 Mountain View Drive, Willsboro
September 16 (Sunday)
Forest and Farm Brunch: Elizabeth Lee, naturalist and outdoor educator will introduce the 150 acre setting with a brief tour of the forest trails that surround DaCy Meadow Farm, an Adirondack Harvest member. Brunch will follow, provided by DaCy Meadow Farm including a variety of quiches using fresh eggs, sausage, bacon, ham and vegetables, Dogwood Bread Company products and desserts warm from the oven. All beverages are included and vegetarian items are available. $45 per person fee (portion to benefit Adirondack Harvest). To register: Contact Elizabeth Lee, Outdoor Guide, email@example.com. 518.962.4756
September 22 (Saturday)
Sugarbush Farm Annual Pig Roast: Sugarbush Farm, 40 Continental Drive, Schroon Lake will host a pig roast of their farm-fresh Berkshire Pork. Membership fee is refundable with dish to share. Horse rides, farm tour, raffles, horseshoes, playground for kids, campfire. Call 532-9539 to RSVP or for more info.
September 23 (Sunday)
Fifth Annual Great Adirondack Rutabaga Festival: World class chefs serving free samples of amazing rutabaga dishes, coronation of the 2012 Rutabaga King and Queen, Fetch-a-‘baga contest for dogs, Mr. ‘Bagahead decorating contest for kids, Penelope the Clown, displays and educational exhibits. 9:00am to 1:00pm. Marcy Field, Keene. Sponsored by Adirondack Harvest, the Adirondack Farmers Market Cooperative, the Town of Keene and The Fallen Arch. Rutabaga 5K Fun Run at 9:00am. Live music by The Greenbeans, High Peaks Hula Hoop championship. Admission to food tent $5 ($15 family max.) Pre-register for the Fun Run by calling Laurie Davis at 962-4810 x404.
October 1-2 (Sat-Sun)
Harvest Festival at the Adirondack Museum: Event includes wagon and pony rides, music, arts and crafts, demonstrations, a giant leaf pile, and more. Paul Smiths College Culinary and Baking Program will demonstrate how to
prepare dishes inspired by an Adirondack fall. The Adirondack Museum offers free admission to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park in the month of October
Photo courtesy Chestertown’s Wednesday Farmers Market.