In this age of global markets and marketing, more often than not, the food we eat is grown on large industrial farms; then shipped across the country, or from central or South America, or overseas, to huge distribution centers, where it’s sorted, packaged, processed, and then trucked to chain supermarkets, convenient stores, and fast food outlets.
We seldom think about the environmental impacts resulting from expanded mechanization and transportation of foodstuffs over great distances; of the ecological consequences of large-scale mono-cropping of food with intensive use of pesticides; or the impacts that food globalization has on our health (e.g. 2/3 of Americans are now considered overweight or obese). » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) recently announced the recipients of its 2017 Farmer/Producer Mini Grant program, which provides funding to farmers and local food businesses whose projects streamline the farm to school supply chain.
Birdsfoot Farm and Fullers Farm, both of Canton, and Martin’s Farmstand of Potsdam are receiving awards as part of the new grant program that provides funding for small farm to school projects. All three grant recipients have experience providing farm products to St. Lawrence County schools, often through the North Country Grown Cooperative. » Continue Reading.
On Saturdays in January The Wild Center in Tupper Lake will celebrate local farmers who work to put wholesome food on the table every month of the year.
From 1 to 3 pm hear them tell their story, and enjoy food prepared by the Center’s cafe staff using farm-fresh products. Farmers will have items available for purchase. The schedule of events follows: » Continue Reading.
AdkAction has announced the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the “Farmacy” fresh food retail space in the Keeseville Pharmacy on Friday, November 17th from 4 to 6 pm. A reception with sweet and savory snacks and wine and beer will be held following the ribbon cutting at the Fresh and Fancy Bakery across the street. The ribbon cutting and reception are free and open to the public.
Keeseville is a hamlet that has had long stretches without a grocery store. The most recent has lasted about four years after Mac’s Market in the heart of downtown Keeseville closed down in 2013. In the center of Keeseville’s downtown is an empty 8,000 square foot grocery store that serves as a gnawing reminder that the closest grocery store is about 20 minutes away by car. Despite the limited access to fresh food in Downtown Keeseville, there is a budding agricultural community developing on the outskirts of the hamlet. A 40-acre organic vegetable farm, a grass-fed dairy, and a sustainable beef, pork, and chicken operation have all grown over the past few years. » Continue Reading.
The next few weeks are bringing local Adirondack farmers’ markets to a close for the season. There is still plenty of fresh produce to gather though most of the weekly outdoor area farmers’ markets are starting to move back to the farm.
Winter farmers’ markets are available on the outskirts of the Adirondack Park, but two places that continue to provide that intimate connection with our farmers is the Sugarhouse Creamery’s The Snowy Grocery and the Saranac Lake Famers’ Market.» Continue Reading.
Celebrating Thurman’s agricultural heritage, this year’s Fall Farm Tour on October 7th reflects the upsurge in small specialty farms in the regional marketplace. Three new farms have joined the maple farms, goat and sheep dairy, all-natural vegetable and poultry farm, llama hobby farm and certified tree farm that have built the popularity of this annual day of free farm fun.
Visitors to this tenth anniversary event will self-guide to ten sites. Valley Road Maple will host a pancake breakfast from 9 am to 1 pm in their pancake annex, this new space allowing the hosts to offer evaporator demonstrations all day in the sugarhouse. Their shop will be stocked with all their usual maple wares, and their two NYS Fair 2017 award winners: uncoated maple sugar and crystal-coated maple sugar. » Continue Reading.
The region’s small farms will be celebrated with an all-day Adirondack Harvest Festival at the Essex County Fairgrounds from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday, September 16th, including Champlain Area Trails’ Farm-To-Fest Hike.
The Adirondack Harvest Festival will display the valley’s harvest with over 30 regional agricultural vendors, including cheese-makers, meat and sausage producers, vegetable growers, brewers and vintners. Exhibits and films and farm presentations will be shown in Floral Hall throughout the day. There will be demonstrations including cider pressing, bee keeping, growing gourmet mushrooms, harvesting and storing seeds, flax processing, baking with ancient grains and soap making. Festivities include food trucks and brewers as well as an organic pig roast and live music. » Continue Reading.
It’s harvest time. Tomatoes, corn, beets, carrots, peppers and other fruits and vegetables are readily available from farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and your own gardens. Preserving the bounty safely for the winter can be economical, delicious, and safe if laboratory tested rules for food preservation are followed.
Since 1994, testing facilities, universities and the USDA tested recipes and directions used in food preservation books seven times in different areas of the country and under different conditions to assure that directions to be used would assure the product canned would be shelf stable, nutritious, flavorful, and free from both food spoiling bacterium and deadly bacterium such as clostridium botulinum-botulism. It was found that many canning instructional materials were not safe. » Continue Reading.
The newly expanded Thurman Fall Farm Tour will be held on Saturday, October 7th from 10 am to 4 pm.
Thurman Fall Farm Tour will showcase farms from over 200 years-old to those formed in the last ten years. With a map and guide found in town or online, the public will be able to visit the open houses being held at farms and sugarhouses around Thurman. » Continue Reading.
Saranac Lake’s Farm 2 Fork Festival started through the passion and forethought of the former Adirondack Green Circle’s Founding Director Gail Brill. Brill wanted to bring attention to regional farmers and provide a connection to the consumers buying their product. Her vision continues this weekend with the 8th Annual Farm 2 Fork Festival at Saranac Lake’s Riverside Park.
Today’s explosion of an appreciation of and demand for local foods is a positive affirmation of farming. There is a new gratefulness for farmers as caretakers of the working landscape and purveyors of quality foods raised nearby. A better understanding of the need for open spaces, preserving soil, safeguarding water and practicing safe animal care has increased markedly. It is an invigorating time, especially for those of us who have been embroiled in agriculture most of our lives.
I think back to when I enrolled in a two-year agriculture program there were only 12 students in the major and only 1 female. The four-year baccalaureate was struggling and certainly not overenrolled. Fast forward to today and most Colleges of Agriculture are busting at the seams with students. » Continue Reading.
Three new route options and four new farm stops have been added to the second annual Bike the Barns, a one-day recreational bicycle tour that takes riders through the agricultural landscapes of the Adirondack region, on Sunday, October 1st.
This year’s event, which is hosted by the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), will start and finish at the historic Whallonsburg Grange Hall in the heart of the Champlain Valley. » Continue Reading.
A research project examining wildlife friendly farming in the Champlain Valley is currently underway by Alex Caskey, graduate student at Tufts University. Caskey is a summer intern in a project sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the Eddy Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
Caskey is currently conducting interviews with local farmers about their interactions, positive and negative, with local wildlife. The results of his inquiry will create a baseline of current practices in wildlife friendly farming for future investigation and recommendations for wildlife friendly practices in agriculture. » Continue Reading.
The Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension has announced the hiring of James Meyers as the new viticulture and wine specialist for a 17-county region in the eastern part of New York State. Meyers will provide regional grape growers with a combination of on-the-ground grape production assistance and some high flying technology.
Meyers earned his PhD in Viticulture at Cornell University and has applied a Masters degree in Computer Science from Brown University to his viticultural research. Using satellite imaging and drone technology, Meyers has mapped canopy and vineyard variability to help growers in the Finger Lakes region of New York and in the state of California optimize the efficiency and profitability of their vineyard operations. He will continue the use of that technology in eastern New York. » Continue Reading.
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