Monthly Archives: October 2011
One of the delights of being involved in the local, organic food movement that is sweeping the Catskill and Hudson Valley in New York is attending the food events that champion the work of our local farmers.
Sunday, October 16 Callicoon Center New York
Early Bird Cookery hosted a Sunday brunch featuring a delicious menu of locally sourced ingredients including a smoked trout hash as a starter!
I found the company that gathered for the 10:00 a.m. seating especially inspiring. The chefs and “foragers” for Print Restaurant http://www.printrestaurant.com/ located in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC were seated with me. This restaurant, one of many City restaurants spend a great deal of time sourcing and learning about local farm products and are meeting the demands of their customers who crave the superior nutritional and environmentally friendly food sources. This group had gathered following The Pig Mountain Event http://www.pigisland.com/ that was held to celebrate our local food/ farmers and benefit Farmhearts http://farmhearts.org/events.html
Johanna Kolodny, the chief forager for Print Restaurant travels throughout the Northeast and beyond, foraging Farmers Markets and farms looking for unique food for Print Restaurant chefs to transform into quality meals. Johanna believes that chef education is critical to helping chefs understand the quality and nuances of local food versus factory farmed animals, fruits and vegetables.
I found this link to a Permaculture website in Ireland. Halfway around the world, a different culture? Yet so much like our Catskill Hudson Region.
Check it out!
Serving NY, CT and
The Carrot Project is
pleased to announce we plan to offer loans through our Greater Berkshire
Agricultural Fund beginning in 2012, for up to $75,000 in the following
counties: Berkshire, MA, Litchfield, CT, Dutchess, NY and Columbia, NY. Please
contact us at any point this fall with questions, or to begin working on your
prequalification and application:
contact Benneth Phelps at:
The trees are loaded with apples. Many that have gone wild or live in abandoned orchards overtaken by forest are heavy with fruit. And many of my organic locavore friends have seized the opportunity to not only harvest from their own trees but are gleaning from “wild” places. Getting together for an apple pressing party gives everybody something to do. From picking, to washing cutting up the apples, young and old alike can participate in this fun activity.
The great thing is that you only need to invest in one cider press and if you have a great friend as I have, Adrianne Picciano (locally known as The Dirt Diva) you can borrow the press. Calling in neighbors and friends to come over, bring apples if they have them, or just to share in the fun. Everybody gets to take home delicious, unsprayed apple cider, usually a medley of apple varieties that lend an exotic taste to the beverage.
Setting up the assembly line to the press is part of the process. First we give the apples a bath in a weak solution of white vinegar and pure well water. The next step is a rinse in plain water. The next step is culling out any really bad apples and cutting out any really bad spots which go into buckets under the table (to be recycled as compost, chicken food or forage for the deer)Kids learn to use knives properly in cutting up the apples into chunks which are dumped into the press. The excitment of tasting the first of the year’s harvest has got to be memorable to a child, and even some of us “older” folks.
And what to do with all that cider? Why hard cider of course! Organic apple cider vinegar! I am thinking apple kombucha these days as well!
WALTON, NY, October 3, 2011 – A collaboration of Catskills region agricultural organizations today announced the launch of Catskills FarmLink, a
free online land listing resource at www.catskillsfarmlink.org.
Catskills FarmLink was developed in response to increasing inquiries related to land access in the Catskills. The site is designed to promote the Catskills
as a great place to operate a small, diversified farm and seeks to maintain the region’s working landscape by connecting farmers with underutilized agricultural land.
The site will serve beginning farmers looking to transition to independent farm management, existing farmers looking to acquire or access more land, and
landowners interested in making property available for agricultural use.
Site users may submit listings on www.catskillsfarmlink.org at no charge. Classified categories include equipment, hay and feed, landseekers, livestock and agricultural services.
Visit www.catskillsfarmlink.org to explore the site and contribute to its content.
Catskills FarmLink is a collaborative effort of regional organizations committed to the future of agriculture in the
region. These organizations include ; Catskill Mountainkeeper, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware, Schoharie and Sullivan Counties; Delaware Highlands Conservancy; Farm Catskills; Farmhearts; NYC Department of Environmental Protection; and the Watershed Agricultural Council.
There were cloud bursts and heavy rains AGAIN all last week and threats of flash flooding of the the many creeks and rivers here….but there were also periods of sun that broke through the storm clouds. Coming home at sunset the other day as I drove past my neighbor’s field I became awestruck by the double, enormous rainbow that dominated the landscape. I stopped the car and contemplated the message from nature of better times ahead for our New York farmers. Our October calendar will be filled with celebrations of our harvest as well as plans for a brighter future for New York farmers.
It reminded me of this passage from the Old Testament
From Genesis 9
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
The dictionary defines a “covenant” as an agreement. Perhaps if we take better care of the earth and pay attention to our human impact on climate change and our soil and water resources….. the “rainbow” can fulfill its promise?