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.
Posts Tagged ‘local food’
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.
Fish can offer our bodies some amazing benefits including omega-3 fatty acids and a large
amount of protein. This is a great way to fulfill your protein needs without overloading your
system with saturated fats and additives.
This recipe allows for a bright flavor while providing a
zesty taste in the mix. This dish is also lower in calories but with the high content of healthy fats,
you are sure to be left feeling very full!
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.
Whether we shop at the supermarket or the farmers market, the foods we purchase bare a wide variety of labels. And we rely on those labels to provide us with information on, among other things, how the food was grown and/or prepared, or in the case of meat and meat products, how the animals were raised.
When we choose to buy food products that we believe are better choices, based on labeling, we want to know that we’re buying food that’s healthier for our families and the environment? And most people would agree that consumers have a right to know. But, all of the branding, pictures, and / or descriptions we find on, or attached to food products or packaging can be confusing. And, sometimes, misleading.
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
Join Adirondack Experience for some delicious programs coming in February
7:00pm | FREE | Via Zoom
‘DACKS DISHES: What to Do with those Winter Root Vegetables
with Chef Kevin McCarthy and Paul Smith’s College Culinary and Hospitality students
‘DACKS DISHES: Local Whole Grain Goodness
with Dan Rivera, Triple Green Jade Farm
Elderberry syrup has become a popular option for many people who are seeking natural approaches to health. Elderberries are rich in antioxidants, which may help to support a healthy immune system. Although this recipe calls for dried elderberries, you can use fresh or frozen if you can find them. Also, the alcohol is optional (it helps with making the syrup shelf-stable), so feel free to leave it out. Be Well! » Continue Reading.
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.
Latkes 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!
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.
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.
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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