Posts Tagged ‘local food’

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. 

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Saturday, January 8, 2022

MAKE IT: Latkes

latkesLatkes are not just a holiday food! A dish that is part of the Hanukkah celebration, this traditional recipe for latkes makes latkes that are crispy and fried to perfection. My kiddos love to eat these year-round. For a vegan version, use flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed/3 Tablespoons water. Mix flax and water and let sit for at least 10 minutes, or until congealed). Although latkes are usually fried (as they are in this recipe), I have also baked the vegan version with decent results (they have turned out best in convection ovens). Enjoy!

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

Saranac Lake Winter Farmers’ Park-It now accepts SNAP

SNAP and farmers market

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are now accepted at the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Park-It, a curbside, order-ahead pickup model, through May 28. SNAP, formerly known as “food stamps”, is a federal program that provides low-income families with funds to purchase groceries. Since most vendors aren’t equipped to individually process EBT cards, a market-wide exchange program is required. This is the first year SNAP has been available through the winter and to pay for online-orders through Park-it.

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Essex County, and AdkAction piloted this new local food access program at the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake farmers’ markets this year from May to October. Shoppers exchanged their SNAP benefits for tokens redeemable at the market. At those two markets, over $1,700 SNAP dollars were spent on local food during the summer season.

This fall, CCE and AdkAction worked together again at the Saranac Lake Indoor Farmers’ Market to provide the same program, and will continue as the market transitions to just a Park-It after the holidays. Prior to this program, SNAP benefits have not been accepted year-round at any farmers’ market in Essex County.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Saturday, November 6, 2021

MAKE IT: 3-Ingredient Black Bean Burgers

black bean burgersEveryone enjoys a good burger, especially in Upstate NY. Here is a fun way to make this dish plant based to accommodate all diets. This recipe is easy and quick to make for all occasions. Not only does this dish provide the same, if not more protein, it offers many other benefits such as fiber and antioxidants. “So these burgers can help improve my health?” Yes! Beans are a natural source that provides many nutrients that meat can’t. They are low in cholesterol and sodium – both of which can be high in meats. Additionally, meats can be full of saturated fats while black beans can of er the body omega-3 fatty acids, AKA heart healthy fats!. So, if you are looking to improve your health without giving up a fan favorite, give this recipe a shot! 

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Saturday, November 6, 2021

It’s turkey ordering time

turkeysAdirondack Beef Company, Croghan, NY

4 Reasons to Go Local for Your Thanksgiving Turkey

1- Keep your dollars in your community: The average farmer only makes $0.17 for every $1.00 spent on the food they grew. Buying directly from a farmer means they will receive 100% of the profits they earned.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

MAKE IT: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin cookies

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies — especially during the cold-weather months! With that, since it is fall, we might as well add some pumpkin! Pumpkin offers nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folate and iron, which all help to strengthen the immune system. So, while you’re enjoying your dessert, you can also be fighting of common viruses that thrive during fall and winter! Additionally, the pumpkin makes these cookies moist without having to add excess butter or oil. This recipe is quick and fun to make as well as easy to follow and mix up with your own favorite treats! You can make these cookies your own by adding foods like nuts to your chocolate chip total or replacing the chocolate chips completely with a substitute.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Saranac Lake Farmers’ Park-It & Market To Reopen at Hotel Saranac

farmers market signYear-Round Farmers’ Market Continues to Support Local Community, Farmers, and Producers
This fall, The AuSable Valley Grange Farmers’ Market, the only “producer-only” farmers’ markets in the eastern Adirondacks, will partner once again with Hotel Saranac to offer both an outdoor “Park-It” and indoor market in Saranac Lake, NY.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

October 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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Saturday, September 18, 2021

MAKE IT: Corn Chowder

cornVegetarian Corn Chowder

As the temperatures turn slightly cooler, why not enjoy corn chowder made from freshly picked sweet corn? This vegetarian version of corn chowder calls for fresh corn and plant-based milk, but can also be made with frozen corn and animal milk (and shhhh! My son likes to eat this with plant-based bacon crumbled on top). Enjoy!

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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.

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Saturday, September 4, 2021

MAKE IT: Roasted beet hummus

roasted beet hummusHummus is a wonderful dip and spread that is rich in fiber and protein. It can be made in many different variations. One of my favorites includes roasted beets. You can use any variety of beet for this recipe. The color of your hummus will change, depending on what variety of beet you choose. A golden beet will result in a yellow-colored hummus, while a Chioggia beet will result in a pink hummus. Regardless of what variety of beet you choose, you will end up with a beautiful spread that also packs a nutritious punch. Enjoy!

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Saturday, August 7, 2021

Spirit of Generosity: Investing in Our Food Systems

north country creamery

Steven Googin and Ashlee Kleinhammer of North Country Creamery in Keeseville. Erika Bailey photo, provided by Adirondack Foundation

It started with Emergency Food Packages spearheaded by AdkAction. These packages, filled with local food  –  including organic yogurt, apples, granola, carrots, greens, eggs, and more  –  were assembled at Hub on the Hill in Essex and delivered to the doorsteps of people who were experiencing economic hardship as far away as Tupper Lake and Malone. The packages came at a time when local farmers were losing wholesale business revenue as schools and restaurants paused for health and safety reasons.The quantities needed for the packages compensated for these losses and helped to keep farmers in business.

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