Posts Tagged ‘Local Farms’

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. 

» Continue Reading.


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. 

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 26, 2022

ANCA and Foodshed Capital Announce First Small Farm SOIL Loan

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.

» Continue Reading.


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. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 3, 2022

July Harvest of the Month: Fresh herbs

herbs

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!

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Harvest of the Month: Eggs

Feeding Hens at Essex Farm. Photo by Ben StechschulteEggs, 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. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 3, 2022

April Harvest of the Month | Spring Greens 

high tunnels

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.”

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 6, 2022

March Harvest of the Month: Whole Grains

grain

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. 

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Over 100 North Country families to receive free farm shares this summer

AdkAction is pleased to announce that more than 100 families in the North Country will be able to enroll in local community supported agriculture (CSA) vegetable subscriptions at no cost this year, thanks to crowdfunded support and a generous $25,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor.

“We set a goal to raise enough by the first day of spring for 100 families to participate,” said AdkAction Food Security Projects Manager Kim La Reau. “In just one week we exceeded our initial goal, and are now well on our way to serving 125 families through the program this year. The outpouring of support has been tremendous.”

The Fair Share CSA program was tested last summer, when AdkAction sponsored 23 families to participate in farm shares at White Rainbow Farm in Peru and Tangleroot Farm in Essex. The program provided fresh local produce to these households (75 individuals) for 20 weeks in the first season.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 6, 2022

February Harvest of the Month: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are large, sweet-tasting, starchy, tubers that grow under soil attached to a sprawling vine with heart-shaped leaves. While we eat them like potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), they are actually not a potato. Sweet potatoes are a member of the Convolvulaceae plant family and are more closely related to morning glories than potatoes. Potatoes are in the nightshade family, and are more closely related to eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. 

Sweet potatoes thrive in warm climates, and they continue to be a culturally significant food in the American South, where they have been grown by indigenous people, European colonists, and enslaved people, and farmers for hundreds of years. 

Photo from the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, Pleasant Valley Farm, By Pattie Garrett

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 9, 2022

January Harvest of the Month: Beets 

beets

Beets, or “beetroot”, are plants with edible greens and taproot in the Amaranthaceae family. They are part of the species Beta vulgaris, along with swiss chard and sugar beets. The plant was first cultivated in the Mediterranean regions and Middle-East and is now a staple ingredient in cuisines throughout Europe and North America.

In North America, the round sweet root vegetables are called “beets”, whereas in British English and other parts of the world they are referred to as “beetroot.” Today, beets are one of the few vegetables that are locally grown and available year-round in the Adirondack region. 

For many reasons, beets have earned a tough reputation in the United States. People either love them or hate them. Some people are sensitive to their “earthy” flavor, that is thanks to a compound called geosmin, which is also the compound that we associate with the smell of “fresh rain” and “forest soil”. Some people are much more sensitive to this compound than others. However, their nutritional, symbolic, and practical characteristics have kept them on the menu from 1000+ BCE to today. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

December Harvest of the Month: Delicata Squash 

delicata squash

Delicata squash cut in half at Fruiton Seed Company, from fruitionseeds.com

Have you heard of delicata squash? Perhaps you’ve seen these unique oblong striped squash at the farmers’ market but weren’t quite sure what they were. Delicata is a very sweet type of winter squash with cream colored, yellow, and green striped skin. It’s named “delicata” because of its delicate skin that doesn’t need to be peeled before cooking and can be eaten. The delicata is a cultivar of the variety Cucurbita pepo, meaning it is a close relative to zucchini, butternut squash, and pumpkins. 

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 22, 2021

No farmland, no food

Holly Rippon-Butler photo by Meqo Sam Cecil
Holly Rippon-Butler is Land Campaign Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition, owner of Farmers Cone Creamery, and an Adirondack Land Trust board member. Following are her remarks from the Adirondack Land Trust’s 2021 annual meeting on the relationship between farmland and the unique Adirondack food system.

I grew up on my family’s dairy farm in Schuylerville, NY, just outside of the Adirondack Park. My first experiences with the Adirondacks were hiking in the mountains and exploring lakes and streams. It wasn’t until I was older and living in the Champlain Valley that I began to appreciate the rich agricultural landscape that is woven into the fabric of the Park as well.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 7, 2021

November Harvest of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts Brussels sprouts are one of the many vegetables in the brassica family, along with kale, turnips, collard greens, broccoli, arugula, bok choy, and more. Brussels sprouts are cabbage-like sprouts on tall stalks that thrive in temperate weather. The United States produces 32,000 tons of them each year, with most production in California, Washington, and New York states. It’s estimated that up to 85% of brussels sprouts grown in the US are for frozen food. The largest global producing country is the Netherlands, where they harvest 90,000 tons each year.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Picking the Perfect Market Melon

It’s that time of the year when so much is in season in the Adirondack region- including melons like honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.

In the Adirondacks, locally grown melons only start to appear with sweet corn and winter squash, right around when kids start heading back to school. Once the frost comes, they are done.

» Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!