FORAGING & FEASTING
Book Signing, Art Exhibition and Tastings
Sat., Nov. 23
4 to 6 pm
46 Main Street, Livingston Manor, NY
Dina Falconi, Herbalist Author
Wendy Hollender,Botanical Illustrator
Behind-the-Scenes visual presentation!
Beautiful, instructive botanical illustrations
Delicious, enlightening recipes
Botanical Print Exhibition & Sale
Wild edible hors d’oeuvres, courtesy Slow Food UpDeRiVa
Visioning From the River Reporter
November 22, 2012 —
This Thanksgiving, you may be staying home with your family to enjoy a traditional meal, or you may be traveling and choosing to join a celebration at a relative’s or friend’s house. Perhaps you choose to participate in a gathering sponsored by a soup kitchen or church. Some may have even preferred to go to a restaurant that offers a Thanksgiving buffet with all the trimmings. (The most attractive restaurants these days seem to be those that feature a menu inspired by local farms.) Regardless of where you spent Thanksgiving Day, we are reminded that our American Thanksgiving is centered on the notion of giving thanks for the earth’s bounty and the abundance of the harvest. This year, I give special thanks to our local farmers and the many enlightened community leaders and environmental groups who have worked hard all year to educate legislators, farmers, producers and consumers in caring about our soil, forest and water resources that are nature’s support of agriculture here.
Contrary to popular belief, the number of farmers in the United States is growing, and the Northeast is no exception. We have hundreds of beginning farmers in New York State alone, and that number continues to increase. Many start by helping to cultivate land as interns on existing farms or on their own land, which might be a backyard in a suburban setting. City rooftops are turning green and barges in the Hudson River are growing food in greenhouses.
I admire the existing dairy farmers and their families, in New York and Pennsylvania, who are developing strategies to remain profitable. They diversify their operations by raising grass-fed meats, developing on-farm processing facilities and marketing milk through direct sales. Many have become artisans adding value to their already excellent milk by producing exceptional cheeses, cultured dairy products and frozen desserts that rival the finest imported specialties and far surpass any that are mass produced and overly processed.
There are beginning farmer programs sponsored by USDA and administered through the cooperative extension offices and land-grant universities, as well as private non-profits such as the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), Pure Catskills and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture ( PASA).
In 2012, we watched school gardens grow, tended by children, teachers and a corps of youth hired through the Center for Workforce Development. Farmers’ markets, farmstands, specialty stores, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares of a farm’s bounty, as well as eating establishments promoting locally produced food, continue to take a large share of consumers’ food dollars, dollars that are immediately returned to the local economy. Beyond providing wholesome and consumable products, our farmers enrich our lives on a daily basis by creating jobs that generate economic activity.
When I moved to Youngsville over 30 years ago, I dreamed of living in an environment where I could live in harmony with my neighbors and the environment while growing much of my own food. Today, more than half of that dream is recognized. I can walk down my road and legally buy a bottle of raw milk from my neighbor, or go to the neighborhood markets and buy exquisite fresh mozzarella and aged cheeses produced at farms very close by. My chickens produce the finest eggs anywhere, as they forage on grass and insects in the yard. The organic garden continues to yield abundant fruits and vegetables.
This Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for seeing so much accomplished here by our farming community. I look to the future and see a viable economic system of an affordable, local food distribution system that will serve everyone in our community, where no one is left behind, including the growing population of seniors, many who are shut in at home or in nursing facilities; school lunchrooms; and government institutions including prisons.
Today, I am thankful to be surrounded by people with the abilities and resources to produce so much abundance. My dream is that we can all participate in sharing our local harvest. We are getting there. Let’s continue to make this Thanksgiving and 2013 a step in that direction.
[Maria Grimaldi is the Catskill Regional Representative for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (www.nofany.org) and an educator with Catskill Delaware Permaculture (www.catskilldelawarepermaculture.org).
We’re busily preparing for the 2013 Winter Conference, is taking place at the Saratoga Hilton City Center from January 25-27. The theme for this year’s conference is Resilience.
The Conference schedule is packed with workshops and discussions from farmers, homesteaders and policy makers on what is going on in our farming community that is building resilience in times of economic upheaval, climate change and corporate dominance of our food system.
You will not want to miss this important NOFA-NY Conference!
Scholarship information is posted at www.nofany.org/events/2013scholarships.
Reposted from Shannon Hayes
photo Shannon Hayes
Our Samhain Altar will hopefully be lit each night this week, in spite of the hurricane.
This week’s Tuesday Post is appearing early as we ready ourselves for Hurricane Sandy. If technology allows, I’ll post updates as we work our way through the storm this week. For everyone else in her path, please stay safe!
Hurricane Irene was a shock. Hurricane Lee, only 1 week later, was a freakish incident. But now, as the winds begin to stir around the house and we brace ourselves for hurricane Sandy, it’s clear to me that what we’re facing is a new weather pattern.
We’ve done our best to prepare.
Beyond Apples:Alternative Fruits for Sustainable Harvest/Organic Growing for Small Farms and Home Landscapes
Date: September 20, 2012
Location:Lee Reich’s “Farmden”: 387 Springtown Rd., New Paltz, NY, 12561 (Ulster County)
Walk through the private edible landscape of renowned author and orchardist Lee Reich and learn about the wide spectrum of fruits that can be grown sustainably with little or no input needed for pest control or pruning in USDA Hardiness Zone 5 (low temps of -20° F). Participants will also learn about uncommon fruits that have commercial potential for small farms because they are easy to grow organically and have unique flavors to appeal in niche and general markets. Lee will also discuss dual-purpose plants- plants that are ornamental and bear tasty fruits- for home landscapes.
Lee Reich began growing and studying fruit 40 years ago. Since that beginning, he has earned a doctorate in horticulture with a specialty in fruit growing, worked in fruit research for Cornell University and the USDA, and grown many kinds of fruits, from the common, such as apples and pears, to the uncommon, such as gumi and medlar. His “farmden” is a testing ground for sustainable fruit growing techniques, for studying cultivation and marketing of some uncommon fruits, and for providing an abundance of fruit to Lee’s household. Lee is the author of three books on fruit growing: Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden, Landscaping with Fruit, and Grow Fruit Naturally.
Supported by USDA Risk Management Agency, Education and Community Outreach Program.
Registration: Please register by calling Stephanie Backer-Bertsch at NOFA-NYat 585-271-1979 x 509, or by registering online at http://www.tinyurl.com/nofanyevents. Registration is FREE for NOFA-NY members and $15/ non-members.
All Organic farmers should consider saving seeds for future seed sowing, as our gene pool of commerically available seeds and plants continues to shrink.
Growing for Future Farming: Saving Quality Seed From Your Farm’s Field
Hudson Valley Seed Library: 484 Mettacohonts Rd., Accord, NY 12404
A tour of the Hudson Valley Seed Library’s seed production farm will provide examples of the isolation and pollination techniques used to maintain pure seed varieties. The discussion will cover distancing, timing of successions, caging and hand-pollinating. Farmers Ken and Doug will talk about hand-cleaning seeds via winnowing and threshing, as well as best practices for seed storage. Under the farmers’ careful supervision and instruction, you will try your hand at processing seeds from tomato, pepper, brassica and other crops. Participants will also get a special insider peek at the seed library cooler. This field day is part of our Beginning Farmer Program; all participants are invited to stay for an informal farmer-to-farmer networking reception and potluck following the presentation.
: Please register by calling Stephanie Backer-Bertsch at NOFA-NYat 585-271-1979 x 509, or by registering online at http://www.tinyurl.com/nofanyevents
. Registration is FREE for NOFA-NY members and $15/ non-members
This field day is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30510.
The NOFA Organic Land Care Program, in co-sponsorship with NOFA-NY, Almstead Tree and Shrub Care Company, and Rye Country Day School.
• Workshop Price: $175
• $15 discount for NOFA AOLCPs and NOFA members
To learn more and to register, call 203-888-5146, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit organiclandcare.net.
Cost of workshop includes light breakfast and lunch.
Hepworth Farm tomatoes at Whole Foods
LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. FUNDAMENTALS OF GROWING ORGANIC TOMATOES IN THE HUDSON VALLEY
TOMATOES: EQUIPMENT, MANPOWER, PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES, VARIETIES (including 100 different varieties of tomatoes, tomatillos and husk cherries) AND MORE
Hepworth Farm Growing delicious and organic hierlooms
Amy Hepworth will share her 30 years of experience in running a versatile and resilient operation based on a whole-living system approach to farming.
SATURDAY JULY 21, 2012
9:00 a.m.-12:oo p.m.
1635 Route 9W
Milton, New York 12547
REGISTRATION IS FREE FOR NOFA-NY MEMBERS AND $15.00 FOR NON MEMBERS
PLEASE REGISTER BY CALLING STEPHANIE BACKER-BERTSCH AT NOFA-NY 585-271-1979 x 509 OR ONLINE
Supported by USDA Risk Management Agency, Education and Community Outreach Program
ORGANIC HEIRLOOM SEEDLINGS
Come to Four Winds Farm annual Seedling Sale
Friday, May 18, 2012 1-5 PM
Saturday, May 19, 2012 9AM- 4 PM
Are you looking for quality heirloom vegetable transplants for your backyard garden? Look no further! Four Winds Farm in Gardiner, New York grow a large selection of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, summer and winter squash, cucumbers, kale, chard, onions, and broccoli and more.
· Four Winds Farm grow over 50 different varieties of tomatoes in all sizes, shapes, types, colors and flavors.
July 16-18th 2012
Catskill Delaware Permaculture www.catskilldelawarepermaculture.org will lead this 3 day Intensive on-farm butchering course, designed for livestock farmers and food professionals who want hands-on butchering experiences on processing grass-fed beef, lamb and pork and an understanding of the practices of a fully integrated farm/butchering operation.
The butchering, processing portion of the course will be led by Mike Hardler in his on-farm butchering facilities and meat shop near Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The Hardler Farm is an excellent example of how a conventional dairy farm successfully diversified into grass-fed livestock production, butchering and marketing of value-added products. In addition to meat production the Hardler Farm maintains two Raw Milk Licenses for Cow and Goat milk . This course is limited to 10 participants to ensure individual attention.
Part I Mike Hardler will cover an intensive one day session with individual attention on:
- Whole pig, whole lamb or side of beef taken from hanging sides in the Hardler facility. No animals will be slaughtered during this course but humane slaughtering techniques employed at the farm will be discussed.
- Demonstration of how to break a whole animal or side of beef down into primal and individual cuts of meat. Explain the different techniques for each type of meat with hands-on experiences.
- Use and types of professional equipment needed and used in cutting and processing meat. Review of different recommended cooking techniques for each cut and species.
- Participants will prepare lunch in the farm’s commercial kitchen using locally sourced ingredients including the meat obtained at the farm.
- Processing of meat into sausage and other value added products through brining and smoking will be included in the Hardler presentation.
Part II George Stang, Conservation specialist and Maria Grimaldi, Permaculture educator will lead the class in:
- Field walks and discussions in understanding the differences and importance in growing forages that affect grass-fed livestock and the soil which supports the food chain.
- Culinary differences in feed-lot raised meat and the impact of the two methods on animal health, human health and the local environment will be discussed.
- Differences in taste and texture of the Heritage breeds raised on the farm will be covered as well.
- The handling of waste products from slaughter and butchering will be shown as part of the sustainable operations on the Hardler Farm.
Go to http://catskilldelawarepermaculture.org/ for complete registration information and discount information for PASA and NOFA-NY members. Includes all meals and overnight accommodations.