Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ed Zahniser: Sweeping the Garden

Howard Zahniser Cabin Bakers Mills Johnsburg NY photo by John Warren“Don’t step too far back in the pantry or you might fall into the cellar,” my mother Alice admonished us kids at our family’s Adirondack cabin Mateskared. Foreboding powers seemed to emanate from our fieldstone cellar walled by the cabin’s foundation.

When I was very young the cellar lurked dungeon-like, unseen below, and haunted with that adult admonition. Its night version—“Howard! What’s that noise in the kitchen?”—audibly whispered from the other bedroom split the pitch-dark, timeless expanse of childhood cabin nights. » Continue Reading.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Adirondack Wine And Cheese Events This Weekend

1442165626This weekend two of my favorite things are headlining part of the Adirondack Fall Festival tour, wine and cheese. The Adirondack Coast Wine Trail is showcasing local beer, wine, and cider while Adirondack Harvest is once again offering a unique Adirondack cheese tour.

We all know that wine and cheese go together like, well, wine and cheese. I was thinking it’s “mother’s little helper,” but didn’t want to come off like I have a problem with… cheese. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Great Pumpkins: Storing Garden Squash

Traugers-farm-bucks-county-largeLinus, the precocious, blanket-toting “Peanuts” character, waited faithfully for The Great Pumpkin all night on Halloween in spite of being disappointed every year. Perhaps his unwavering belief in the mythical pumpkin was spurred on by the fact that almost every year brings the world a bigger “great pumpkin” of the sort one can measure and – at least potentially – eat. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ausable Valley Cheese Tour October 11th

Essex County Cheese TourCheese-makers at three Adirondack dairies will be highlighting their wares during the second Essex County Cheese Tour on Sunday, October 11, from 10 am until 4 pm.

This self-guided driving tour follows the scenic Ausable River Valley during the Fall Foliage season. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gardening: Rehabbing And Establishing Raised Beds

Raised bedsThe boards that form my raised beds are rotting away and I’m glad. I’ve been wanting to rearrange the beds so having to replace the boards gives me the opportunity and motivation to finally get this done.

One of the most frequent questions we get about setting up raised beds is what kind of lumber to use. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Adirondack Farm to School Initiative Update

Life Science Class SLHSThe Adirondack Farm to School Initiative is working with schools and communities to create a connection between classroom, cafeteria, community, and local farms.  The goal of this initiative is to support local economies, bring local food into school cafeterias, and create hands-on learning activities such as school gardens, farm visits, culinary classes, and the integration of food-related education into the regular classroom curriculum.

The Saranac Lake School district is one of 82 projects receiving support this year through the USDA Farm to School Program.  Grant money has been used to acquire equipment for preserving local produce, making it available year-round.   » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oktupperfest Offers Local Brew, Pumpkin Tossing

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 3.07.27 PMOktupperfest originated at Big Tupper Ski Resort in the 1970s, and returned in 2011 after a 10-year hiatus. According to Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce Events Administrator Adam Baldwin, this annual event is family-friendly and fun for all ages.

Baldwin says, “Oktupperfest is a family oriented event filled with live music for everyone. There are tons of things to do. The chairlift is a one-way ride, but it isn’t a huge mountain so people can walk back down from the top. We gear the event toward families, not just kids. We have German food, vendors and kids games as well as adult activities such as the pumpkin slingshot.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Drinking Local: Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery

Dave Bannon and Ken RohneWhen orthopedic surgeon Dave Bannon and his family bought a farm a few miles from Lake George some twenty-five years ago, generations of people from surrounding farms and communities had been bringing jugs to its springs, filling them up with drinking water.

“It’s perfect water; no iron, no sulphur,” said Bannon.

So after retiring a few years ago, while he was casting about for a new direction, a craft distillery, producing spirits from the farm’s unprocessed spring water, was one good option. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Harvest Time Is Well Worth The Wait


CFLocalLivingFairNCBountyfoodonlyBPWhattamNorth Country gardeners are a patient, hardy lot. Our growing season is short enough in a good year, and this year got off to a very slow start with endless rain and cold temperatures well into July.

While there are many cool season crops that do well up here, most home gardeners spend the summer waiting for the royalty of crops to ripen: tomatoes! » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wild Foods: Cattails

TOS_CattailsLast winter I spent three months exploring East Africa, traveling through ten different countries and covering over 8,077 miles. I was continuously impressed with how much local guides knew about their surroundings, in particular the human uses of various plants. In some instances we could not walk more than ten feet without stopping to learn about another plant and all the ways it could save your life.

This experience made me curious about plants in my own backyard. A quick skim of foraging articles on the Internet revealed that cattails, with their various edible parts, are often referred to as “nature’s supermarket.” I was thrilled to learn that I had a 40-acre produce section right outside the back door. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Bountiful Adirondack Harvest With A Local CSA

Juniper Hill Farm at the Lake Placid Farmers MarketThis has been the first year that my family has participated in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project with Juniper Hill Farm in Wadhams. I’m hooked!

Though I’m not located near Wadhams, the choice to join was easy and every step along the way has been a delight. For my first year I chose a small customizable veggie share and a fruit share. Since I do a fair bit of traveling during the summer, that choice has provided my family as well as a neighbor or two, plenty of fresh produce in addition to our own garden. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Farm 2 Fork Festival in Saranac Lake Sept 5th

Farm 2 Fork FestivalHome cooks will serve up an array of farm to table dishes at the sixth annual Farm 2 Fork Festival from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday, September 5, at Saranac Lake’s Riverside Park. This year’s menu features an Adirondack Mediterranean theme.

A collaboration of the Adirondack Green Circle and the AuSable Valley Grange, the festival’s mission is to expand support of local foods and farms and promote food awareness in the northern Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Seed Saving Roundtable At Whallonsburg Grange

The-GrangeThe Whallonsburg Grange will host a free Seed Saving Roundtable this Saturday, August 8, from 9:30 to 11 am.

Local beekeeper and gardener Tim McGarry will lead a roundtable for both experienced and beginning seed savers. Participants can learn how to save seeds from their favorite heirloom tomato and pepper plants this month, and how to prepare for more seed saving next season. The event will also be an opportunity to meet other people in the area who are saving and trading seeds. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Amy Ivy: August in the Garden


Cornell farmer education (Amy Ivy Photo)Anyone growing tomatoes or potatoes needs to be on the lookout for signs of late blight. By mid-July this devastating disease had been found on potatoes in western New York and western Vermont.

This means Northern New York is basically surrounded by it and the cool, wet weather we had in June through mid-July created ideal conditions for this disease. Only tomatoes and potatoes are affected by this particular pathogen. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cattails: A Culinary Tale of Nine Lives

cattailsThe two cats at my place have survived many life-threatening traumas such as falls, fights and even the compulsory “devotions” of small children. It’s amazing the hazards they can evade. I think if pets could drive, only dogs would get speeding tickets – cats would always find ways to wriggle out of a citation. Sadly, my contacts in the veterinary field continue to assert that cats have but a single life, and that the whole “nine lives” thing is just a cat tale.

However, the story about cattails having (at least) nine lives is no yarn. An obligate wetland plant, the common cattail (Typha latifolia) is native to the Americas as well as to Europe, Africa and most of Asia – basically the planet minus Australia, all Pacific Islands and most Polar regions. It can be found growing along wetland margins and into water up to 30 inches deep, from hot climates to Canada’s Yukon Territory. » Continue Reading.


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