Almanack Contributor Adirondack North Country Association

ANCA is building prosperity across northern New York. Our programs and partnerships focus in these areas: ANCA Center for Pandemic Response, Entrepreneurial Economy, Food Systems and Energy.


Sunday, March 31, 2024

ANCA’s SOIL Fund boosts two small North Country farms

A couple embrace

Saranac Lake, NY — The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has announced two loans that were recently awarded through the regional nonprofit’s SOIL Loan Fund. Tangleroot Farm in Essex, N.Y. and Tucker’s Black Angus Ranch in Brushton, N.Y. received zero-interest loans to use toward projects that build long-term growth and stability for their operations.

ANCA has partnered with Foodshed Capital, a certified Community Development Financial Institution that centers mission-driven lending and customized business support for underserved farmers, to award a total of five loans for small farm projects since the SOIL Loan Fund launched in 2022. These two most recent awards include a $10,000 loan to partially fund the purchase of a tractor at Tangleroot Farm and an $8,000 loan to purchase three retail freezers for Tucker’s Black Angus Ranch.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 25, 2024

Soil Health and Why It Matters

People learn about soil on a farm

By John Culpepper, co-founder of Compost for Good

There are exciting technologies now available to grow a substantial amount of food in aquaponic and aeroponic systems. There are even giant warehouses where tens of thousands of pounds of lettuce and other greens are grown and harvested under highly efficient LED lighting, using robots. However, as productive as these facilities can be, the vast majority of the world’s plants and animals grown for human consumption still rely on soil.

What is soil? I spent years in college, studying the properties of soil, earning degrees along the way from prestigious universities. My studies of soil science were enormously valuable. However, something critical was missing from my education.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 25, 2024

Clean Energy Funding Webinar set for Feb. 29

Two women stand next to an electric vehicle

Regional organizations aim to increase communities’ access to $25 million in State funds

Saranac Lake, NY-  Municipal leaders, staff and community members are invited to a free webinar designed to help communities benefit from $25 million in new funding now available through the New York Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Program. The CEC Program recognizes local clean energy leadership, provides match-free grants, helps reduce municipal energy use, lowers costs, and offers additional support for projects located in disadvantaged communities.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 4, 2024

Reflecting on Two Years: Building Business Resilience

by Mahala Nyberg

After two years, ANCA’s Center for Pandemic Response (ANCA CPR) program has reached its close. As 2023 also comes to an end, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the project, what we learned and our intentions moving forward.

Having joined the ANCA CPR team as a program navigator just over halfway through the project’s duration, I enjoyed getting to know our local entrepreneurs and learning about the breadth of work being achieved by our North Country businesses. Throughout my time as an ANCA CPR Program Navigator, I have been amazed at the creativity, drive and entrepreneurial spirit of our clients. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 30, 2023

$25 million available through NYSERDA program

Interior of a highway garage

Saranac Lake, NY — In the eight years the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has coordinated the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Clean Energy Communities (CEC) program for the North Country, the regional nonprofit has helped over 100 municipalities access resources and grants for projects that reduce energy use and costs. Last week, New York State launched the CEC program’s latest round, which makes available over $25 million in match-free grant funding for clean energy projects statewide. ANCA aims to help more North Country communities benefit from the updated “Clean Energy Communities 3.0.”

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 28, 2023

ANCA: Rain or Shine with Bike the Barns

Women with beer

By Caitlin Bottcher, ANCA Events Coordinator

The spirit of adventure was palpable when adrenaline and enthusiasm collided amidst challenging weather conditions for ANCA’s annual Bike the Barns. On Saturday, October 7, 2023, over 100 bikers of various skill levels embraced the challenge, pedaling their way through torrential rain from farm stop to farm stop.

Their route took them to the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum and Northern Orchard in Peru, N.Y. and Mace Chasm Farm and North Country Creamery in Keeseville — each offering a chance to experience the importance of small farms in our region’s history, culture and economy.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Exploring the Meaning of Wilderness

As an Upstate Institute Research Fellow this summer I worked with the Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI), a program of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA). ADI’s mission is to create an Adirondack Park and North Country region that are welcoming, safe, and inclusive for everyone. ADI works towards this by creating tools and strategies that diminish the impact of systemic racism in the Adirondack region. With my work this summer, some of the best ways I could help accomplish these goals were through being educated about the area and learning about the different experiences of visitors to the Adirondacks through community-based research. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

ANCA’s 2023 Annual Meeting

ANCA Annual Meeting

Lowville, NY – What is belonging, and what does it feel like to belong? How do businesses and communities benefit from prioritizing belonging in their work? Why does the ANCA team think belonging is critical for the future strength of our region?

You are invited to join ANCA’s 2023 Annual Meeting: Building Belonging in the New Economy. Together, we will engage in an interactive conversation exploring concepts, practices, and everyday actions we can each use to create inclusive spaces in our region where people truly belong. Our goal is for all attendees to leave with actionable ideas to incorporate principles of belonging in their business, organization, and community. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 30, 2023

Small Business Reflections on Setbacks, Successes and Funding Partnerships

ribbon cutting with people in front of a building

by Danielle Delaini, ANCA Entrepreneurial Economy Program Director

ANCA’s Small Business Team’s focuses on the current and future needs of the entrepreneurs with whom we work. We experience and witness many emotions through the successes and disappointments of the people we serve.

Whether we’re helping owners transition their businesses to the next generation, or helping artisans reach wholesale markets with their products, or guiding businesses affected by COVID-19 and other economic challenges with resources to help them build resilience — it can all feel inconsequential in moments of disappointment.

My heart hurts when a business closes despite the support our organization and our partners provide. When a business transition has all the right ingredients for a successful transfer but just doesn’t come together, I feel deep empathy for the business owner who has worked so hard to reach that point only to have to start over. When a new vendor leaves our Adirondack Buyer Days trade show with new wholesaling experience and knowledge, but no new retailer clients, I feel their disappointment too.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 6, 2023

Launching a North Country Clean Energy Hub; and bringing back a Clean Energy Conference

group wearing red shirts

By Craig Basford, ANCA Clean Energy Communications Coordinator

Earth Day is a time for new beginnings, a chance to start fresh and make positive changes in our relationship with the planet. 

New beginnings can feel risky or uncertain as we venture into new habits, technologies and experiences, but they also offer new and exciting opportunities to learn and grow.

Can you remember the feeling of moving into your first new home or apartment? Of starting a new job? You tried to play it cool, but inside, you were buzzing with excitement.

That’s how our team feels right now — because ANCA is embarking on our own new beginnings. This Earth Week, ANCA and our clean energy partners are celebrating the launch of the new North Country Clean Energy Hub. And we are so excited to share it with you!

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 9, 2023

Embracing Transitions as Opportunities

Dani Delaini

By Dani Delaini, ANCA Entrepreneurial Economy Program Director

On the first morning of the Small Communities. Big Opportunities. Conference, I braced myself.

I knew that my team and I would be speaking, making connections and moving from room to room — trying to ensure that all the materials and all the people would be in all the right places at all the right times. The mental and emotional energy  needed — event logistics to unexpected hiccups to keeping names straight for over 180 conference attendees — is somewhere over and in between a rainbow of both terror and excitement.

I braced myself. I took deep breaths and centered myself in the fact that whatever nervousness I felt was likely mild compared to how some sellers showcasing their businesses that day must be feeling.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, December 23, 2022

How to go green this holiday season

By ANCA Energy Circuit Riders Shawnea Hull and Carlie Leary

Incorporating sustainable practices into your holiday season doesn’t have to be difficult and can be a wonderful opportunity to create new traditions, start meaningful conversations, and reduce your impact on the environment. Below we offer some tips on how to cut down your energy use and expenses and reduce waste during the holidays.

Energy Use

Switch to LED this holiday season.

switch to led lights

On average, Americans use around 3.5 billion kWhs of electricity to light their holiday lights throughout the month of December. Using standard equipment (one 20-ft string of 100 incandescent bulbs using 40W of electricity x 9 such strings on average to light a Christmas tree and outdoor lights), for 6 hours a day means the typical household in the U.S. will use around 65 kWh of electricity in December — adding up to around $645 million spent by Americans this month running holiday lights.

One solution? LED lights. LEDs may have a higher upfront cost, but they ultimately provide savings on your electric bill and reduce your GHG emissions. When you use  LED bulbs for all your holiday lights, the amount of power you use drops by around 75%. Whether you strive for Clark Griswold-inspired lighting or a more modest holiday display, these holiday light calculators show you  how much switching to LED lights can save you!

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Rebuilding Thanksgiving for All

thanksgiving

By Melanie Reding, Associate Director, Adirondack Diversity Initiative

Like many contemporary holidays and celebrations, Thanksgiving has become a holiday where oversimplification, misrepresentation and myths tend to dominate the narrative. The history and significance of the day is often overshadowed by commercialism and merry-making. Holiday shopping and Black Friday sales, which increasingly begin on Thanksgiving Day, have become a distraction from the celebration of family and togetherness.

Furthermore, when it comes to Thanksgiving, there is a deep and tragic history that for centuries Americans have refused to accept — choosing instead to perpetuate a harmful myth. Unlike the depiction in the 1912 painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, the relationship between the Wampanoag Tribe native to Massachusetts and the Pilgrims of that “First Thanksgiving” was anything but the school-taught myth of happy little Indians and Pilgrims sitting together enjoying a meal. In my school days, the lesson was taught with construction paper feathers, pilgrim hats and books where “I was for Indian” was accompanied by colorful images of smiling party guests.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 21, 2022

My house serves me well

anca/acw housing series logo

By Leslie Sittner

Dream Home #1

I designed my dream log home, made the drawings, supervised every detail of its construction, and lived in it with my husband for 13 years until he passed away. During that time, we added naturalized landscaping, terraced vegetable gardens, and a large barn for the boy-toys. Log homes require constant maintenance. Particularly when they’re large with three levels. Then there’s the 200 feet of beach and 2 ½ acres of sloped woods. I can no longer maintain this alone. Especially feeding the hungry mouths of the wood stoves all winter.

I need to downsize. Simplify. Purge.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, November 11, 2022

Not quite homeless

anca/acw housing series logo

By Duane L Herrmann

I was not quite homeless, but there was a time, just after high school, when I was trying to be independent when I was largely living out of my car. I did this only because it was more convenient, but I wasn’t sleeping there. I was attending the local university and did not want to live at home, on the farm in the country. Before I had a car, I had had a job with a family with two little boys. Both parents worked and they needed child care at odd times of the day. They had only one car, but their work schedules did not mesh. I ended up being their driver and child care provider in the odd hours. I slept in a bed in a corner of their basement. It was a successful arrangement for all of us.

» Continue Reading.



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