Saturday, December 3, 2022

NNY Audubon Launches 2023 Small Farm Grant Program to Support Bird Conservation

Saranac Lake, NY. America’s grasslands and shrublands are disappearing due to the intensification of agriculture and abandonment and development of farms. As we lose these open and shrubby habitats, we are also losing the grassland and shrubland birds that depend on them. Of the estimated three billion birds that have disappeared in the U.S. and Canada over the past 50 years, grassland and shrubland bird populations have been the most devastated. This makes the small and fragmented farmscapes of the northeast especially important.

Northern New York Audubon (NNYA) hopes to partner with local farms in our territory to improve these special habitats.  NNYA’s new Small Farm Grant program will provide grants of up to $1,500 to farmers in the St Lawrence and Champlain Valleys and Northern Adirondacks to improve bird-friendly habitats and management practices on their lands.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

CP Holiday Train returns to the rails in support of community food banks after two-year hiatus

“I’m grateful to the CP team members who adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver two exceptional virtual Holiday Train shows and to all those who continued to donate while we kept community members safe,” said Keith Creel, CP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Holiday Train is all about families and communities coming together to celebrate the season and help those in need. We are excited to be back out on the rails and in our communities, taking these two beautiful trains across our network and sharing the joy that comes with gathering in the spirit of giving.”

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

December 3rd Maple School Includes Uihlein Director’s NNYADP Maple and Beech Research Update

Nearly 25 in.hg of vacuum on quarter inch tubing for maple tapping

Lowville, New York –  Results from the latest Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) maple research projects will be presented at the Making the Most of Maple workshop on Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Lowville, New York. Northern New York Maple Specialist Adam Wild, director of the Uihlein Maple Research Forest at Lake Placid, will be joined by Cornell University’s Statewide Maple Specialist Aaron Wightman, and Cornell Maple Program Product Development Food Scientist Catherine Belisle, Ph.D., as workshop presenters. The 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. workshop will be held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County Learning Center located at 7395 East Road in Lowville. Contact CCE at 315-376-5270 to reserve your space by November 30.

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Monday, November 21, 2022

One North Country site will receive a community-scale composter from Compost for Good

AdkAction’s Compost for Good (CfG) project is looking for a new home for a community scale in-vessel drum composter. The 4’x20′ design is capable of processing up to 50,000 pounds of food scraps per year and will be made available to a North Country Site Host to be used as a demonstration site.

 

The in-vessel system was conceived of by John Culpepper and the late Greg LeClair from Jay, NY as an opportunity for the North Country School Camp Treetops to streamline their composting practices. The duo built the unit out of readily available materials through a grant from NYSERDA in 2015. It has successfully converted tens of thousands of pounds of food scraps into compost while offering educational opportunities for students and visitors alike. Three additional systems were built through the same grant and are now in operation at the Tupper Lake Wild Center, Lake Placid Central School, and Hermon Dekalb Central School.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Adirondack Land Trust Hosting Free Info Session on Conservation Easements and Farm Operations, Nov. 15

WHALLONSBURG – The Adirondack Land Trust is hosting a free informational session for farmland owners on Tuesday, November 15 at 6 p.m. at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, located at 1610 NY-22, Essex, NY. The event, “How do conservation easements impact farm operations?” features the following panelists:

·       James Graves, Owner/Operator, Full and By Farm, Essex

·       Alice Halloran, Essex County Soil & Water Conservation District

·       Jeff Kehoe, Ag Protection Planner, NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets

·       Ashlee Kleinhammer, Proprietor, North Country Creamery

·       Megan Stevenson, Land Protection Manager, Adirondack Land Trust

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Monday, November 7, 2022

Beyond Animals

Recent improvements in the texture and flavor of plant-based meat analogs have meat-lovers as well as vegetarians flocking to buy them. While it’s normal to think the quest for mouth-watering faux meat is a recent trend, it dates back almost a thousand years. According to first-hand written accounts, European religious and political leaders in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance period spent decades searching for meat substitutes. But Europe’s elite weren’t after mere Tofurkey or Boca Burgers. Their sights were set far beyond Beyond Meat in a hunt for living, breathing, meatless animals. In a strange twist, modern science has confirmed the existence of at least two such veggie-critters.

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Sunday, November 6, 2022

November Harvest of the Month: Local Grains

adirondack hay and grains

When you think of agriculture in the Adirondacks, you may not think of waving fields of grain. However, New England was actually the “breadbasket” of the United States until the late 1800’s. 

Global markets have driven local grains out of favor. Today, China is the top wheat producer, followed by India, Russia, and the United States. But flour is flour, right? Not really. The difference in flavor, nutrition, and community impact is significant. 

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Friday, October 28, 2022

Planning for Thanksgiving: Buying a turkey from a local farm/retailer

Have you considered buying a local turkey for your Thanksgiving meal this year? Buying a pasture-raised turkey from a local farm is one way to offer gratitude for the people and land that nourish your family. Locally raised turkeys are also usually raised in more humane conditions, and are much more flavorful and delicious. Most local farms and retailers require customers to pre-order and place a deposit on their turkeys in advance, generally from September-October. Browse the list below to reserve a local turkey for your Thanksgiving table.

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Thursday, October 27, 2022

Building a Better Apple 

Where Do Apples Come From? 

Apples are the most-consumed fruit in the United States. The annual estimated total value of the American apple industry is $23 billion, with just five cultivars; Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Red Delicious; making up two-thirds of production. Of these, Honeycrisp is easily the most valuable; having nearly twice the value per pound, if not more, than any of the others.

A few of weeks ago, I was sharing a couple of Honeycrisp apples with a friend and his granddaughter. As the youngster devoured a slice of apple… and then ate another… and another… and another… enjoying the juicy sweetness of each crunchy bite, she asked, “Where do apples come from?”

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Fueling our bodies: MB’s Energy Bites

hiking

“I hate hiking and I’m never gonna do it again.” -me (age 15, yelled to my mom and anyone else within hearing distance on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Mt. Washington, NH)

When I was a child growing up in a regularly food-insecure home, my food preferences were whatever my mom had available for us to eat, whether I liked that food or not (spoiler alert – I usually didn’t like it). Although she did a wonderful job with the frighteningly little she had available, the poor quality of that food  – outdated boxed and canned goods, sad and squidgy produce, greenish rinds of cheese, and the bits of meat that no-one else wanted –  could not be masked by the spices and creative preparation techniques she employed.

Food, then, became a tool for survival, not something consumed for enjoyment or even with deliberative selection for health.

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Monday, October 17, 2022

It’s Pumpkin Season 

“There are three things that I’ve learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” — Linus (from ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’)

 

I can’t think of any horticultural crop that signals the arrival of autumn more than pumpkins. They’re as much a part of the fall season as colder temperatures and shorter days, trees turning crimson, gold, and orange, the smell of fallen leaves wafting on the crisp, clear air, huge flocks of migrating geese, corn mazes, hayrides, apple cider, and Halloween costumes and decorations.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

“Junction Function” community celebration set for Tupper Lake Train Station on Oct. 16

 

Tupper Lake, NY (October 7, 2022) – Downtown Tupper Lake will be hosting a community celebration, dubbed the “Junction Function,” at the Tupper Lake Train Station on Sunday, October 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. The free community event features local businesses, vendors, attractions, live music and artists.

Junction Function has been organized by the community of Tupper Lake, in partnership with the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), to showcase Tupper Lake’s downtown area, businesses and local attractions. The event also coincides with the arrival of the first passenger train at the Tupper Lake Train Station in more than 40 years.

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Friday, October 7, 2022

October Harvest of the Month: Pumpkins

pumpkins

Pumpkins are an undeniable symbol of the changing seasons in the Northeastern United States. Pumpkins are an annual fruit in the genus Cucurbita, along with butternut squash, zucchini and cucumbers.

What’s the Difference Between a Pumpkin, Winter Squash and Gourd?

Pumpkins, winter squash and gourds are all fruit of the same genus, Cucurbita. Botanically speaking, there isn’t much difference between them. However, there is a significant difference in pumpkins, squash and gourds that have been bred for ornamental or edible purposes. A jack-o-lantern-style pumpkin would be tasteless and disappointing to eat. But a pie pumpkin would be sweet and delicious, much more like butternut squash. Edible pumpkins and squash can be unique decorations that can later be eaten. Look for delicious and beautiful varieties like Blue Hubbard, Autumn Frost, and Long Island Cheese to make your autumn decor do double duty. 

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Monday, September 26, 2022

ANCA and Foodshed Capital Announce First Small Farm SOIL Loan

SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and Foodshed Capital have announced the first loan provided through their new revolving loan fund for small-scale food producers.
Julian Mangano of Della Terra will use his SOIL Loan to develop a commercial composting operation that will divert organic waste from landfills, build soil health on his Castorland, N.Y. farm, and provide high-quality compost for local farmers and gardeners.

With a goal of supporting farms and food businesses who have difficulty accessing loans through conventional programs, ANCA, a regional economic development nonprofit serving businesses and communities in northern New York, partnered with Foodshed Capital, a certified Community Development Financial Institution that centers mission-driven lending and customized business support for underserved farmers, to develop the SOIL Loan Fund.

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Monday, September 26, 2022

MAKE IT: Bella’s Biscuits

Meet my hiking buddy, Bella (short for Belladonna). Bella is an entledoodle, or the offspring of an Entlebucher Mountain Dog and a mini-poodle. If you had not previously heard of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, you are not alone! They are in the same family as Bernese Mountain Dogs, but are the smallest of the breeds within that family. When crossed with the hypoallergenic mini-poodle, what are produced are adorable, intelligent, compact, herding/hunting, mountain-scrambling, active, non-shedding, fun-and-cuddle-loving, loyal puppies.

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