During my years at Extension, one of my (self-proclaimed) missions was to support local farms and producers and to promote consumer-access to, education about, and appreciation for local, fresh, sustainably produced foods and products, while also working to develop farmers’ markets as vibrant gathering places within local communities. That mission continues.
I hike a lot, so make (and drink!) variations of this natural electrolyte drink for hikes. One of my favorites is a ginger lemon-lime combination. I also love to make this drink with grapefruit, orange, or cranberry juice (or combine juice flavors). You can use honey or sugar in lieu of the agave nectar if you like, and can also use regular water instead of coconut water. Enjoy!
High tunnels, sometimes called hoop houses, offer northern New York market growers an easy way to extend our limited growing season by two or three months. Sometimes more. Farmers can grow early and/or late crops of cool weather and salad vegetables even while there’s snow on the ground. And depending upon the weather, warm season crops, like tomatoes, can mature several weeks earlier and be harvested and sold many weeks after similar field grown crops have been killed by frost.
In addition, high tunnels offer protection from wind, driving rain, disease, insects, and deer. And more than a decade of Cornell University-conducted research has shown that the yields and quality of produce grown in high tunnels can be far superior to that of comparable field-grown crops.
This is great news for consumers too, who gain access to an ever-increasing variety and supply of top-quality, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, both earlier and later in the year.
I love blueberries. I love blueberry jam. As such, I love to eat blueberry jam on toast (especially sourdough!), drizzled on fruit, as a topping for sorbet, or by the (very large) spoonful. When making any sort of jam, it is important to have a good quality fruit. When the blueberries are amazing, the blueberry jam will also be amazing! This jam will keep for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
- 1 pound fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar OR ½ cup agave nectar or honey
- 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest (optional)
- Combine blueberries, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest in a medium saucepot. Bring the mixture to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium.
- Let the jam cook for 15-25 minutes until the blueberries have broken down and the mixture has thickened.
- Transfer cooked jam into sterilized glass jars. Let the jam cool uncovered at room temperature. Cover jars and keep jam in refrigerator for up to three weeks. Enjoy!
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.
Mary’s Taste of Fall Pickled Beets
Here is a recipe for pickled beets, courtesy of our amazing SUNY Albany intern.
Savor the fall time flavors with these sweet, warm pickled beets! As someone who wishes it could remain the autumn season all year-round, I am so grateful for these preserved and shelf-stable pickled beets to add to any recipe. Truly delicious on salads, as a side dish, a unique pizza topping or even paired with some goat cheese and crackers for a simple afternoon snack.
Summertime is the perfect time to go berry picking! Plenty of berries are just coming into season, and many more will soon. Here are a couple posts from our archive covering all things berry-related:
From 2012: A delicious blueberry sorbet recipe!
From 2014: An informational article on wild blackberry season in the Adirondacks.
From 2016: On the color of cranberries
From 2016: Juneberries ripening in July
From 2019: Facts about growing berries in the North Country
From 2020: Northern New York runs grower trials for 3 fruits in an effort to establish new commercial fruit crops
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. Photo provided by Adirondack Harvest
This USDA tested and approved recipe is from the University of Georgia Extension. It yields 7-8 pints, and produces a lovely, vinegar-free salsa. This recipe provides a perfect method to use – and preserve – the abundant ripe tomatoes currently (or almost) available at farmers’ markets or even your own gardens! Make sure to use caution when handling chilis and jalapeños, so that you do not inadvertently get the capsaicin oil in your eyes (don’t ask me why I am including that information here!).
All 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.
Muffins cooked in oranges – whomever originally came up with this idea deserves a medal! This versatile recipe can be made with any muffin mix, allowing you to tailor it to your preferences.
I’ve always found the idea of foraging for wild edible plants appealing, but daunting. I know a little about wild plants and foraging, but I lack confidence. And with good reason. I didn’t grow up foraging and, although it’s possible to acquire knowledge about foraging from books and websites, it’s a lot easier (and safer) to learn from someone who has first-hand foraging knowledge and experience; someone who has been gathering, preparing, and eating wild foods throughout his or her entire life.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Franklin County is offering a series of Wild Edibles Workshops during July and August.
New restaurant hailed as ‘an oasis in a food desert’
Seventy-five years ago Silk City Diner number 59 left the factory in Paterson, New Jersey. The 42-seat restaurant—with a stainless steel and cream enamel exterior, traveled to Conowingo, Maryland, about 35 miles from Baltimore. There it served customers for decades. From Maryland it was hauled to Pennsylvania, then Ohio, where was partially restored. it landed in Blue Mountain Lake, NY, in 2017, during a blizzard.
The Mobile Farmers Market has returned for the 2021 season, with community-based stops set across Franklin and Clinton counties.
A program of the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO) and the Heart Network, the Mobile Market provides access to fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods and a salad bar; the market made its debut in 2018 and has since expanded its stops and offerings. The Mobile Market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with the additional bonus of the Double Up Food Bucks Program that doubles the amount of produce SNAP recipients can purchase; customers can also use farmers market vouchers.
JCEO and the Heart Network will continue to follow all state and federal COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. Only one person and a JCEO employee are allowed on the bus at a time. Masks are required and customers waiting to enter the bus are asked to maintain social distancing.
The Mobile Market schedule is subject to change. To view the schedule, visit heartnetwork.org/mobile-farmers-market or call (518) 319-4028.
June 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.
Another sign that we’re getting back to “normal”: The return of farmers markets. Many have opened around the Adirondack region and Adirondack Harvest has compiled them here.
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