1.Plan ahead- You may need to place an order for pick-up or delivery or shop at a retail location up to a week in advance to make sure you have everything you need for your holiday table. Do a little research on what is available near you, make a plan and mark your calendar.
Posts Tagged ‘Local Farms’
Owls Head NY – The Cook Farm is a small family operation, founded by first generation farmers Brandon & Laura Cook.
We raise a variety of livestock species including goats, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and ducks utilizing regenerative practices with an emphasis on the humane treatment of our animals. We are perhaps best known for the soaps that we make with our own goat’s milk. We sell our products at our farmstand and at local farmer’s markets. » Continue Reading.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and Foodshed Capital have announced the first loan provided through their new revolving loan fund for small-scale food producers.
Julian Mangano of Della Terra will use his SOIL Loan to develop a commercial composting operation that will divert organic waste from landfills, build soil health on his Castorland, N.Y. farm, and provide high-quality compost for local farmers and gardeners.
With a goal of supporting farms and food businesses who have difficulty accessing loans through conventional programs, ANCA, a regional economic development nonprofit serving businesses and communities in northern New York, partnered with Foodshed Capital, a certified Community Development Financial Institution that centers mission-driven lending and customized business support for underserved farmers, to develop the SOIL Loan Fund.
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.
Culinary herbs are the aromatic leaves of plants that are used to flavor, or be eaten as, food. “Fresh herbs” are herbs still in their whole plant form and have not been dried or processed. Fresh herbs have been used in traditional cuisines of cultures across the world for thousands of years. Fresh herbs provide a diversity of distinct flavors and aromas and are part of what makes regional culinary traditions taste unique.
Perhaps I am biased, but I think that fresh herbs just make life better! Think about how good a really good mojito is with mint. Or basil on a ripe summer tomato. Or the incredible scent of a bouquet of lavender or roses. There are many reasons to love fresh herbs, especially from local farms and gardens!
Eggs, more specifically, chicken eggs, are an integral part of traditions, celebratory dishes, and the everyday diet around the globe. Historians estimate that humans have been eating eggs for roughly 6 million years. Originally, people foraged eggs from wild bird nests until they were domesticated around 1500 BCE in Ancient Egypt. Throughout history, eggs have become a symbol of life, rebirth, renewal, and fertility for many cultures.
Today, humans eat about 88 million tons of eggs each year worldwide. China is the top producer of eggs (roughly 34 million tons), then the United States (roughly 6.9 million tons), and then Mexico (roughly 4 million tons). While we may think of them as a staple of the American diet, countries like Japan, Paraguay, China, and Mexico consume more eggs per person each year.
Spring Greens are the edible young leaves or new growth of plants. Spring greens are the tender new growth that first emerges in early spring. In the Adirondacks, spring greens start to appear in greenhouses at the end of March and early April.
These tender greens are the unofficial start of the new year. They are the first fresh growth of the season! They indicate that young radishes, asparagus, and scallions are coming soon.
When we say “spring greens”, we mean baby cut lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, and other plants like bok choy. Many times, a variety of different spring greens or types of lettuces are packaged together and called “Spring Mix” or “Salad Mix.”
When you think of agriculture in the Adirondacks, you may not think of waving fields of grain. New England was the “breadbasket” of the United States until the late 1800’s. Global markets have driven local grains out of favor. Flour is flour, right?
Many grain growers and “bread heads” would whole-heartily disagree. Have you ever eaten cornbread made with freshly ground cornmeal? Or eaten a shortbread cookie made with freshly ground buckwheat? The difference in flavor, nutrition, and community impact is significant.
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