Farmers’ markets have existed as a part of American society, business, and trade since 1634, when the first farmers’ market in the new world opened for business in Boston, Massachusetts. And throughout much of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, outdoor market places were vital centers of commerce in both American cities and rural communities.
The Central Market, in Lancaster Pennsylvania, has been held in the same location since 1730. George Washington wrote about sending his kitchen staff to shop at Philadelphia’s outdoor market during the 1790s. And Thomas Jefferson wrote, in 1806, about buying beef, eggs and vegetables at an outdoor market in Georgetown. » Continue Reading.
Thankfully, there are a number of opportunities for all of us to learn about and have access to locally produced products. Farmers Markets are opening for the season. Farm tours are available and pollinator workshops continue to put the importance of locally grown food in the forefront.
I’ve always wanted my children to not only see the important role local food plays in our life and economy, but to see how other skills and crafts evolved in the Adirondacks and beyond. Since I don’t want everything to always be a lesson, one fun way to learn about the past and see craftsmen at work is to attend the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum’s Homestead Festival on June 22-23, 2018. » Continue Reading.
Ingredients for healthy beverages are free for the taking outdoors if you can get past the introduction stage.
Hemlock tea, one of my favorites, is a good example. This is not the recipe poor Socrates used, which was made with the toxic perennial herb, poison-hemlock. The kind I serve is a vitamin-C-rich infusion of needles and young shoots from the stately eastern hemlock tree, Tsuga canadensis. This hemlock tea is great with a touch of honey, and the good part is that you can drink it more than once. Plus it’s fun to see the reaction when I offer it to guests. » Continue Reading.
It isn’t often a brewery is borne of a desire to live in a particular location. In most instances, a long-time home brewer’s obsession propels him or her to that outcome. Not so for Brendan Murnane of Bolton Landing Brewing Company. He knew where he wanted to live. His quandary was finding a way to make a living. Oh, and he’s never really made beer, except in a class once. So naturally he decided to open a brewery.
Brendan, who is from Westchester County, has spent summers in Bolton Landing with his family since 1988 and wanted to find a way to live there year-round. A love for the craft beer scene turned his thoughts toward opening a brewery. It was his first idea and he felt it was the perfect fit, just what the town needed. Following three years of meticulous research and planning, he came up with a business plan to do just that. His father, John Murnane, was impressed enough to become a partner. » Continue Reading.
Friends and family understand that some of my dinners can be pretty wild. For example, right now they may include mashed sunchoke or “Jerusalem artichoke” tubers that escaped the voles and mice over the winter, as well as a steaming plate of tender, sweet nettles. (When cooked, the latter lose their sting, becoming tame as kittens. Better even, because they don’t shed.)
But the tastiest wild food around in very early spring is our native wild leek, Allium tricoccum, a.k.a. wild garlic, spring onion, or ramp (from “ramson,” a name for a similar European species). It pushes its light green leaves up through the leaf litter in hardwood forests along eastern North America, from Québec and Ontario south to South Carolina, in very early spring. They grow in clumps, occasionally forming large colonies which in some places carpet the forest floor. They last for only a few weeks, fading away by late June. » Continue Reading.
A group of Johnsburg residents is working to bring the North Creek Farmers Market back this summer season. The market is set to be held Thursdays from 2 to 6 pm at Riverfront Park in North Creek, from June 21 through September 27, then on Columbus Day Weekend. It will be under and around the northern pavilion in Riverfront Park which is adjacent to the Depot Museum and train station. » Continue Reading.
Weeks before the soil warms enough to plant most garden favorites but those vegetables agreeable to cool weather, there are many delicious, healthy, and useful wild edibles available – if one knows where to look.
One of the earliest to appear is the dandelion, taraxacum officinale. As soon as the ground is friable, look for the early signs of emerging dandelions. Dig up the roots, remove the crowns, wash with a vegetable brush to remove soil. If the root has been harvested while the soil is still very cool, they may be lightly peeled, and prepared as most root vegetables by adding to soups or steaming until tender. » Continue Reading.
April 1st marked the 90th anniversary of the development of the modern sweet pepper, also known as the bell pepper. In Central America, Mexico, and northern South America there is evidence that numerous types of peppers (Capsicum annuum) have been cultivated by native peoples for at least 6,500 years.
Hot peppers were the first New World crop grown in Europe, with seeds arriving in Spain in 1493. Since that time, plant breeders around the world have selected peppers for various traits, giving rise to such names for this Native American vegetable as “Hungarian” and “Thai” hot peppers. » Continue Reading.
Cold nights and warm days are the perfect combination to make the maple sap flow. Though most commercial maple producers are already in full production, our family operation is a bit behind in collecting the sap.
A Winter Food Justice Summit, “FEED BACK: Growing and Sharing the Abundance” is set to take place on Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 8 am to 6pm at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Organizers say the goal of this event is to create a road map toward a stronger local food system for everyone.
The March 1st Summit will include a keynote address by Andrianna Natsoulas, the Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY). » Continue Reading.
Sugaring season is in full swing in Thurman. Thurman Maple Days are set to begin March 10 and 11, continuing Saturdays and Sundays through March 25. Five Thurman maple producers — four of them the largest in Warren County – will open their sugarhouses to show how this age-old art is practiced with the help of technological advancements.
Each weekend offers open barns at Adirondack Gold, Valley Road, Hidden Hollow, Toad Hill and Windy Ridge maple farms, all offering free tours of sugarbushes and sugarhouses, with demonstrations and talks about tapping, evaporating, filtering and candy-making. Toad Hill will offer wagon rides to the sugar bush through a traditional covered bridge. Windy Ridge will demonstrate sugaring done the old fashioned way, a pancake breakfast will be held at Valley Road, and Adirondack Gold Tapper’s will lead snowshoe hikes into the sugar bush. » Continue Reading.
Valentine’s Day. The day when, more than at any other time of the year, people declare feelings of romantic interest, love, and adoration for one another. This is most-often done with a card. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards will be exchanged in the US, this year; 2.6 billion worldwide (according to the Greeting Card Association).
The oldest known Valentine’s Day card, if you will, is still in existence. It’s a poem from Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife; written while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, and preserved in the British Library in London. » Continue Reading.
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