Like 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.
Saranac Lake has made its Farm 2 Fork Festival a popular destination each September, celebrating small farms and introducing ways to use local produce in delicious recipes. The Plattsburgh event has a similar goal but is held specifically in the winter months to encourage people to learn that eating local can be a year-round experience.
Chef David Allen of Latitude 44º Bistro in Plattsburgh will be on hand at Food from the Farm to provide samples of recipes with ingredient lists to demonstrate delicious ways to use local products. Allen enjoys not only being creative with the locally grown food, but also being able to know the farmers and confidentially pass along a quality product to his customers.
Allen feels the importance of buying local produce is not only about supporting local farmers and helping neighbors, but providing his clientele with fresh produce free of pesticides.
“This is the third year I’ve done this event, the annual Food from the Farm,” says Allen. “It is important to see where our food in coming from. When you can do that, you have a sense of the value of the people growing that food. America has let people stomp all over our food and we are getting nothing back from it. Supporting local agriculture comes natural to me.”
Allen uses a lot of different products and flavors and hopes to help find ways to add other healthy local meals to the table.
The Food from the Farm: Eating Local in the North Country takes place Saturday, March 1 from 2-5 pm at Plattsburgh City Gym, (52 U.S. Oval). The admission price of $5/adults, free/children (five and under) with a maximum fee of $20/family includes food samples, gardening activities, recipes using local product and door prizes.
There will also be area farmers selling local products and opportunities to learn more about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) where individuals can buy into a share of a particular farm’s crops.