Almanack Contributor Mary Godnick

Mary Godnick

Mary Godnick is the Digital Editor for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County. She lives in the Champlain Valley where she grows vegetables on a cooperative farm plot with her partner and two rescue dogs. You can read more of her work on AdirondackHarvest.com and follow her on Twitter at @MaryGodnick.


Sunday, October 3, 2021

October Harvest of the Month: Apples

applesApples are one of the most historically, culturally, and economically significant fruits on earth. It’s estimated that humans have been eating apples since 50,000 BCE. Today, there are currently over 7,500 known cultivars of apples, ranging from small, green and tart, to big red sweet globes. The modern apple is thought to have been domesticated in modern-day Kazakstan 4,000-10,000 years ago. 

Apples are not native to New York State or the United States at all. However, today there are over 42,360 acres of apple orchards in the state of New York, which is second in the US behind the state of Washington for apple production. The United States (5M tons/year)  is second only to China (50M tons/year) in apple production. 

So how did the United States become a leader in growing a fruit that is relatively new to the area? 

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Picking the Perfect Market Melon

It’s that time of the year when so much is in season in the Adirondack region- including melons like honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.

In the Adirondacks, locally grown melons only start to appear with sweet corn and winter squash, right around when kids start heading back to school. Once the frost comes, they are done.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Honey

bees on honeycombSeptember is National Honey Month

Since the 1980’s September has been “National Honey Month”, in honor of the end of the season for most areas, when beekeepers collect honey from their hives. It’s a time to raise awareness of beekeeping and the benefits of honey. 

This National Honey Month, learn more about how honey is made by bees, collected by humans, and how you can support beekeepers in your community. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 1, 2021

August Harvest of the Month | Peppers

serrano peppers

Photo of serranos courtesy of https://peppergeek.com/serrano-peppers/

History and Facts

Peppers are the berry-fruits of plants in the genus capsaicin which are in the nightshade family, with tomatoes and eggplants. The spicy “chili peppers” and mild “sweet peppers” and “bell peppers” are all native to tropical parts of the Americas. Prehistoric remains of peppers have been found in Central and South America. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 4, 2021

Berries are the Harvest of the Month for July

picking berriesAll about berries! Blueberries, both wild and cultivated, are native to the Northeast. They belong to the Ericaceae plant family, along with cranberries. They are in season in the Adirondack region from mid-July through September. The United States is the primary producer of blueberries worldwide, followed by Canada, and Peru. In the US they are mostly grown in Oregon, Washington State, Michigan, New Jersey, California, and North Carolina. Many diversified farms and orchards grow blueberries in the Adirondack region. Blueberries like acidic soil and cold winters for a dormancy period.

Above photo: Blueberry harvest at Wild Work Farm in Keene Valley, NY. Netting over berry bushes protects the crop from birds. Most small-scale diversified farms and orchards pick their harvests by hand. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 13, 2021

June Harvest of the Month | National Dairy Month

dairy cowsJune is National Dairy Month, which originated in 1937 as “National Milk Month” by the National Dairy Council in an effort to encourage consumers to drink more milk during a time of surplus. Today, many organizations and regions continue to observe June as Dairy Month along the same theme. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Harvest of the Month | Asparagus

asparagusWhat is Asparagus?

Garden asparagus, asparagus officinalis, is a perennial flowering plant. It belongs to the Asparagus genus, along with other perennial bushes and plants. Asparagus is dioecious, meaning some plants have flowers with a stamen and produce pollen, and other plants have flowers that have a pistil and make seeds. This means that a variety of plants are needed for reproduction. When you eat asparagus, you’re actually eating the immature stalk of the entire plant. Most asparagus is harvested when it is about six to ten inches long, but when left to mature, it grows into four-foot-tall plants with long fern-like branches. 

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Gearing up for gardening

cilantro

Will the pandemic home gardening trend continue?

If you weren’t a gardener before, the COVID-19 pandemic may have inspired you to start a veggie garden. Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Fairfield, Maine, saw a 270% jump in orders the week the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency. Many local nurseries sold out of vegetable transplants fast last spring, citing they couldn’t keep up with demand.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Micro-Greens and Shoots 

microgreensWhat is the Difference Between Micro-Greens, Shoots, Sprouts, and Baby Greens? 

Microgreens, shoots, and sprouts are all immature plants harvested before they reach full maturity. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Maple

Adirondack March Maple Syrup EventsWhat is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is the sap from maple trees that has been collected, heated, and concentrated down to a sweet liquid. This is different than what is sold at the grocery store as “pancake syrup,” which is primarily corn syrup. 

Sugar Maple Trees begin to produce sugary water called sap when the temperatures reach above 40 degrees F during the day and below 32 degrees F at night. The freezing and thawing temperature fluctuations push sap through the tree so that it has the nutrients needed to grow. You can read a more comprehensive explanation of this process here. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 7, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Winter Squash

What are Winter Squash?

Winter squash is a group of several species of annual fruit in the genus Cucurbita, including the popular butternut, acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squash. What we call “pumpkins” are also winter squash. Winter squash is different from summer squash, like the zucchini, because it’s harvested and eaten when the seeds are matured and the skin has hardened. Due to their hard rind and sweet dense flesh, they can be stored for long periods in cool dark storage, up to a year from harvest.

» Continue Reading.