Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Urgent and Beautiful Gift of Making Home

frosty field, image by Ben Sklar

Greetings Neighbors and Strangers,

I don’t take in news directly, and yet the throbbing sorrow of the headlines has been creeping in of late, clinging to me as I make my rounds at the Farm.  Last year at this time I wrote a piece called Aching Beauty—my attempt to describe the excruciating experience of watching the landscape gather herself toward winter, of bearing witness as summer’s green riches bend their heads and feed the ground.  Autumn is an act of radical love that the headlines will never report.  And yet humans in these parts—even the settlers—used to live with their attention trained upon the landscape in a way scarcely imaginable today.  They couldn’t have missed the reckless generosity of life continuing.

Home isn’t a metaphor or a feeling.  Home is a capacity to bend one’s head and feed the ground.  Home is a shelter woven from restraint and from limit.  Home is an act of love that will never make the headlines.  Humans are capable of living out this kind of love.  If no one says this aloud, how could we be expected to remember?  Maybe that’s why you’re taking the time to read this Newsletter: you haven’t given up on humans either.  Well, I’m glad you’re here and I don’t take the responsibility of your attention lightly, given the troubles mounting by the hour.  Unlike the commercial media, however, your active participation will be required for this Newsletter to continue.  In fact, you and the other nine-hundred and seventy-seven people subscribed here are the ones who will either figure out how to sustain the work or not.  The kind of love I am describing asks for workers, not spectators or consumers.  Let’s see what we can do together, against the odds. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 5, 2023

New York Department of Agriculture and Markets awards AdkAction $238,000: Extends Free Local Food Program

local food in the ADKs

AdkAction will receive $238,000 to continue offering the highly successful Fair Share program that provides free seasonal farm shares to low-income families across the Adirondacks. The grant was awarded through New York Food for New York Families, a program administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

For qualifying households, Fair Share fully funds a 20 to 24 week Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with a participating local farm. From June through October, families in the program enjoy a weekly selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables in their farm shares. The program model directly supports North Country farmers while ensuring equitable access to fresh, nutritious produce for families across the region. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Planning for a Local Thanksgiving Meal

1.Plan ahead- You may need to place an order for pick-up or delivery or shop at a retail location up to a week in advance to make sure you have everything you need for your holiday table. Do a little research on what is available near you, make a plan and mark your calendar.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Growing Local Grass-Roots Food Security 

Inside of a greenhouse

It’s mid-November. The leaves on the trees have all fallen, with the exception of the few that still stubbornly cling to their branches. It’s getting colder. Clocks have been moved back an hour, so night comes early. Migratory birds are gathering or headed south. And it’s crunch-time for animals like chipmunks, and non-migratory, resident bird species (e.g. chickadees, cardinals, jays, nuthatches, some woodpeckers, and crows) that, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, have been stockpiling or caching food for a while now, in preparation for the coming of winter.

For many of us, the Thanksgiving holiday marks the onset of winter. The holiday brings family and friends together for warm, memorable reunions, time-honored traditions and scrumptious, festive meals. We relax, celebrate our good fortune, and just enjoy one another’s company, pausing to appreciate the things we hold dear. We say grace and give thanks, as the turkey is carved and the cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes are passed around. And Mom… It smells delicious!

» Continue Reading.


Friday, November 10, 2023

MAKE IT: Potash Mtn. Pumpkin Bread

Summit of Potash Mountain

There are some foods that, for me, are synonymous with the fall season. This factor is likely due to my Grandma Betty. When I was a young child, my family lived with my grandparents for
several years. During that time, I enjoyed my grandmother’s cooking (and boy, could she cook!). Grandma Betty cooked everything from scratch, and was insistent on making some recipes every
year, as part of her family tradition. Each fall, I could count on her baking loaves of pumpkin bread. For Grandma Betty, pumpkin bread started not with canned pumpkin, but with pumpkin
that she would bake (roasting the seeds, of course), and then turn into multiple, delightful dishes.

» 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.


Friday, October 27, 2023

Where to Pre-Order a Local Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey

By Mary Godnick, Communication Coordinator, Adirondack Harvest, CCE Essex

 

There is no sugarcoating it: a locally-raised turkey will cost more money than the big birds at the grocery store. So why spend more on something you can get so cheaply?

 

The average grocery store turkey will likely cost around $1.27 per pound this year, according to the American Farm Bureau. The unbelievably cheap turkeys sold at big box grocery stores are often injected with a solution that includes water, salt, and other additives. This process, known as “enhancement” or “plumping,” is done to improve the flavor and juiciness of the meat, and to increase its weight, which can make the turkey appear larger. You may be paying much less per pound on these birds, but you’re paying for a lot of salt water. 

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

Pie berries

pie

Rule #1:

“If you want Mom to make pie, first you have to pick pieberries.”

For more insights on late summer’s harvest, berry picking memories & Mom’s homemade pieberry recipe, click the link & read on: https://adirondackoutlaw.com/pieberries/

 

 


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Essex Food Hub Awarded $100,000 USDA Grant to grow Farm to School in the North Country

Photo Description: Essex Food Hub delivery to Plattsburgh Central School District during the Geographic Preference pilot bid in 2022.

Essex, NY– October is National Farm to School Month and Essex Food Hub is excited to announce a $100,000 grant award from the United States Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant program. EFH is one of 103 awardees across the nation in this celebratory 10th year of the program, and among just 16 selected in the Northeast region.

Funds from the grant will be used over the next twelve months to expand and improve local food access for our North Country schools. It will allow EFH to invest in new equipment to support their minimal processing of fruits and vegetables- peeling, dicing, shredding, and/or freezing produce.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

MAKE IT: Cinnamon Apple Bread

Cinnamon apple bread

I love apples. Not so-called “delicious” apples, that I find anything but what their name describes them to be, but the myriad of actually delicious apples that are available in New York during the Fall months. Although Cortlands, Empires, and Macouns are among my locally-available favorites for snacking and cooking, I most love the mystery varieties that grow on my old farm property, from trees planted long ago by people, or donated more recently from deer, bears, and other animals who enjoy the apples as much as I do.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 1, 2023

Fall is Garlic Planting Time 

Garlic bulbs

Garlic is Delicious 

Garlic is one of the most-time-honored and widely-used seasonings in the world. It’s a staple in home- and restaurant-kitchens on every continent. The name is actually derived from the Old English word ‘garleac’, which translates as ‘spear-shaped leek’.

Garlic lends its flavor to many different recipes and, depending on the variety, has a flavor and aroma that can be sweet, spicy, pungent, or just plain mellow. I’ve heard garlic described as a ‘true culinary joy’, ‘an essential part of any well-stocked pantry’, ‘the secret weapon’, and ‘a seasoning that can quickly bring a dish from bland to bold.’

You can use it chopped, sliced, sautéed, minced, or roasted whole. And you can add it to sauces, soups, side dishes, and main dishes. It’s that versatile!

» Continue Reading.


Friday, September 29, 2023

Fighting against ‘sameness’

sunset on a farm

By Kristin Kimball, Essex Farm

I’ve had my nose in the farm account books all week, and I am ready to stretch my legs and get out there, see what fall has wrought. I hear the winter squash and pumpkins are in, and some of the carrots; potatoes are ready, and when we have time and a dry window to harvest them, we would love extra hands for that. I can see for myself through the window that the maple trees in the sugarbush are starting to turn, and I think it will be a pretty fall, if it’s true that a wet summer brings more fall color. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 25, 2023

Essex Farm Note: A school visit and lots of rain

We hosted fifty middle schoolers from the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Vermont last Thursday. They hiked from the ferry to the farm via the Essex Gateway CATs trail in the humid heat. They had spent a week confronting the thorny ethical issues of food production. Mark and I talked about how to distill what we do and why we do it into something easily consumable, but then decided it was more of a show don’t tell opportunity. We hunted for dung beetles while talking about soil health, visited the dairy cows while talking about agricultural diversity, grazed our way through the vegetables while talking about the importance of basing our diets on whole food that’s locally produced, pulled some carrots for the road, and then hiked back to the ferry. They made it across the lake just before a huge thunderstorm hit, the one that knocked a tree through the library roof across from the ferry dock. Whew! » Continue Reading.



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