Posts Tagged ‘local food’

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Fair Food Program awarded $225,000

people from adkaction getting a large check

AdkAction was recently awarded $200,000 from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and  $25,000 from the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Health Equity Innovation Award for its Fair Food Program.

These funds will help provide access to local foods by distributing monthly stipends through vendor-restricted smart cards. Smart cards give participants the ability to purchase foods they enjoy and want to cook, from fresh produce to pasture-raised meat, local eggs, dairy, and grains. By focusing on improving access to locally sourced food, the program not only addresses food insecurity and health disparities but also fosters economic empowerment, community development, and environmental sustainability.

The $225,000 for the Fair Food Program joins a November 2023 award of $238,000 from New York Department of Agriculture and Markets  to provide free farm shares through a Community Supported Agriculture model with local Adirondack farms.

Photo at top: The Excellus BlueCross BlueShield team presented AdkAction with a check at North Country Creamery’s farm store in Keeseville, one of the locations at which Fair Food cards can be used. Photo provided.


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Planning for a Local Thanksgiving Meal

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.

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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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Thursday, June 15, 2023

New Farmers’ Markets in Port Henry and Schroon Lake Begin This Weekend

Vegetables at a Farmers market

Summer farmers’ market season has officially begun in the Adirondack region, bringing a welcome return of locally grown and made food, plus arts and crafts to communities across the region. There are two new farmers’ markets in the Champlain Valley this summer in Port Henry and Schroon Lake. Both markets aim to grow the presence of local food and overall community vibrancy in their respective towns.

Gabriel Jaquish, market manager for the new Port Henry Waterfront Farmers’ Market says, “The Port Henry Waterfront farmers’ market aims to connect local producers, makers, and crafters directly to consumers. Its’ unique Friday evening time provides a perfect way to relax, shop, and stock up on local products before a weekend of hiking, biking, boating, or camping. This market will have a relaxed feel, with lawn games and live music. People are encouraged to come and hang out by the lake.” 

The market will feature a mix of food trucks, artists, and small farms, as well as live music. Gabriel says, “Our market will be producer-only, all of our vendors will be local growers.” Shoppers will find fresh fruits and vegetables from Daughters 5 Farm in Crown Point, locally grown beef from Red Ranch Beef Company, spice blends from Bodette’s Barbecue Rubs, and more to come. 

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Paul Smith’s College students can now buy local foods on campus

PSC Center for Sustainability Partners with Campus Bookstore on Local Food Access.

PSC Center for Sustainability Partners with Campus Bookstore on Local Food Access.

By Ariah Mitchell, Casella Climate Resilience Fellow

On campus at PSC, there are few options to purchase farm fresh or local grocery products. The Packbasket Bookstore has acted as a sort of convenience store on campus for quite some time, selling prepackaged snacks and drinks. Since our campus is 12 miles from town and about 6 miles from the closest market (Brighton Mini-Mart) and not all students have cars, access to fresh and affordable food can be an issue. According to a survey designed by Kevin McCarthy’s Fall 2022 class, students, faculty, and staff would like to be able to purchase organic, local food in the Packbasket. Mary Haskell, our new Bookstore Manager, is planning on a rebrand to do a better job of meeting the needs of the community both on-campus and off. The Bookstore will be partnering with the Center for Sustainability to make these goals a reality. 

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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.


Saturday, December 17, 2022

MAKE IT: Baked onion rings

baked onion rings

Onions, the most commonly used member of the allium family, are not only fantastic sources of flavor for food but also provide a nutritional punch. They are rich in Vitamins C and B, fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. They are not only nutrient-dense but have also been widely used in traditional medicine for millennia. The organosulfur compounds that give onions their characteristic tear-inducing qualities also provide noted health benefits that include promoting cardiovascular health through antiplatelet and antithrombotic functions, reducing unhealthy bacterial loads, providing cancer-preventing antioxidants, and promoting improved respiratory health.

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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. 

» 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. 

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Sunday, September 11, 2022

September Harvest of the Month: Apples

applesApples are one of the most historically, culturally, and economically significant fruits on earth. It’s estimated that humans have been eating apples since 50,000 BCE. Today, there are currently over 7,500 known cultivars of apples, ranging from small, green and tart, to big red sweet globes. The modern apple is thought to have been domesticated in modern-day Kazakstan 4,000-10,000 years ago. 

Apples are not native to New York State or the United States at all. However, today there are over 42,360 acres of apple orchards in the state of New York, which is second in the US behind the state of Washington for apple production. The United States (5M tons/year)  is second only to China (50M tons/year) in apple production. 

So how did the United States become a leader in growing a fruit that is relatively new to the area? 

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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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Friday, July 15, 2022

Increasing Access to Local Food: Feedback wanted

old forge farmers market

 

By Garet D. Livermore, executive director, Cornell Cooperative Extension Herkimer County 

Obtaining fresh food in the Adirondacks has always been a challenge. Between the cold climate and the poor glacial soil riddled with stones and boulders, farming in the Adirondacks is, at best, a difficult proposition. The indigenous people of the region, the Mohawks of the Haudenosaunee nation had large settlements in the rich river valleys that surround the Adirondacks that supported large farms that grew the “three sisters” (corn, beans and squash) that sustained their communities. When they came into the central Adirondacks, they brought these food staples with them to supplement the fish and game of the mountains. 

The European settlers coming into the Adirondacks in the 19th century attempted farming, but few stayed on the land for long. The growing conditions were simply too poor to support lasting settlements.  Within a generation most moved on to western lands that were more hospitable to growing foods and building communities. 

Today’s Adirondackers face similar challenges in keeping their families well fed. Many year-round residents plan for elaborate monthly shopping trips to Utica or Glens Falls to stock up on essential food items. Similarly, vacationers often arrive in rented cabins or to campsites with coolers stuffed with all of the food that they need for their vacations. 

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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!

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Sunday, June 5, 2022

Harvest of the Month | Rhubarb

rhubarb

Rhubarb is a perennial spring vegetable that grows abundantly from May to July in the Adirondacks. Rhubarb is in the plant family Polygonacea along with knotweed and buckwheat. While the plant is technically a vegetable, the tart edible stalks of the plant are most commonly thought of as a fruit, and is eaten in sweet preparations.

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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. 

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