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Local Farm & Food News

Explore the articles below for local food and farm news coming out of the Hudson Valley!

Recent Articles

  • The New York State Farm Worker Housing Loan Program The New York State Farm Worker Housing Loan Program July 14, 2017

    Producers may apply for up to $100,000/year for farm worker housing.View Farm Credit East video on farm worker housing loans.The New York State Farm Worker Housing Loan Program (FWH) is a special initiative for New York producers to improve existing housing or to construct/purchase new housing for farm workers. Farm Credit East recently released a short video about this program featuring Mike Haycook, Farm Credit East vice president and coordinator of the NYS FWH program.“The New York State Farm Worker Housing loan program is a great partnership between the state of New York and Farm Credit East,” said Mike Haycook. “It helps meet the needs of agricultural producers to provide adequate housing for their farm labor.”“It is also a revolving loan program, so every year as payments are made back into the program, those funds become available for other farmers to use in future years to do additional improvements or purchases,” continued Haycook.Agricultural producers may apply to borrow up to $100,000 per year for farm worker housing projects. An upfront, one-time fee is applied to cover administrative costs. There are no other fees or interest applied for the term of the loan. The loans are repaid in equal, annual payments of...

  • Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp Receives Leadership Award Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp Receives Leadership Award June 17, 2017

    Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp Receives Leadership AwardBy Kristen Warfield, The Valley TableCITING HUDSON VALLEY AGRIBUSINESS Development Corporation’s “leadership and vision strengthening local agriculture,” Janet Crawshaw and Jerry Novesky, publishers of The Valley Table, present The Valley Table’s 2017 Farm-to-Table Leadership Award to HVADC Executive Director Todd Erling. “It’s rare that the words ‘agriculture’ and ‘business’ are uttered in the same sentence,” Crawshaw noted, “but since 2007, HVADC has worked with more than 180 ag-related businesses. Its list of success stories reads like a Who’s Who of signature Hudson Valley businesses, including Hudson Valley Fresh, Fishkill Farms and Stone Barns Center for Agriculture.” The award was presented at an event marking the kickoff of The Valley Table’s Spring Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. The annual award was established in 2013 to recognize leadership in building and promoting regional farm-to-table connections. Previous recipients include Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the Culinary Institute of America; Sam Simon of Hudson Valley Fresh; John Novi, chef/owner of the Depuy Canal House; and Peter Kelly, chef/owner of Xaviars Restaurant Group....

  • Yogurt—As the Greeks Do It Yogurt—As the Greeks Do It June 17, 2017

    Yogurt—As the Greeks Do ItLocal Dairy Farm Hand-Makes Greek YogurtBy Kristen Warfield, The Valley TableTHE EVER-SO-PETITE sweet Greek yogurt jars from Argyle Cheese Farmer are redefining grocery store Greek. Hand-crafted at the Randles’ family dairy farm that dates back to the 1860s, the New York State Fair award-winning whole-milk yogurt is what a small-batch, creamy and traditional Greek yogurt should be. “Commercial Greek yogurts typically can’t be made with whole, unhomogenized milk—it clogs up the machinery,” yogurt maker Marge Randles notes. “Ours is made by hand, just as the Greeks intended.”Offered in a variety of flavors (including strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, maple, raspberry, honey and chocolate mousse), Argyle Cheese Farmer yogurts are packaged in recyclable 4.35-ounce glass jars that Randles discovered at a farmers’ market eight years ago. After finally tracking them down at a French glass company, the jars have become an undeniably cute signature. “The glass packaging is something that sets us apart, and when people see and taste it for the first time, they remember it,” Randles says.While the sweet Greek yogurt is a staple at upper Hudson Valley farmers’ markets and at Whole Foods (Albany), it and the company’s cheeses, regular yogurts and cheese spreads are making their...

  • The Green Onion The Green Onion June 17, 2017

    The Green OnionBlack Dirt Native Brings Local Farm and Food Market to ChesterBy Kristen Warfield / Photos by Eva Deitch, The Valley TableHILLARY LINDSAY GREW UP IN the heart of the Hudson Valley’s black dirt region, where she learned a core philosophy about food at an early age: Where it comes from matters. At 14, she was a regular customer at family friend Guy Jones’ Blooming Hill Farm. By 18, she was alongside him as an employee, spending time out in the fields and simultaneously cultivating a locavore mindset. “I was doing a little bit of everything there,” she says. “I fell in love with it.”Now 26, Lindsay is ringing in her second season of business at The Green Onion, a farm market and holistic community center she opened in the village of Chester last summer. With a lineup of educational workshops and events to complement the market’s array of local produce and products, the bustling agro-center has become a magnet for locals interested in food, sustainability and the arts. “I’ve had this long-standing dream of one day owning a homestead bed-and-breakfast on a farm where people can learn about agriculture, art and have good food,” Lindsay says. “The Green...

  • Nancy Fuller's Farmhouse Rules Nancy Fuller's Farmhouse Rules June 17, 2017

    Nancy Fuller's Farmhouse RulesA Valley Table InterviewBy Janet Crawshaw and Jerry NoveskyNANCY FULLER IS A RURAL COLUMBIA COUNTY farm girl who never strayed far from home. She was a farmer, then for 30 years a caterer. She is a self-described obsessive antique collector. Her grandmother (‘Grammy Carl’) taught her about life and how to cook.Gracious, hospitable, funny, sassy—it’s easy to see why television audiences enjoy watching her. Yet, this 68-year-old credits a life spent in rural Columbia County among farmers and townsfolk with shaping her ethic and values—things she is trying to pass on to her 13 grand children. An only child, married four times, mother of six, television personality—these events and circumstances brought their own challenges and rewards that she’s used to develop a philosophy spiked with humor and a sardonic wit.Nancy Fuller: I was born 68 years ago and grew up on a farm. I think I was blessed to have that opportunity. It was such a different world than what we’re accustomed to today. You were exposed to so much—the reality of life, as opposed to the cocoon that we are today. My father was an only child and his mother was an only child, and I was an...

  • Les Collines Jellies and Preserves Les Collines Jellies and Preserves June 17, 2017

    Les Collines Jellies and PreservesBy Kristen Warfield, The Valley TableSOMETIMES, YOU NEED TO go outside and pick some fruit. That’s what pulled writer Brigid Dorsey to her backyard crabapple trees a few years back, and soon enough, small jars of radiant, garnet-colored jelly filled the kitchen of her rural Columbia County home. Fifty pounds of hand-picked crabapples later, Dorsey’s first flavor of les collines preserves was born.Now, four years since the brand premiered, Dorsey offers 16 varieties (and counting) of homemade, small-batch preserves. From the popular Meyer lemon rosemary jelly to the savory heirloom tomato butter, les collines flavor profiles break the breakfast-only stereotype. “Jelly is extremely versatile,” Dorsey notes. “One of my goals is to show people how fun it can be.”French for “the hills” and named after her late mother Coline, the brand name pays homage to multiple other aspects of Dorsey’s life. “Living where I do is incredibly special—I love taking in the misty fog in the morning light and enjoying the seasons,” Dorsey says. “les collines is very much of the place that it was made, and of what inspires me: the land, local ingredients and the farmers.”les collines jelly and preserves are available at many mid- and upper-Hudson...

  • Fishkill Farms Releases First Hard Cider Line Fishkill Farms Releases First Hard Cider Line June 17, 2017

    Fishkill Farms Releases First Hard Cider LineBy Kristen Warfield, The Valley TableFor the past eight years, Fishkill Farms owner Josh Morgenthau has carefully (and quietly) made his own small-batch hard cider out of nothing more than passion. “Cider making, to me, has always been captivating,” Morgenthau says. “There’s an incredible amount of history and tradition wrapped up in it. When I made my first batch back in 2008, I realized I had something special.”In September 2016, Morgenthau moved headlong into the local craft beverage scene with Fishkill Farm’s first cider release, Treasury Cider. More than 30 varieties of apples from the farm’s orchard—including Ashmead’s Kernel, a rarely grown variety—are used to create four distinct flavors: a lightly sweet and sparkling semi-dry; a sparkling dry with floral and fruit aromas; a dry, non-sparkling heirloom blend (reminiscent of white wine); and an unfiltered, bottle-fermented dry. “The plan is to stick with those four and let each season’s harvests express themselves within,” Morgenthau says.Cider production opens a new chapter for the farm, but it also pays homage to its 100-year history. Morgenthau’s grandfather, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., started the orchard in 1914. He later went on to a career of public service, most notably serving...

  • The Lady Farmer: Ruby Duke, Charcutier & Co-owner of Raven & Boar Farm The Lady Farmer: Ruby Duke, Charcutier & Co-owner of Raven & Boar Farm June 09, 2017

    BY LAURA SILVERMAN, Edible Hudson ValleyRuby Duke describes herself as “persistent,” but that’s only one of many traits essential to being a farmer, charcutier, designer, mother of two and wife. Charcutier? you ask. That’s the pork butcher responsible for preparing the bacon, sausages, pâtés and terrines we know (and love) as charcuterie. In partnership with her husband, Sather—also her collaborator on the design of interiors and furniture for their formerly Brooklyn-based company, hivemindesign—Ruby runs Raven & Boar farm in East Chatham, NY. Since 2009, they have been raising heritage-breed pigs in a woodland setting and are now building a facility on the farm, one of very few certified kitchens in the area, to scale up production of their Hudson Valley Charcuterie.“It’s inspiring for us to know that we can raise the animals, make the products and sell them ourselves,” says Ruby, “but it’s also deeply meaningful that this hard work creates a sustainable model for our farm and family.”This journey has taught her how difficult it is to make something from source to finished product; the ongoing challenge is to communicate its singular value to customers. Luckily, those smoked pork rillettes speak for themselves....

  • Morning Ag Clips: Organic farms keep growing Morning Ag Clips: Organic farms keep growing May 27, 2017

    Organic farms keep growing 2016 count of organic operations shows growth in U.S. marketOrganic certification is an “opt-in” voluntary standard that is managed through a public-private partnership. The USDA accredits and oversees approximately 80 businesses and State governments that directly certify organic farms and businesses. (Michael Coghlan, Flickr/Creative Commons)WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced new data indicating the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with 24,650 certified organic operations in the United States, and 37,032 around the world.The 2016 count of U.S. certified organic farms and businesses reflects a 13 percent increase between the end of 2015 and 2016, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the organic sector. The number of certified operations has increased since the count began in 2002 and this is the highest growth rate since 2008.Organic certification is an “opt-in” voluntary standard that is managed through a public-private partnership. The USDA accredits and oversees approximately 80 businesses and State governments that directly certify organic farms and businesses. USDA provides a number of educational resources to help organic producers access this growing market. These include interactive videos that help candidate farmers understand how to get and maintain organic certification, and fact sheets that...

  • Hudson Valley Bounty member Hudson Street Cafe featured in The Valley Table Hudson Valley Bounty member Hudson Street Cafe featured in The Valley Table April 07, 2017

    Movin' On UpBy Colleen Stewart, The Valley Table DONNA HAMMOND CHOSE TO RELOCATE her much-loved Hudson Street Cafe to a completely different venue when her lease expired late last year. The new spot—a busy, commercial stretch of Rt. 52 in the Town of Newburgh—is a far cry from the quiet, sidewalk cafe-style setting of Cornwall-on-Hudson, but Hammond sees good things happening with the move.“I wanted it to be a really nice space, a space I could be proud of,” she says, adding that one significant change will be a beer and wine license that “will give us more opportunities to work with local producers, especially the breweries, wineries and cideries in the area. I am really looking forward to expanding our reach.”Hammond stresses her menu will remain unchanged, though she is looking to the new neighborhood to help her shape future menu decisions. (The most requested item thus far is the return of dinner service; the new, 50-seat dining room is currently open only for breakfast and lunch.) Why Newburgh? “After Mike Kelly opened Liberty Street Bistro right alongside other great spots like Ms. Fairfax, I realized they had found their niches,” she notes. “With this new location, I want to do the...

  • Black Magic, Hudson Valley’s Special Soil - Edible Hudson Valley Black Magic, Hudson Valley’s Special Soil - Edible Hudson Valley April 03, 2017

    BY ANISSE GROSS / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAMON JACOBY | MARCH 20, 2017Edible Hudson Valley no. 33 Spring 2017Standing out here, you might not know you were just 90 minutes from Manhattan. Nestled in the heart of New York’s Orange County, the “Black Dirt Region” holds roughly 26,000 acres of the most fertile soil in the country. This miracle soil, black as night, is what remains of a glacial lake that melted 12,000 years ago. It’s illegal to sell and coveted by the farmers who understand its gifts.A DEEP DISCOVERYInitially called “The Drowned Lands,” the swampy bog left by the melted lake wasn’t utilized by the first wave of British and Dutch immigrants, because they were unaware that a gold mine of mineral-rich black dirt lay beneath. In her book about the region, Pride and Produce, Cheetah Haysom writes that around 1880, Polish and Volga German immigrants arrived and “recognized the swamp bed as chernozem, the dark, humus-rich soil of their own home country.” They drained the valley through a system of hand-dug ditches, revealing the black soil, transforming it into the fertile farming region it is today.Picture a bed of crushed Oreos. Jet black in color yet light in texture, the soil’s wow-factor is not...

  • Farming riskier under climate change - —University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Science Farming riskier under climate change - —University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Science April 03, 2017

    Scientists predict that farming as we know it will become more difficult.URBANA, Ill. — Scientists the world over are working to predict how climate change will affect our planet. It is an extremely complex puzzle with many moving parts, but a few patterns have been consistent, including the prediction that farming as we know it will become more difficult.Scientists infer the impact on agriculture based on predictions of rainfall, drought intensity, and weather volatility. Until now, however, the average farmer may not have been able to put predictions like these into practice. A new University of Illinois study puts climate change predictions in terms that farmers are used to: field working days.“Everything else flows from field working days,” says U of I and USDA Agricultural Research Service ecologist Adam Davis. “If you’re not able to work, everything else gets backed up. Workable days will determine the cultivars, the cropping system, and the types of pest management practices you can use. We’re simply asking, ‘Can you get in to plant your crop?'”In a previous study, the group developed models that reliably translated past climate data into field working days for Illinois. In the new study, they coupled those models with climate change...

  • Coalition supports Farm to Food Bank bill Coalition supports Farm to Food Bank bill March 24, 2017

    Bill would encourage greater donations of fresh, local food to New Yorkers A broad coalition of New York legislators, farmers, anti-hunger and environmental advocates asked Governor Cuomo to step up to the dinner plate and fund the Farm to Food Bank bill (S.1606/A.6192) in the final New York State budget. The group held a joint press conference on the bill at the Capitol in Albany.The bipartisan legislation, which has tremendous support in the legislature, would provide a refundable tax credit to farmers of 25% of the wholesale value of donated food up to $5,000 annually. The money would partially offset the costs of labor, packaging and transportation needed to get fresh food from the fields to regional food banks and pantries across the state to benefit New Yorkers in need.The legislation has twice passed both chambers of the legislature, led by the bill’s sponsors, Senator Funke and Assemblyman Moya, only to see it vetoed by the Governor. While he expressed support for the intent of the bill, the Governor’s main objection was that it was passed outside of the budget process. This year, the bill has once again passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion, and it was included in both...

  • App helps assess disease severity App helps assess disease severity March 18, 2017

    'Estimate' connects you with a database of photographs of diseased leaves - ...

  • Apple Freeze Risk Tool Apple Freeze Risk Tool March 18, 2017

    Tool gives freeze warning for apple farmers who may want to take action....

  • Hudson Valley CSA Coalition & Hudson River Exchange launch CSA fairs in three regional cities; more to come Hudson Valley CSA Coalition & Hudson River Exchange launch CSA fairs in three regional cities; more to come March 17, 2017

    Spring is in the air! On the heels of this year’s CSA Sign-Up Day, a multi-faceted promotional campaign that served to launch the Hudson Valley CSA Coalition, the Hudson River Exchange has announced a series of CSA fairs throughout the region, beginning on Saturday, March 18, in Hudson, NY.  ...

  • Hudson Valley Bounty member Raven & Boar featured in Edible Manhattan Hudson Valley Bounty member Raven & Boar featured in Edible Manhattan March 03, 2017

    Hudson Valley Bounty member Raven & Boar have a new cookbook! Take a look!...

  • State Joins Nine Pin Ciderworks for Annual Event to Promote New York Farm Cideries State Joins Nine Pin Ciderworks for Annual Event to Promote New York Farm Cideries February 20, 2017

    Hudson Valley Bounty member Samascott Orchards was the original apple supplier to Nine Pine Ciderworks. Happy third anniversary Nine Pin, from all of us at HVB!...

  • Back to the Future Farm, HVADC's Incubator Without Walls client, featured in Edible Manhattan. Back to the Future Farm, HVADC's Incubator Without Walls client, featured in Edible Manhattan. January 30, 2017

    Back to the Future Farm, HVADC's Incubator Without Walls client, featured in Edible Manhattan....

  • Food and Farm Business Accelerator (FFBA) Networking Event Food and Farm Business Accelerator (FFBA) Networking Event January 30, 2017

    In early January 2017, participants in the inaugural FFBA class met for a networking event to introduce them to possible business partners and mentors. ...