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Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Fredonia Graduate Finds Passion and Success in Running the Fredonia Farmers Market

In Feeding the Community on August 25, 2009 at 11:21 am

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Senior year is a tough time for many college students. It’s a year riddled with difficult decisions waiting to be made and the end to what many people call “the best years of my life.” As a result, most students go on to a job they don’t care much about, thinking only about their college loans.

Heidi Frame, a recent SUNY Fredonia graduate, is an exception to this general principle. She found a position she is truly passionate about—running the Fredonia Farmer’s Market.

This is not Heidi’s first encounter with local food. Her passion for the self-sustaining community came through a course offered at Fredonia, titled Sustainability in America. The class gave her a great respect for farmers, especially after taking a field trip to local farm and CSA Gong Garden. After the class, she became involved in running Earth Week programs on campus that advocated eating locally, and even sat on a panel with other members of the community for an event.

The farmer’s market had an open position, and Heidi was recommended to fill it by professor Christina Jarvis. The previous coordinators, Susan Mackay and Barbara Sam, founded the Fredonia Farmer’s Market about five years ago and are still very active in its running. Heidi brings a new, fresh outlook to events planning, but still has her ideas approved by Market Manager Barbara Sam before putting them into action.

Heidi has taken it upon herself to make each Saturday unique. Each market runs from 8am-1pm, but from 10:30-12:30 there is a special program. These include concerts from local musicians, crafts for kids, bike sales and lectures. There have also been cooking with produce demonstrations from local restaurant The White Inn and a Pet Appreciation Day. While each weekend is different, Heidi is working to promote August 29 as a bigger event.

The Awareness Fair that will be held on this day is due in part to the recycling containers that were donated in Fredonia. This is also the first weekend after classes at SUNY Fredonia begin, and Heidi is looking to attract the student population out to the Barker Commons, getting them involved in the community. In a way, it is a sort of celebration that the students are back in town. Activities for the day include a concert by student Ned Campbell, crafts for kids and a visit by local artist Aaron Walters who will show how he uses beach trash to make art. The Fredonia campus has made immense progress in terms of recycling, and this, Heidi hopes, will spread that awareness and enthusiasm to the community. Fredonia is already a very conscious community, and for those who are very active in recycling, this event will serve as a renewal of enthusiasm for sustainability.

Although Heidi’s position is only considered part time, she is obviously putting in many more hours. On top of the events planning, she calls each vendor every week to find out who will be there, collects the weekly fee, updates the facebook page and writes the press releases. Every Saturday, she is at the commons at 7 am to help the farmers set up for the market, and stays late to help them clean up. Heidi has also worked hard to bring new vendors to the market, and a full market has 22 vendors.

Although this wasn’t Heidi’s original goal, it suits her well, and she is learning that she likes this sort of social role. Plans always change depending on what comes along, but she thinks that the Fredonia Farmer’s Market may serve as a stepping stone to running a bigger market. She is still going ahead with her original plan—she will be starting grad school at Fredonia in the fall for English Literature, and eventually pursuing a PhD in order to become an English professor. Also in the fall she will be a Teacher’s Assistant, teaching a class of unruly freshman the finer points of English Comp.

For Heidi, running the market is a way for her to help bring food and food making back to the family endeavor. It is a way for her to connect to the people who are the backbone of the community; those that she believes have the most honorable profession. It is also a way for her to connect the farmers to the community, especially the student population. Heidi has become a valuable asset to the Fredonia community so quickly after graduation, it is truly admirable.

posted by Ashley Zengerski

Curbside Croft Urban Farm Announces New Harvest & Twitter Updates

In Urban Ag on August 19, 2009 at 11:06 am

Purple Basil at Curbside Croft

Purple Basil at Curbside Croft

We are in the heart of summer in Western New York and CurbSide Croft has more and more produce available each week. Please see the lists below for what is currently available and what will be ready shortly.
You can also find this information on the website or follow CSC on Twitter – username CurbSideCroft. Twitter will provide the most up-to-date information.

The CSC custom-picked salad blends have been a huge hit. Stop by and get yours!

Produce is available for purchase Tuesdays and Thursdays between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.  Curbside Croft is located on Buffalo’s west side on the corner of West Avenue and Vermont Street.

Currently Available
Tomatillo
Green tomato
Summer squash
Zucchini
Cucumber
Yellow hot pepper
Broccoli florets
Red malabar spinach
White eggplant
Coriander
Basil – 4 varieties
Bronze fennel
Daikon seedpods – great salad addition
Chard
Nasturtium
Kale
Collards
Red orach
Pole bean
New Zealand spinach
Lettuce

Available Soon
Cauliflower (multiple varieties)
Brussel sprouts
Tomatoes (multiple varieties)

FRESH – Read What the Press Is Saying About This Inspiring Film

In Edible Events on August 14, 2009 at 8:32 am

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On September 10, Edible Buffalo is presenting an exclusive screening of FRESH. Sponsored by American Farmland Trust and Buffalo Spree  and in cooperation with the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College, this inspirational film will be followed by a panel discussion with local farmers Tom Tower, a small scale farmer from Youngstown and Karen Agle, from Agle Farms & Eden Valley Growers; Diane Held from American Farmland Trust; Kate Mendenhall, Director of NOFA-NY and Dr. Samina Raja, from the University at Buffalo.

FRESH features some of the most inpirational and innovative cast of characters in the world of sustainable agriculture.  From Will Allen to Joel Salatin, this film gives us hope that the future of agriculture in this country is moving in the right direction.  The film will be screened in the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium at the Burchfield Penney Art Center and is approx. 72 minutes in length.  Tickets for the screening are $7 for general admission and $5 for Edible Buffalo subscribers, Buffalo Spree subscribers, Burchfield Penney Art Center members, students and seniors.  You can purchase tickets here.

Here is what the press is saying:

FRESH Offers Hope for Our Food Future ~ Santa Barbara Independent
As we continue to endure tough economic times, many of us turn to fast food and cheap grocery store options in order to feed ourselves without depleting our wallets. Fresh the Movie shows how these choices are unwise, unhealthy, and unsustainable. However, instead of focusing on this bleak reality, the film highlights examples of sustainable and natural farming, offering hope and an avenue for moving away from shortsighted industrialized farming techniques.

Food for thought: Getting ‘Fresh’ ~ Mother Nature Network
Filmmaker Ana Sofia Joanes chose to release the movie solely to small groups spattered across the country to ensure that Fresh “mimics the food movement in that what’s really growing is not different food, but a new awareness. You cannot create a new vision or shift of consciousness from the top down — it must come from among us, from the bottom up.”

Ana Joanes Explains the Difficulty of Filming a Documentary and What Sustainability Means
~Huffington Post
While Robert Kenner did a fantastic job of exposing how much is wrong with our food system, Ana Joanes chose to focus on people who are doing what’s right. Recently, she explained why she chose to film the documentary as she did and how she hopes it will inspire others to make a difference.
 
An Urban Farmer Is Rewarded for His Dream ~ New York Times
WILL ALLEN already had the makings of an agricultural dream packed into two scruffy acres in one of Milwaukee’s most economically distressed neighborhoods.
 
 

Fresh: How We’re Supposed to Eat ~ Food Freedom
What do urbanites know about farming? ana Sofia joanes’ Fresh shows us how a sustainable food system operates – by focusing on personal and community stories of change. Fresh is delightful, humorous and charming.

 

The Great Grape Race Scavenger Hunt – August 15th – 22nd

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

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The Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, and the Lake Erie Concord Grape Heritage Association, organizers of America’s Grape Country Week, August 15-23rd are pleased to announce details about the Great Grape Race, scheduled for August 15-21st, with winners to be named on Saturday August 22nd at Moore Park in Westfield. 

Intended to raise awareness about the area’s agricultural heritage, this is the inaugural year for the Great Grape Race which is a scavenger hunt with questions on a Race Form intended to “teach, amuse, and instruct” racers – whether visitors or locals –  about the area.  Race forms can be found at 18 participating wineries where purple pennants will be flying outside and staff will be wearing purple bandanas.  Seventeen non-winery businesses, ranging from restaurants to ice cream stores to inns and galleries, will also be part of the race and will be flying purple pennants.

Participating local businesses have contributed an impressive line-up of prizes valued at over $1700.  Prizes, one group for adults and one group for youth, are intended to permit the winners to enjoy the Chautauqua area in many ways and range from baseball and ski tickets to a chauffeured limo and restaurant certificates in wine country. 

ADULT PRIZES:

GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE: A Taste of Chautauqua!

Chauffeured Limousine – 5 hr. Day Package in Wine Country (Chautauqua Limousine Service), Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail Discovery Passport (21 coupons), Dinner at Sapore for party of four, including a bottle of local wine, AND Overnight and breakfast at the William Seward Inn for two (Westfield, NY) (Total Package Value over $700)

 FIRST PRIZE PACKAGE: More Taste of Chautauqua

Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail Mini Discovery Passport, Lunch/Dinner Gift Certificate at Quincy Cellars, AND Lunch/Dinner Certificate at Webb’s Captains Table (Mayville, NY)

SECOND PRIZES: Local Color

1. Audrey Kay Dowling Pottery, Courtesy of Portage Hill Art Gallery (Westfield, NY)

2. Taste local wines with lunch/dinner at Kelly Hotel (Ripley,NY).

THIRD PRIZES: Prizes to Take Home

1. $30 Gift certificate from Nass Daylily Farm, Hardscrabble Road, Westfield, NY

2. $30 Gift certificate from Nostalgia,Findley Lake, NY, courtesy of Blue Heron Inn

3. $30 Gift certificate from Merritt Estate Winery

YOUTH PRIZES:

GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE: Winter in Chautauqua County

Midweek overnight stay and Ski Passes at Peek n’ Peak

FIRST PRIZE PACKAGE: A Day in Chautauqua County

Tickets for eight at Panama Rocks (Panama, NY), Gift certificate for Spaghetti Dinner at Calarco’s (Westfield, NY), AND Ice Cream Sundaes for eight, Parkview Ice Cream Parlor (Westfield, NY)

SECOND PRIZES: An Afternoon in Chautauqua County

1. Tickets for eight at Panama Rocks (Panama, NY) and Gift Certificate for Pizza Party at Greenstone Bakery (Mayville, NY)

2. Baseball Party – Jamestown Jammers – Baseball tickets for 10 and hat and baseball

THIRD PRIZES: Tastes of Chautauqua County

1. Tour of Grower’s Grape Cooperative Grape Facility, a Grape Pie (Jack’s Barcelona), and a Grape Recipe Book (Brick House Inn, Westfield)

2. Webb’s Fudge-making tour and samples for family of four

3. Visit to Sugar Shack and gift basket

America’s Grape Country is located along the shores of Lake Erie between Silver Creek, NY and  North East, PA and its 30,000 acres of vineyards make it the largest grape growing region east of the Rockies and the oldest Concord grape growing region in the world.  For more information on participating in the 2009 Great Grape Race or other America’s Grape Country Festivities, contact the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau at 716-357-4569 or the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail at 877-326-6561 or click on What’s New at http://www.chautauquawinetrail.com or http://www.americasgrapecountry.com.

Arden Farm Begins Their CSA – Join Now!

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2009 at 8:57 am

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Arden Farm, located in East Aurora, is pleased to announce the opening of their CSA (community supported agriculture) share program for the 2009 season.  All of their fruit and vegetables are grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, employing biodynamic and organic methods.

 

Arden Farm has been a family farm for over one hundred years, originally bought by Elbert Hubbard, to help feed the Roycroft Community.  With this history in mind, they continue to grow the Roycroft way with head, heart and hand.

 

They offer weekly pickup at the farm in East Aurora, NY.  Pick-up in Buffalo may be possible for a distribution point at Artspace Buffalo (please call for more information).  The share cost for twelve weeks is $250, payable in advance, or by arrangement. This proves an excellent value in all cost comparisons.  Space is limited for 2009.

 

Community shareholders will receive between ten and fifteen pounds of fruit and vegetables.  The weekly pickup time is currently on Thursdays between 3pm and 7pm.  Deliveries may be possible.  Other items will be available at the farm stand during distribution time to top off your “goodie box”.

 

 They are harvesting this week the following:

       summer squash: zucchini, yellow crookneck, and patty pan

       beets

       lettuce, several types

       scallions

       radishes

       new red potatoes

       basil

       garlic

       swiss chard

       edible flowers

       basil, cilantro

       apples!

 

For more information or to join Arden Farm CSA please contact Colleen at 716.908.1531 or colleenthinks@gmail.com or Dan at 716.341.1268

Field Trip – Journey through Niagara County’s local food & farms

In Field Trip, From the Land on August 2, 2009 at 10:02 am
The 'not so nice' rooster at T-Meadow Farm

The 'not so nice' rooster at T-Meadow Farm

A couple weeks ago, Publisher & Editor Lisa Tucker and I visited a few local farms and one local grocer in Niagara County. Although many stops were supplemented by a magazine drop-off, each stop was educational.

Our first destination was Niagara County Produce, a small grocery store in the city of Lockport. A larger open air version of the market exists in East Amherst on Transit Road; however the location in Lockport is the only grocery store in the downtown area. The store is filled with local products, including cheese from Yancey’s Fancy, fresh produce, jams from Joe’s Jammin’ Spread and much more. There are boxed and canned items, a meat/deli counter, a dairy section, and chocolates–sponge candy and an assortment of chocolate-covered nuts made locally.

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Our second stop landed us at a pig farm. When we first walked onto T-Meadow farm we were greeted by the crows of a rooster and a flock of chickens. The rooster actually posed for a few pictures, but we later learned that he was quite a vicious fellow! We heard stories of how he bit through a pair of boots and attacks things that are red—including a food dish. They lived in a small house, with a door that I absolutely loved—a “No Standing Any Time” sign. On the farm there were many newborn and baby pigs, and a few sows that were due to have their litter soon. Most of the pigs on the farm go directly to chefs, but there are four that are permanent residents. These are the only pigs that have names, one of them being Cosmo, described as the “laziest pig on the farm.” He certainly played the part, sprawled out in the mud. Completing the spectrum was a boar with a temper, quite easily the most active pig on the farm. The breeds of pigs are older heritage breeds; Tamworth and Gloucestershire Old Spot (GOS) which are best raised on pasture and do not need a diet supplemented by antibiotics. 

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