Posts Tagged ‘Adirondack Harvest’

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

CCE Essex Awarded Grants to Expand Local Food and Agriculture Educational Programs

Ausable Forks Elementary School students on a field trip

Now hiring for two new local food youth educator positions

Lewis, NY – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County (CCE Essex) was recently awarded over $550,000 in grant funds to grow educational programs for its Adirondack HarvestFarm to School and 4-H programs.

In the fall of 2023, CCE Essex was awarded a three-year grant through the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program for its Adirondack Harvest, Agriculture, and Farm to School programs. The funds will expand successful projects that enrich public understanding of local agriculture and food systems, build economic opportunities for small farms, increase local food access, attract new consumers to regional farmers’ markets, provide opportunities for youth to learn about local food and farming, and champion farms who utilize climate-resilient and wildlife-friendly practices.

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Friday, October 27, 2023

Where to Pre-Order a Local Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey

By Mary Godnick, Communication Coordinator, Adirondack Harvest, CCE Essex

 

There is no sugarcoating it: a locally-raised turkey will cost more money than the big birds at the grocery store. So why spend more on something you can get so cheaply?

 

The average grocery store turkey will likely cost around $1.27 per pound this year, according to the American Farm Bureau. The unbelievably cheap turkeys sold at big box grocery stores are often injected with a solution that includes water, salt, and other additives. This process, known as “enhancement” or “plumping,” is done to improve the flavor and juiciness of the meat, and to increase its weight, which can make the turkey appear larger. You may be paying much less per pound on these birds, but you’re paying for a lot of salt water. 

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Friday, September 8, 2023

Celebrate the season with Adirondack Harvest Festival

WESTPORT, NY– Celebrate the harvest season and learn about agriculture in the Adirondack region at the 2023 Adirondack Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 23rd from 12 to 5 PM at the Essex County Fairgrounds.

This free family-friendly event features a large farmers’ market, local food trucks, “Local Libations” tent, hands-on workshops, kids’ activities, farm animal petting zoo, draft horse wagon rides and more. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 25, 2023

Eating Local and In-Season; An Alternative to Global Food Systems 

food from the farm - Adirondack Harvest

When it comes to food, the definition of ‘local’ is somewhat vague. Some people consider food from the Albany and Syracuse regions or from nearby New England local. To others, buying local means supporting neighbors and friends from within their town or from nearby, by shopping at farmers’ markets and roadside stands, or by joining their neighbors’ CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).

In recent weeks, area markets have offered locally grown sweet, delicious asparagus, beautiful, tangy rhubarb, tender, young greens, tasty radishes, delicious alfalfa sprouts, gorgeous bedding plants, appealing grass-fed beef, lamb, and pork, top-quality, mouthwatering baked goods, yummy farmstead cheese curd. The list goes on. Strawberries and much more will be available soon.

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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Seasonal Harvest: Adirondack-Grown Cut Flowers

Cultivating Change: The Impact of Locally Grown Cut Flowers in the Adirondacks and Beyond 

The United States, particularly California, was once a leading producer of cut flowers that were sold internationally. Today, 80 percent of cut flowers in the US are imported from other countries, primarily South America and Africa. 

In 1991 the US was cracking down on the coca trade and enacted the Andean Trade  Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) which provided duty-free imports to certain South American products such as live plants and flowers. For US flower growers, this led to a significant decline in their share of the US market, with market shares dropping from 64% to about 20% in 2007. While some US businesses have benefited from expanded trade, US flower farmers have not. The international cut-flower trade is a $36.4 billion industry.

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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Adirondack Harvest Seeks Sponsors, Vendors, & Volunteers for Sept. 23 Festival

Adirondack Harvest Festival

Lewis, NY – Adirondack Harvest is seeking sponsors, vendors, volunteers and petting zoo animals for the 7th annual Adirondack Harvest Festival. The Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Essex County Fairgrounds. The event will follow the same format as past festivals, with a large farmers’ market, local food trucks, “Local Libations” tent, hands-on workshops, kids’ activities, draft horse and wagon rides, and more.

 

The theme of the hands-on workshops and demonstrations will be “Local Fiber and Wool” with experts leading sessions on natural dyes for yarn and fabric, sheep shearing, spinning, weaving, and more.

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Friday, March 3, 2023

Serving local food is good for students and bottom line

school lunch program

Cornell Cooperative Extension Supports Local Schools to Serve Local Food

Lewis, NY – Schools in the region are proving that serving locally grown and from-scratch food is possible and has wide-reaching benefits. Serving local food can save taxpayers dollars, increase the number of students eating school meals, improve the health and focus of students, and support local farmers. 

Regional food service directors have found that some ingredients are actually less expensive when purchased locally, like apples and ground beef, and most other ingredients have a minimal price difference that can be made up with savings elsewhere. 

Schools can also take advantage of federal and state incentive programs to supplement their budgets, like the New York State 30% Incentive program that reimburses up to $0.25 per meal served for school districts that spend 30% of their lunch budget on New York State food products. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Knitting together the full farm picture 

a weaving loom

Wool and other fiber production has been an important part of agriculture in the Adirondacks for many years. In the 1800s many of the new settlers in the region were from Ireland, Scotland, and England. With a landscape conducive to raising sheep, there was boom in merino wool farmers in the region. It was commonplace for people to make mittens, socks and other merino wool products to sell during this time. As with  most other agricultural products, the introduction of the rail system meant increased competition from farms and ranches in the Midwest, in the large cities where Upstate NY and Vermont farmers shipped and sold most of their product. Consequently, merino sheep farming gave way to dairy farming, which then gave way to industrial farming. 

Today, over 60% of textile fibers are synthetics derived from petrochemicals. Inexpensive synthetic fabrics (like fleece, spandex and nylon) all come from oil that has undergone a chemical process. When these materials degrade, their fibers become microplastics in our environment. It’s estimated that over a third of all microplastics found in the ocean come from synthetic fabrics. In addition, the dyeing process for most commercially made fabrics is a health hazard and major source of water pollution. 

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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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Sunday, November 6, 2022

November Harvest of the Month: Local Grains

adirondack hay and grains

When you think of agriculture in the Adirondacks, you may not think of waving fields of grain. However, New England was actually the “breadbasket” of the United States until the late 1800’s. 

Global markets have driven local grains out of favor. Today, China is the top wheat producer, followed by India, Russia, and the United States. But flour is flour, right? Not really. The difference in flavor, nutrition, and community impact is significant. 

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Friday, October 28, 2022

Planning for Thanksgiving: Buying a turkey from a local farm/retailer

Have you considered buying a local turkey for your Thanksgiving meal this year? Buying a pasture-raised turkey from a local farm is one way to offer gratitude for the people and land that nourish your family. Locally raised turkeys are also usually raised in more humane conditions, and are much more flavorful and delicious. Most local farms and retailers require customers to pre-order and place a deposit on their turkeys in advance, generally from September-October. Browse the list below to reserve a local turkey for your Thanksgiving table.

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Friday, October 7, 2022

October Harvest of the Month: Pumpkins

pumpkins

Pumpkins are an undeniable symbol of the changing seasons in the Northeastern United States. Pumpkins are an annual fruit in the genus Cucurbita, along with butternut squash, zucchini and cucumbers.

What’s the Difference Between a Pumpkin, Winter Squash and Gourd?

Pumpkins, winter squash and gourds are all fruit of the same genus, Cucurbita. Botanically speaking, there isn’t much difference between them. However, there is a significant difference in pumpkins, squash and gourds that have been bred for ornamental or edible purposes. A jack-o-lantern-style pumpkin would be tasteless and disappointing to eat. But a pie pumpkin would be sweet and delicious, much more like butternut squash. Edible pumpkins and squash can be unique decorations that can later be eaten. Look for delicious and beautiful varieties like Blue Hubbard, Autumn Frost, and Long Island Cheese to make your autumn decor do double duty. 

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Friday, August 19, 2022

First inaugural Adirondack Cuisine Trail Open Farm Weekend set for Sept. 2-5

Lewis, NY – Farm tours, local food workshops, you-pick, and more are scheduled for the first inaugural Adirondack Cuisine Trail Open Farm Weekend. Events will be held through Labor Day Weekend highlighting farms and small businesses along the Boquet Valley Cuisine Trail, one of the six distinct cuisine trails that highlight agriculture in the Adirondacks.

 

After the success of the 2021 Open Farm Week that took place in lieu of the traditional one-day Adirondack Harvest Festival due to COVID-19 concerns, Adirondack Harvest is excited to host both an Open Farm Weekend and the one-day Adirondack Harvest Festival this year.

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

August Harvest of the Month: Melons

melons

Melons have been adapted over many years to include a variety of distinct fruits. They can have ribbed, wrinkly or smooth rinds, and their flesh can range from juicy to dry, and sweet to mild. Melons are in the gourd family and are closely related to pumpkins, squash and cucumbers. They prefer warmer climates, and there is a very short window of time that they are available in the Adirondack region- between August and early September. 

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Monday, July 11, 2022

Bringing Farmers and Consumers Closer Together

Throughout most of the twentieth century, our local communities were thriving. We had sawmills, gristmills, fruit and vegetable farms, butcher shops (with butchers that may have known or raised the animals), dairies (many offering local delivery), and bakeries. Much of the food (and many other items) found on store shelves was from area farmers and producers.

    Today we import most of our food. We depend on grocery chain stores to make it available to us. And while it’s clear that we’ve become very effective at producing affordable food for much of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic, among other recent / current geopolitical events and climate change issues, brought to light an unexpected lack of security in our food chain (and several other consumer product distribution chains, too).
    Farmers were unable to ship produce or livestock to distributors, processors, market outlets, or slaughterhouses. And American consumers experienced (and to some degree are still experiencing) panic buying, empty store shelves, rationing of food staples, and the inability to obtain certain food items and consumer goods altogether.
    To better endure a crisis in the future, we need to build more sustainable, more resilient food systems. One way to accomplish this is to bring producers and consumers closer together.

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