Posts Tagged ‘local food’

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Native Foods: All About Cranberries

Cranberries - Keith Weller, Agricultural Research Service PhotoLike the political process, cranberries can leave a sour taste in your mouth. But unlike politics, whose bitter aftertaste cuts through any amount of sweetener, the flavor of cranberries is readily improved with a little sugar.

To say a fresh cranberry is sour is like saying Picasso and Monet are reasonably good painters. In fact it can have a lower pH value than stomach acid. It’s almost a wonder people ever started eating them, right? » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Challenges Of Identifying Mushrooms

Russula mushroomsWhen you stumble across something purple in the forest, it’s hard not to stop in your tracks. At least it was for me on a recent hike, when I came across three purple mushrooms. They stood about four inches tall, with saucer tops that were nearly black in the center and ringed in a rich eggplant-purple.

I was captivated. I was also clueless, as I had no idea what I was looking at. I have long regarded mushrooms the way I do yellow-colored warblers and ferns – far too many and too confusing to distinguish one from another. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Harvest Time Is Well Worth The Wait


CFLocalLivingFairNCBountyfoodonlyBPWhattamNorth Country gardeners are a patient, hardy lot. Our growing season is short enough in a good year, and this year got off to a very slow start with endless rain and cold temperatures well into July.

While there are many cool season crops that do well up here, most home gardeners spend the summer waiting for the royalty of crops to ripen: tomatoes! » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wild Foods: Cattails

TOS_CattailsLast winter I spent three months exploring East Africa, traveling through ten different countries and covering over 8,077 miles. I was continuously impressed with how much local guides knew about their surroundings, in particular the human uses of various plants. In some instances we could not walk more than ten feet without stopping to learn about another plant and all the ways it could save your life.

This experience made me curious about plants in my own backyard. A quick skim of foraging articles on the Internet revealed that cattails, with their various edible parts, are often referred to as “nature’s supermarket.” I was thrilled to learn that I had a 40-acre produce section right outside the back door. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Bountiful Adirondack Harvest With A Local CSA

Juniper Hill Farm at the Lake Placid Farmers MarketThis has been the first year that my family has participated in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project with Juniper Hill Farm in Wadhams. I’m hooked!

Though I’m not located near Wadhams, the choice to join was easy and every step along the way has been a delight. For my first year I chose a small customizable veggie share and a fruit share. Since I do a fair bit of traveling during the summer, that choice has provided my family as well as a neighbor or two, plenty of fresh produce in addition to our own garden. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Farm 2 Fork Festival in Saranac Lake Sept 5th

Farm 2 Fork FestivalHome cooks will serve up an array of farm to table dishes at the sixth annual Farm 2 Fork Festival from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday, September 5, at Saranac Lake’s Riverside Park. This year’s menu features an Adirondack Mediterranean theme.

A collaboration of the Adirondack Green Circle and the AuSable Valley Grange, the festival’s mission is to expand support of local foods and farms and promote food awareness in the northern Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wild Salads: Eat Your Weedies

TOS_wild_saladIn the early 1960s, Euell Gibbons wrote Stalking the Wild Asparagus and introduced millions of North Americans to the virtues of harvesting wild foods. Since that time, gathering wild edibles has become increasingly popular, and in our region, woods-grown delicacies such as ramps and fiddlehead ferns appear in grocery stores each spring.

Yet you don’t have to lace up your hiking boots to enjoy the wild repast. If you resist the urge to use herbicides, you are likely to find a diverse array of edible wild plants growing in your lawn and vegetable garden. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Black and Yellow Birch: Tasty Teas From Trees

TOS_birch_teaScratch and then sniff a black or yellow birch twig, and the pleasant aroma will likely put a smile on your face. What you are smelling is oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate). This chemical compound is present in the inner bark in both species, although typically to a greater degree in black birch. In the trees, as well as several edible berries that grow in our region, the compound serves as a defense against herbivorous insects. Most people, however, enjoy the taste.

You can make a very nice wintergreen-flavored tea from peeled black or yellow birch twigs. I advise against trying to brew this the traditional way, though (i.e., steeping twigs in boiling water). The reason is that oil of wintergreen is volatile and easily driven off by heat, so if you attempt to make tea with hot water, your kitchen will smell great but there will likely be little if any flavor in your tea cup. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Maple Weekends in the Adirondacks

IMG_0874My family looks forward to this time of year, not only because of the change in season, but because that change brings maple time. Though we have just a few maple trees to tap, larger producers are already starting to make my family’s favorite sugary treat, maple syrup.

What started in the mid 1990s as a simple open house dubbed Maple Sunday has now grown across New York State into two Maple Weekends. The next two weekends, March 21-22 and March 28-29, the New York State Maple Producers Association are opening their properties and sugarhouses for tours, pancake breakfasts, activities and tastings. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Plattsburgh: Food From The Farm Tasting Event

Food from the Farm 3005The public is invited to meet Northern New York farmers, food processors, wine and cider makers, and chefs with a diverse array of products at the 5th annual Food from the Farm event on Saturday, March 7 from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Plattsburgh Recreation Center gymnasium on the US Oval in Plattsburgh, NY.

Visitors will have the opportunity to sample and buy locally-grown or produced foods, wine and cider; pick up recipes and gardening tips; meet local food producers, and support the local economy and food movement. Products for sale may include overwintered storage crops such as carrots, beets and potatoes; winter greens, frozen meat, maple, honey, wine, and hard cider. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seed Catalogs: Reading Between the Lines


seed catalogsIt’s January and my dining room table is covered with seed and garden catalogs. I you’re a gardener and you’re not getting catalogs, something is wrong! Most have toll-free phone numbers and websites, so just let them know you’d like a free catalog and you’ll be set for life.

If you have high speed internet and like to surf the web, the online catalogs have a lot of information and links, but I enjoy having the catalogs around the house, and I’ll often grab one to flip through as I drink a cup of coffee or wait for my toast to brown. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Stay Local With Winter Farmers Markets

SnowyGrocery300325When the doldrums set in, winter farmers’ markets can brighten your day with fresh local food and other products.   Many stores have “local” sections. As I visited a larger one in our neighboring Vermont recently, with a bustling melee of shoppers, vendors, veggies, maple, hard cider, and other foods and crafts, it occurred to me that I’m long overdue in encouraging readers to visit the winter markets throughout Northern New York. For example, I’ll bet you didn’t know that we not only have one, but now two indoor winter farmers’ markets in Plattsburgh and Upper Jay. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas in Essex, Where Santa Arrives By Ferry

TaylorHaskins_newThere are many ways to spend the holidays, or those few frantic weeks just before, that truly ring in the year with quaint Adirondack charm. Schroon Lake’s Olde Tyme Christmas, Lake Placid’s Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex are just three celebrations that are prepared to make everyone’s countdown to Christmas just a little more merry.

Though Friday nights do hold a few scheduled happenings, the main events take place over the weekend for most locations. According to Christmas in Essex Co-Organizer Kenneth Hughes, this year’s festival on December 13th is a mixture of traditional activities and new events.

“Christmas in Essex has been happening for at least 20 years so we have the traditional activities people look forward to, like the Reindeer Run and Pancake Breakfast, but we added some things that are brand new. This is the first year that I’ve been an organizer,” says Hughes. “My other Co-Organizer is Susie Smith.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 24, 2014

This Thanksgiving Pass the Crickets

TOS_cricket_pieAs you put together a dinner plan for this Thanksgiving, perhaps you’re looking for something to add a little variety to the traditional holiday meal, or ways to eat healthy food while supporting good environmental practices. How about adding insects to the menu?

Along with crackers and cheese, grasshopper fritters make excellent appetizers. Or consider adding sautéed crickets and greens as a side to your potatoes, turkey, and gravy. What about cricket flour fruitcake instead of the typical pumpkin pie? » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Homestead: The New Coop

The New CoopThe sound of the furnace startles me a little every time it fires up.  It sounds like a car pulling in the driveway or something like that, and I am still not quite used to the sound and commotion.  Not that it’s not welcome.  We’ve got about six inches of snow on the ground, not terrible, but it did seem kind of sudden.

Last week it was warm and nice out, and even though we know it’s inevitable, the snow just sort of seemed to come out of nowhere.  After moving an old set of tires into the garage and digging out and picking up a few other things that were out in the yard, I feel like our outside stuff is all set.  Except for the huge new chicken coop that is sitting in the middle of the driveway.  Audrey’s not all that happy about the current location of our new coop, and with the temperatures dropping, it would be nice to move the girls into the new coop. » Continue Reading.