Thursday, July 10, 2014

Amy Ivy: Appreciating Our Local Vegetable Producers


NCGrownPepperMan30033.25Gardening, especially growing your own food, is one of the number one pastimes across the country. But ask anyone who has actually tended a garden and they will also admit it is a humbling experience! You don’t just drop a seed in the ground and ‘Voila!’ a basket of tomatoes appears. There are bugs, diseases, fertility, too much or too little water, and then there are weeds, weeds, and more weeds to contend with.

Supermarket shelves brim with perfect produce, and farmers markets and roadside stands have beautiful piles of all sorts of vegetables; they make it look so easy. Home gardeners might be content with having enough for a few meals but our North Country commercial growers are in this is as a business. If they don’t make a profit, they aren’t going to keep farming. Today, I hope to increase your appreciation of the work and innovations our growers use to produce all that beautiful food. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bolton Landing: The Lakeside Lodge & Grille

photo 5(1)The Lakeside Lodge & Grille offers a slice of Adirondack atmosphere in the quiet village of Bolton Landing. Established as The Lakeside Lodge in 1945 by the Keating family, the restaurant (which then included guest rooms above) was purchased by the Scott family in 1972 and renamed The House of Scotts.

The Current owners,  Art and Nicole Baker, purchased the business in 2006 and returned to the name as The Lakeside Lodge & Grille. The Bakers are hands-on owners and active citizens in their community.

Although their menu offers a variety of selections – fresh fish, hand cut steaks, gluten-free options – two staples are the Spicy Corn Chowder and The Crown Island.  The bowl of the chowder is a meal unto itself, and the The Crown Island is one of my personal favorites. It features generous portions of turkey and pastrami with swiss cheese, cole slaw and thousand island dressing on panni pressed marble rye bread. It’s a knock out. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In Upper Jay: The Running of the Cows

Swiss Brown CowCows run. Not only that they hop about, kick up their heels, and act like school kids released for their summer holiday. The occasion? Being released from living in a barn all winter and finally being able to get out into a field of fresh grass, which took place on a Sunday morning at the end of May at the Sugarhouse Creamery, a farmstead in Upper Jay that decided to create a picnic, party, and farmer’s market featuring the products of several new farms recently launched across Essex County.

“The plan is at 11:30 or so we are going to let our Brown Swiss Cows out for the first time this spring,” said Alex Eaton of their first public running of the cows. “They are all in the barn at the moment eating a little bit of hay. We are going to release them and then they will go crazy. It is the best sight in the entire year. They kick up their heels, their udders are swinging around, and these massive creatures are so playful. It’s an incredible sight.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

High Peaks Happy Hour: The Garrison, Lake George

GarrisonLG_extShrouded in nostalgia from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, we reviewed the old Garrison for the Adirondack Almanack in 2011 as research for our book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide.

In 2012, the Garrison closed and a “For Sale” sign went up. We weren’t surprised, but remained hopeful that someone would come along and resuscitate the iconic landmark before it was declared legally dead. When we prepared the epitaph for Adirondack bars dearly departed, we knew the Garrison would be back, so it was excluded from the RIP page in the book. Only a few short weeks ago, The Garrison on Beach Road in Lake George took a deep breath, reopened its doors, and welcomed customers new and old. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Warrensburg Riverfront Farmers’ Market Season Begins

Farmers-Market-Sign150-143x300The 16th season of The Warrensburgh Riverfront Farmers’ Market has begun. Gardening information, recipes using local products, music, samplings, refreshments, locally grown and prepared foods and handmade crafts, and monthly festivals are all part of part of market season in Warresnburg.

The market is held Friday afternoons from 3-6 pm, June thru October, on the banks of the Schroon River in the Warrensburgh Mills Historic District, on River Street (Route 418) near Curtis Lumber. The market is a “producer-only” market, limiting sales to locally grown produce, wine, baked goods, preserves, maple syrup, honey, dairy, poultry, meats, plants, soaps and lotions, and more. All prepared foods are made “from scratch”, utilizing locally grown ingredients whenever possible.

This year the market will host a festival each month, starting with their Rhubarb Festival on June 6th. Other festivals throughout the season include Adirondack Riverfront Arts (July 18), Bountiful Harvest (August 15), Apple (September 19) and Garlic (October 11). Each festival provides opportunities for youth and adults to prepare recipes, preserve the harvest and create simple crafts. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Visit To Liquids and Solids in Lake Placid

Liquids and Solids ExteriorStick with this review, kids: Liquids and Solids is something else.

A couple of weeks ago I took a whirlwind weekend trip with my in-laws from Wisconsin to the Adirondacks to look at a house we’re considering. We rose at 3:30 AM on a Friday and drove straight to Lake Placid, arriving late.  We were tired in that road-weary way that invites impatience along with fatigue.

We desired a good late dinner without any more driving, so I suggested the always-reliable Lisa G’s right down the block.  Unfortunately it was closed for cleaning. But I remembered that on a recent visit to Lisa G’s the waitperson had recommended Liquids and Solids across the street. “Their stuff’s really good,” she had said. So we made our way to the other side of Station Street in hopes of being rewarded with decent food. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Laurie Davis: Connecting Local Farms And Schools

School to Farm InitativeMany North Country schools are exploring the various scenarios of incorporating locally grown food into their menus.

Can you remember what your favorite school cafeteria meal was? Maybe you didn’t have a favorite meal. Maybe you dreaded finding out what was going to turn up on the steam table each day. It’s a common story, complaining about institution food, and the barbs are often undeservedly thrown at the cafeteria staff.

Fact is it is only in recent history that schools have started to realize the importance of not only good nutrition for kids, but food that is fresh, local, tasty, and visually appealing. Seems like a no-brainer, right? That sort of food is what we all want and deserve to eat. Our farmers are looking for local sales outlets, too. So why isn’t this just happening everywhere? The challenges are numerous, but not completely prohibitive. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Adirondack Farm To School Festival Friday

Saranac Lake students snack on kale while on a field trip to Fledging Crow FarmThe Adirondack Farm to School Initiative has announced its second Farm to School Festival, to be held at the Lake Placid High School and Olympic Oval on Friday, May 30, 2014 from 4-7 pm.  From 4 pm – 6 pm the event will feature area farmers, organizations, dinner with fresh local ingredients, live music from Big Slyde, student environmental groups from the Tri-Lakes, educational booths and activities.  The event concludes with a special presentation by Mark and Kristin Kimball from Essex Farm from 6-7 pm in the Lake Placid High School Auditorium.

The Adirondack Farm to School Initiative is working with schools and communities to rebuild a healthy food system in the Adirondacks and create connections between classrooms, cafeterias, communities, and local farms. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Second Warren County ‘Farm Talk’ To Be Held

Farm Talks PhotoSmall farms, hobby farms, community gardens and backyard gardens are expanding all over New York and with this rapidly expanding farming and gardening community, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District has started a free series of informational agricultural presentations called “The Farm Talks”.

The next talk will include two presentations. The first presentation will be about the SUNY Adirondack (formerly Adirondack Community College) Diversified Farm with Dr. Tim Scherbatskoy. Participants will be touring the campus diversified farm during the presentation. The second presentation will be an “Introduction to Small Farm Planning” with Tiffany Pinheiro of the Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Green Grass Getdown In Upper Jay on Sunday

Adirondack FarmsSugar House Creamery in Upper Jay will be hosting a Green Grass Getdown, a celebration of Spring, local farm food, and cows heading to pasture at the start of the grazing season, on Sunday, May 25.

The event will feature a local food fair and a farmers’ market. The day kicks off with the procession of cows to pasture at 11 am. The parade is based on the Swiss tradition of sending cows to high alpine meadows, a part of Transhumance, the ages-old worldwide migration of livestock and their keepers between seasonal grounds.

Guests will be able to sample and buy fare from Asgaard Farm, The Clay Hearth, Fledging Crow Vegetables, Juniper Hill Farm, Mace Chasm Farm, North Country Creamery, Sugar House Creamery, and other local food providers.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dandelions: Make Salad, Not War

DandelionFlower-Photo-by-Greg-HumeThere’s no arguing spring with the dandelions. When they bloom, I know that winter’s finally outta here. By May, my fields and yard are dusted with that mellow dandelion yellow. I don’t mind. I keep honeybees, and dandelions are one of the more reliable sources of early spring nectar and pollen.

Dandelion is a poetic name. Derived from the French phrase, dent de leon, it refers to the deep serrations of the leaves, which, at least to the French, resemble the teeth (dent) of a lion (leon). The flower heads are packed with innumerable tiny florets. The heads open during the day and close at night. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Amy Ivy On When To Plant The Garden


springfrostlgGardeners across the North Country have had a stressful winter, wondering what the sheets of ice, endless snow and sub-zero temperatures are doing to their perennials, berries, trees and shrubs. All we can do is wait and see how things get through. The next biggest stressor for gardeners is going to be deciding how early you can start planting your garden.

I’ve learned to not even try to make predictions related to the weather, especially as it relates to plants. Luckily many plants are quite resilient, so even if they get off to a slow start in spring they often catch up by summer. I have no idea what May is going to be like, and therefore no idea if you should make any adjustments to your usual gardening practices.

Just last year we had a killing frost in early May followed by those endless days of pouring rain that lasted into early July. All I can do is advise you to be ready for anything. Go ahead and plant your peas and spinach at the end of April if that’s what you usually do, but save a few seeds for replanting in case those don’t make it. When possible, plan to make successive plantings and hope that the timing works out for at least one of them. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ag Program Receives $600k in NYS Funding for Research

NNYADPThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has received $600,000 in the recently-passed New York State Budget for research to enhance the sustainability and profitability of farm businesses in the state’s six northernmost counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence.

The Northern New York agricultural industry contributes nearly $600 million in estimated farm product market value to the local economy and has an estimated local payroll of approximately $53 million. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 21, 2014

A New Crop of Farmers Take Root in Champlain Valley

asa_courtney_cattle-600x468When Asa Thomas-Train met his future wife, Courtney Grimes-Sutton, she was skinning a pig. Rather than wonder why an attractive young woman was doing a job usually reserved for big, brawny guys, Asa reacted with admiration. “She’s an incredibly capable, charismatic, and strong woman,” he said recently.

That summer of 2010, they were working at Essex Farm, a mecca for edgy young farmers honing their agricultural skills. Founded a decade ago by Mark and Kristin Kimball, the farm has had a prodigious influence, spawning new farmers and a warm farming community. Kristin recounted the farm’s unfolding in her memoir The Dirty Life. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Juneberry Research Nursery Planned For Willsboro

juneberry in New York (photo 2)The farmer-led Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted a new report on establishing New York’s first Juneberry research nursery. The planting at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm in Willsboro, NY, will be one of the largest nurseries of its kind for studying this ‘superfruit.’

Juneberry, scientifically known as Amelanchier, has the potential to be a major novel fruit crop in northern New York, and perhaps the Northeast, say researchers Michael H. Davis, Cornell Willsboro Research Farm Manager, and botanist Michael B. Burgess of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. » Continue Reading.


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