Friday, June 5, 2015

Tips: Coping With Common June Garden Pests


k11094-1potatobeetleusdaPeggyGrebWhenever you have a few minutes, take the time to get up close to your plants. Turn the leaves over to look for eggs or newly hatching insects. Here are some insect pests that show up in gardens every June.

Colorado potato beetles (shown at left) love potatoes, of course, but their favorite crop of all is eggplant, which is related to potatoes. Luckily, they don’t have much appetite for tomatoes, another relative. The eggs are bright orange, about the size of a fat sesame seed and are laid in clusters of 8-12 on the undersides of the leaves. Crush and egg clusters you see. By crushing them now you prevent that whole generation from developing. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Focus On Soil For Gardening Success


NRCS7028ScottBauerSoilHand300Nothing is more important to the success of any garden than the quality of the soil. Rarely is the soil in your yard ideal for growing flowers or vegetables without some amendments or improvements. In almost every situation, the best thing a gardener can do is add organic matter. Adding it just once won’t be enough. Try to add some kind of organic matter at least two or three times each year.

But what is ‘organic matter’? » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wild Salads: Eat Your Weedies

TOS_wild_saladIn the early 1960s, Euell Gibbons wrote Stalking the Wild Asparagus and introduced millions of North Americans to the virtues of harvesting wild foods. Since that time, gathering wild edibles has become increasingly popular, and in our region, woods-grown delicacies such as ramps and fiddlehead ferns appear in grocery stores each spring.

Yet you don’t have to lace up your hiking boots to enjoy the wild repast. If you resist the urge to use herbicides, you are likely to find a diverse array of edible wild plants growing in your lawn and vegetable garden. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

High Peaks Happy Hour: Alpine Grille, Hope

Alpine_ExtFor two years we sought input, but now that Happy Hour in the High Peaks is written and published, people are eager to tell us what bars we missed. Sometime in 2014, someone suggested that we visit the Alpine Grille in Wells. Pam dutifully entered it into her notes under the “bars we missed” category. Resurrected and moved up the priority list by the recent sad news that Lake House Grille in Wells will not reopen this spring, we decided to pursue the Alpine as a potential replacement on the Happy Hour Trail. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England

I'll drink to thatIn 1845, there were 221 distilleries in New York State, local historian and folklorist Marjorie Lansing Porter noted in an issue of North Country Life in 1953.

Moreover, she wrote, “great-grandma made dandelion wine, blackberry cordial, wild grape wine and used persimmons, elderberries, juniper berries, pumpkins, corn-stalks, hickory nuts, sassafras bark, birch bark and many other leaves, roots and barks to make ‘light’ drinks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Black and Yellow Birch: Tasty Teas From Trees

TOS_birch_teaScratch and then sniff a black or yellow birch twig, and the pleasant aroma will likely put a smile on your face. What you are smelling is oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate). This chemical compound is present in the inner bark in both species, although typically to a greater degree in black birch. In the trees, as well as several edible berries that grow in our region, the compound serves as a defense against herbivorous insects. Most people, however, enjoy the taste.

You can make a very nice wintergreen-flavored tea from peeled black or yellow birch twigs. I advise against trying to brew this the traditional way, though (i.e., steeping twigs in boiling water). The reason is that oil of wintergreen is volatile and easily driven off by heat, so if you attempt to make tea with hot water, your kitchen will smell great but there will likely be little if any flavor in your tea cup. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 20, 2015

The Birthplace of Muffets (Conclusion)

B1Perky MuffetsQkrOatsScott Perkys’ first year living in the village of Keeseville was a busy one. He became involved in community activities, and in July his daughter Melissa was born in Plattsburgh. A short time later he applied for a patent application for a new food product that would become known as Muffets, a round version of shredded wheat biscuits.

Scott’s knowledge of his father’s patents on the cereal and the machines to make it, which had expired in 1912, allowed him to recreate that work with major modifications. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Maple Syrup Isn’t Our Only Tree Sap Product

Tapped Birch TreesThe North Country is fortunate to have an abundance of maple as our local sweetener, but there are other syrups as well: try birch and black walnut.

One sure sign of spring is the bustling work of our maple producers: repairing lines, checking the taps, tuning up equipment, and, at last, boiling sap. Every year we look forward to this local food treasure: maple syrup and all of its products such as maple sugar, and maple cream.

New York is the world’s third largest producer of maple syrup and the maple industry in Northern New York is expanding. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Warrensburg’s Merrill Magee Inn Plans Summer Opening

mmhlogoThe Merrill Magee Inn in the heart of Warrensburg is undergoing a full restoration thanks in part to the new partnership between Michael and Donna Flanagan and Richard Flanagan and his wife Leslie Qin, all originally from New Jersey. The new owners hope to have the extensive renovations done and the tavern and restaurant open sometime this summer, although ten guest rooms are already available.

Brothers Michael and Richard have been regular visitors to the Adirondacks. After Michael and Donna moved to the region in 2004, they hosted an annual family party at the Inn admiring the combination of a comfortable night’s stay and a great meal. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 13, 2015

The Adirondack Birthplace of Muffets

1APerky NiagFallsFactoryThe word Muffet conjures different things for different people – the nursery-rhyme reference, of course, and perhaps furry little creatures, maybe because it sounds like Muppets, only smaller, like Smurf-sized. Muffets are actually something that most of us have eaten (if not a Muffet, then one of its close relatives). They’re the round version of shredded wheat biscuits, and who among us hasn’t tried some type of shredded-wheat cereal at one time or another? » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Wild Edible Identification And Preservation Class

Violet Jelly by Shannon HoulihanIdentifying wild nuts, roots, berries and plants, many now commonly called weeds, and how to store them will be the focus of “Wild Edible Identification and their Historic Use as Wild Medicine”.

In this class, being offered by Wild Edible Instructor and Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County’s Master Food Preservation instructor Pat Banker, participants will learn science-based and safe ways to identify, prepare, freeze, dehydrate, and store wild edibles. Banker will also lead a tour of 4H Camp Overlook’s variety of wild edibles and how to identify them while giving a historic medicinal use explanation of many of the plants available. This is a hands-on class and participants are encouraged to dress for the weather. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fruit Tree Pruning at Sugar House Creamery

treepruning_newMy husband and I planted two apple trees the year we moved into our farmhouse. That was the first and only year that we’ve gotten any apples. We haven’t even seen a blossom since. We drive past our neighbor’s trees loaded with fruit and wonder what we can do.

Our first step has been to install fences. We’ve worked hard to keep the grazing deer from completely obliterating the small trees. The next step was to attend a tree-pruning workshop. » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Tips for Starting Garden Plants Now

starting-seeds-indoorsBased on recent excavations in northern New York State, archeologists have reached a stunning conclusion. Apparently, beneath layers of snow and ice there may still be “soil” in our region. It’s been so long since the presence of soil was confirmed, many people had begun to doubt its continued existence.

With the issue of object impermanence resolved, gardeners can get ready to start seeds indoors. If you’re new at this, the materials list can be perplexing. You’ll need to scrounge up the right amounts of light, warmth, drainage, timing and sanitation. Seeds would be helpful, too. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Christmas Trees, Fruit Trees At Friday Farm Talk

Saratoga Apple1Warren County Soil & Water’s next“Farm Talk” will focus on growing Christmas trees and fruit trees. The first presentation of the night is “Christmas Tree Farming: We’ll get you in the Spirit” with Mark Brown of Brown’s Tree Farm. The second presentation of the night will be “Planning a Small Fruit Tree Farm: Where do you start?” with Nate Darrow of Saratoga Apple.

The talks will be held this Friday, March 27th, from 6 to 8 pm at the DEC’s Warrensburg Office, 232 Golf Course Road, in Warrensburg. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

At SUNY Adirondack Local Chefs Mentor Future Pros

DSCN6324The SUNY Adirondack culinary arts program has opened their doors to the public at their culinary center, featuring a full dining room and an open kitchen.  I recently had lunch with students from this semester’s basic food prep and dining service classes.

How often when dining, do you get to see the chefs in action? For some of these future chefs their experience at the culinary center is their first on a hot line. The prep area was a busy scene when I arrived, as students were focused on finishing their mise en place (“putting in place”, or setting up) in preparation for lunch.
» Continue Reading.


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