Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Micro-Grant eligibility expanded to all Adirondack farms, value-added producers 

Tangleroot Farm

Adirondack Council’s Micro-Grants for Adirondack Farms and Value-Added Producers will offer grants of up to $8,000 this year to support sustainable and innovative projects on working lands within the Park.  This is the eighth consecutive year that the Council’s Essex Farm Institute has offered micro-grants to support local farms, local food production and a sustainable local economy.

Prior to 2022, grants had not exceeded $5,000, with most awarded in the $1,500 range. The grant application was updated for the 2023 cycle to provide resources for larger operations (including farms transitioning to sustainable management) as well as those projects involving collaborations between or among farmers and value-added producers who are using 50% or more of their inputs from the region. The 2023 guidelines have also been updated to provide clarity with respect to eligibility criteria and awards a preference for historically-underserved or socially-disadvantaged applicants, the Council noted.

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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Maple Syrup Season is Here 

Boiling maple sap

It’s early March; the time of year when local maple syrup producers across the North Country are busy tapping or have finished tapping literally hundreds of thousands of trees in anticipation of this year’s harvest. It’s time to reap the reward; to collect the sap and boil it down with pride and care, turning out gallon after gallon of delicious, pure maple syrup.

The weather has been relatively warm this winter, however. And I can’t help but wonder if (and how) the unseasonably warm weather might affect this year’s maple crop. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), New York just experienced the state’s second-warmest January on record. The same can be said for Pennsylvania, and Indiana, while Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey all had their warmest January on record, with temperatures more than 11 degrees above the long-term average in all seven of those states. New Hampshire actually came in at 12.3 degrees above average.

Burlington, Vermont recorded its fifth warmest January since 1884 (source: Burlington National Weather Service) and the nation, as a whole, recorded its sixth-warmest January ever.

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

2023 Thurman Maple Days set for next three weekends

Bear carving at Thurman Maple Days.

Thurman, NY – Bring the whole family to Town of Thurman, NY to visit all five great maple producers for this year’s Maple Days event, scheduled for the next three weekends, March 11-12, 18-19 & 25-26. Guests will have the opportunity to watch maple syrup being made before their eyes. Participating maple farms –  Hidden Hollow Maple Farm, Valley Road Maple Farm, Toad Hill Maple Farm, Candy Mountain Maple and Mud St. Maple – all are in the same business, but differ in many respects, so plan to visit them all.

Guests will see syrup, maple sugar, maple peanuts, and candies being made, as well as maple tea and coffee and souvenir clothing items. Wonderful maple treats will tempt everyone’s palate, and special activities will fill these days with fun. Sugarhouses will open their doors for touring and tasting, sampling, and shopping from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. these days. But wait, there is more: While you are in Thurman, Martin’s Lumber and Nettle Meadow merit visits as well. Martin’s Lumber hosts an Artisan Market where friends join them in offering indoor activities, demonstrations, and sales.

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Silver Bay YMCA holds annual Winter Weekend event

Guests cheer each other on during the original giant board game, Horse Racing.

SILVER BAY – Silver Bay YMCA hosted its annual Winter Weekend celebration Feb. 17 through Feb. 20. Despite the lack of snow, the community showed up in full force to partake in the winter-themed fun.

 

The fun started Friday evening with rock climbing and S’mores in Fisher Gymnasium where there was lots of laughter, memories, and sweet treats to be had and a Paint n’ Sip class in Gullen Lounge.

 

The excitement continued into Saturday with Broom Ball, arts and crafts, a mini disc golf tournament, cookie decorating, and an ice carving demonstration. The night ended with a community concert by “Uncle Juan’s Band.”

 

“I love Silver Bay,” Holly Kocher, a 10-year-old from Pennsylvania, proclaimed.

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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Town of Newcomb gifted new, high flow drum composter

CfG’s John Culpepper and a representative from Agriculture product manufacturer Mud Lake Stalls.

AdkAction and the Compost for Good (CfG) team are thrilled to announce that they have selected the Town of Newcomb as the recipient of a high flow drum composter as part of a USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG). Newcomb was selected upon recommendation from a local advisory committee through a competitive application process based on the Town’s long standing interest in community scale composting, its strong collaborative team, and the educational opportunities it will provide.

The RBDG grant was awarded to CfG and AdkAction in 2021 to promote community scale compost business development in the North Country, including manufacturing, food scrap hauling, compost sales, retail, and more. The 20’x4’ drum composter was designed by CfG’s cofounder, John Culpepper, and is capable of transforming several hundred pounds of food scraps per week into rich soil. There are four community scale drum composters currently in the North Country, and Newcomb, receiving the 5th unit, is the first community-led, community scale initiative.

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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Free Info Session for Farmland Owners set for March 1 in Essex

Cattle on an Adirondack farm

WHALLONSBURG – The Adirondack Land Trust is hosting a free informational session for farmland owners 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, 1610 NY-22, Essex, NY. The event, “How do conservation easements impact farm finances?” will touch on ways farmland conservation easements can affect land values, property taxes, borrowing ability and other financial matters.

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Monday, February 20, 2023

Support Local Small Farm Agriculture, Join a CSA Farm 

Tangleroot Farm

Small farms. The name says it all. Modest. Practical. Connected to the earth and the local population. Small farms were once the backbone of this country.

Small-scale farmers grow a diversity of fresh produce; often using very few or no chemicals. They raise livestock avoiding added hormones and antibiotics. They sell their goods at local markets and directly to neighbors, friends, and other members of their community.

They’re a self-reliant lot; sometimes stubbornly independent. They love the outdoors. They’re not afraid to work 80 hours a week. And they’re content to reap fair and honest compensation for fair and honest work. They’re creative, resourceful, resilient agricultural entrepreneurs who love their land and the food they grow on it; food that’s the finest, the freshest, and the best that money can buy.

As consumers, we have a choice. We can buy our food from small, local, independent growers who sell their own home-grown produce and meat direct to the public and enjoy the freshest, highest-quality food possible, or we can buy food produced on industrial, corporate, factory farms; and support stockholders, middlemen, and a soulless, faceless, global, industrialized-food-system.

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Monday, February 20, 2023

Inlet’s Annual Frozen Fire & Lights slated for Feb. 25

 

Cardboard sled racer

The Town of Inlet is getting ready for the 21st annual Frozen Fire & Lights – a weekend of bonfires, fireworks, and family fun that will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023. This event began as a way of reminding visitors and locals of what the town has to offer at Fern Park in the winter. Every winter, the pavilion is flooded and becomes an indoor skating rink with a warming room and heated restrooms. A small section at the base of the mountain was cleared many years ago leaving a nice little sledding hill, and several years ago the top was leveled off creating a nice, flat area to stage before sliding down.

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Friday, February 17, 2023

Long Lake/Raquette Lake: Winter Wonderland Week Event Schedule Announced

Kids Scavenger Hunt in Long Lake

There is plenty to do in the Long Lake and Raquette Lake region from February 17 through 26. Winter Wonderland Week offers a slate of events for all ages, offering both outdoor and indoor activities. The tradition to schedule multi-events coincides with President’s Day weekend and February’s week-long school break. Long Lake Parks and Recreation has planned an array of events ranging from a magic show, movie night, cooking class, to outdoor events including Winter Survivor, where kids will participate in a Scavenger Hunt meets unique Survival Challenges to round out the week of fun.

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Raquette Lake Winter Carnival set for Feb. 18 &19

Group of Ice Golfers on Raquette Lake

The Raquette Lake Winter Carnival will kick off on Saturday, February 18  with youth activities starting at 11 a.m . Games will include a sack race, sledding, tire obstacle, balloon chase, and tug-
of-war. At noon there will be a Ladies’ Frying Pan Toss with cash prizes of $75, $50, and $25. Weather permitting, the Team Ice Golf Competition will be held throughout the day for teams with cash prizes of $75, $50, and $25.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Clifton-Fine: Adirondack White Out Weekend set for Feb. 17-18

2023 Adirondack White Out Weekend in Clifton Fine.

Clifton-Fine, NY – The 2023 Adirondack White Out Weekend will be held Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18. The celebration includes activities for the whole family including, outdoor recreation, music, arts, and food. The community of Clifton-Fine boasts a true wilderness area with a friendly, small-town feel. Please visit the White Out Weekend website and Facebook page for detailed information and a printable schedule. This event is put on by 100-percent volunteer efforts and the generosity of sponsors, donations, and fundraising proceeds. Adirondack White Out Weekend is a subcommittee under the Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

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Sunday, January 15, 2023

New York’s The Hub on the Hill to Become First Food Hub in the Nation to Accept SNAP EBT Payments Online

The Hub on the Hill in Essex, NY.

Essex-based Hub On the Hill (the Hub) is now the first food hub in the nation to accept EBT SNAP payments through their online grocery store, thanks to a collaboration including local and national organizations and businesses.

 

Food hubs connect local farms and producers with community members, to make sure everyone has access to the highest quality local food. The cost is often subsidized by local non-profit organizations. The Hub joins a list of just 30 SNAP Online vendors in New York State, a group almost exclusively composed of large businesses, such as Walmart and Amazon.

 

“The Hub is very focused on increasing food access and building a regional food system in Northern New York, and already has an active e-commerce presence. We wanted to extend that to our customers receiving SNAP EBT benefits,” said Jori Wekin, Co-Founder of the Hub on the Hill. “Navigating the USDA approval process to accept EBT online would have been difficult without the help of Forage, which guided us through preparation and testing. The Hub’s ability to accept SNAP EBT online will make an enormous difference for the thousands of customers we serve, many of whom rely on government programs to purchase food.”

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

2023 Food Justice Summit set for March 2, Call For Presenters Forms Due Jan. 16

The Adirondack Food System Network, an inter-agency collaborative effort, is pleased to announce that the annual Food Justice Summit will return to The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY on March 2, 2023. Over the last five years, the annual Food Justice Summit has brought together activists, farmers, agencies, consumers, educators, students, and many more to explore the facets and components of our regional food system. Since 2020, our communities have faced an unprecedented concerns and challenges related to the food system. From the farm to the exam room, our roots of the food system run deep.

 

Building a resilient food system rests on a foundation of healthy communities, one that supports our local and regional producers and offers choice and options for the food on one’s plate. Our goal is to bring together local initiatives, showcase and celebrate the work being done, and to build a collaborative effort to tackle some of these intractable issues. How do we move our region toward healthier, stronger, and more resilient food system? How do we create inclusive, healthier, and more accessible institutions?

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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

High Tunnel Winter Greens webinar set for January 9

Plattsburgh, NY – With increasing consumer interest in local foods, growers in northern climates want to learn how to extend their sales opportunities through high tunnel production of greens in the winter season. Winter greens marketing tips developed from high tunnel research trials funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) will be provided in a January 9, 2023 High Tunnel Winter Greens webinar. Speakers for the 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. webinar will also address pest and disease management for winter greens production.

 

Pre-registration is required; for details and cost, see https://enych.cce.cornell.edu/events.php, or call 518-569-3073. The webinar is organized by the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program; DEC credits are available.

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Sunday, January 1, 2023

Tupper Lake: ADK Food Hub Awarded $500K Grant Through USDA

TUPPER LAKE, N.Y. — North Country farmers and food producers will soon be able to access shared regional processing facilities, distribution services and marketing opportunities, thanks to a successful grant proposal from The Hub, also known as the ADK Food Hub, in Tupper Lake, N.Y. The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) announced the small farm and food hub has been awarded nearly $500,000 in grant funding through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Local Food Promotion Program.

Hub owner Cherie Whitten will use the $395,000 grant and $100,000 of largely in-kind matching funds to provide small-scale and low-income food producers with support for production, aggregation, distribution and marketing of local food. The project will ultimately bring more high-quality, nutritious food to rural and low-income consumers who currently have limited access to local farm products.

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