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News stories tagged with "locavore"

Aubertine sees promise in local agriculture

With the legislative session wrapped up, state leaders are assessing where they've come and where they plan to go.

Agriculture commissioner Darrel Aubertine has been on the job for little more than half a year, after losing his Senate seat to Republican Patty Ritchie.

Aubertine is a lifelong farmer from Cape Vincent in Jefferson County. He's shifted from dairy farming to raising beef cows. And he tells David Sommerstein his sons are taking over.  Go to full article

Man With a Pan: fathers taking charge in the kitchen

A fun new book presents 34 men who proudly take charge of the family kitchen.
It's called A Man With a Pan, with the subtitle Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for Their Families.

According to the publisher's press release, fathers now account for nearly a third of family-cooking time. That's up from 5% in 1965.

The book is edited by John Donohue of the New Yorker magazine. He does most of the cooking for his own family, his wife and two daughters.

There are big names among his 34 contributors: chefs Mark Bittman and Mario Batali, as well as authors Stephen King, Jim Harrison and Mark Kurlansky. But the book also includes interviews with lower profile guys, regular fathers across the country.

Brett Thacher, a cooking Dad from Canton, is one of them. He was in the NCPR studios this morning to talk with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Tender seedlings may need water.
Tender seedlings may need water.

TLC for the young garden

It's a challenging year, no doubt about it, for gardeners and commercial growers -- and the plants they're tending. There may be too much water in some places, but not enough in others, after a series of dry, sunny and windy days, and a couple of nights in the 30s. Cornell Cooperative extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has some reminders about garden TLC in her weekly chat with Martha Foley.
And they preview workshops on using local food, homegrown or not, starting next week in Sacket's Harbor, Canton and Plattsburgh.  Go to full article
Author Ben Hewitt
Author Ben Hewitt

Lessons from "The Town That Food Saved"

Tonight and tomorrow, community leaders from around the region gather for the 9th Annual North Country Symposium. They'll try to learn lessons from a hardscrabble town in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

About ten years ago, people in Hardwick started opening businesses related to local agriculture. Today, there are community-supported restaurants, a tofu maker, a seed company, fruit, vegetable, and meat growers, a food coop, and a not-for-profit composting agency. Hardwick's been featured on national TV, in the New York Times, and many other newspapers.

Author Ben Hewitt wrote about the Hardwick revival in his book, The Town That Food Saved. He's the keynote speaker at the Symposium.

Hewitt told David Sommerstein part of Hardwick's success is owned to a spirit of collaboration and a diversified entrepreneurial economy.  Go to full article
Brattleboro's winter market [credit: Nancy Cohen]
Brattleboro's winter market [credit: Nancy Cohen]

Winter farmers markets expand

Farmers markets have seen huge growth in the past three decades. They give consumers access to local food, sometimes at a lower price. And farmers can sell without a middleman getting a cut.

A growing number of markets now run through the entire winter. The state agriculture department says New York has 75 markets that run December through March. None of those, however, are in the North Country. Check out today's related story to find out why.

First, a visit to a winter farmers market, from WNPR's Nancy Cohen in southern Vermont.  Go to full article

Celebrating a "local" Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a great opportunity to savor a real harvest meal, even given the North Country's growing season. Martha Foley and Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy inventory the menu possibilities. (And it isn't all root vegetables!)  Go to full article
Jesse Payne at a patch in Ottawa. Photo by Lucy Martin.
Jesse Payne at a patch in Ottawa. Photo by Lucy Martin.

"Landless" vegetable patch grows in Ottawa

Community Supported, or Shared, Agriculture - CSAs for short - are growing, spreading even into cities, where garden space is at a premium.

Customers typically sign up to buy shares of the season's production. They get fresh, local produce while growers get improved financial security. Sellers and buyers often enjoy getting to know each other on a personal level too.

A landless CSA in Ottawa has just finished its third season. Using a website, social media and word-of-mouth publicity, VegetablePatch founder Jesse Payne has found a ready supply of urban homeowners with yard space they're willing to share. Payne says there's real excitement about combining good eating with better land use.

Lucy Martin got an on-site tour to learn more.  Go to full article

Keeping in touch with The Garden Plot

NCPR and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, have been keeping track of gardens across the North Country in a project we call The Garden Plot.

At midsummer, our plot has grown, just like the gardens we've been watching. Martha Foley talks with TAUNY's Jill Breit about what we've learned from gardeners about growing vegetables and collaborating on the internet.  Go to full article
Chef Steve Mitton at Murray Street Restaurant, part of Ottawa's bustling food scene. Photo: Lucy Martin
Chef Steve Mitton at Murray Street Restaurant, part of Ottawa's bustling food scene. Photo: Lucy Martin

Canadian brings a European sensibility to the "new" eat local movement

Last week, David Sommerstein reported that a shortage of meat cutters and slaughterhouses is a limiting factor in the growing trend to eat local. He visited New York State's only certification program for butchers, at SUNY Cobleskill. (see link below)

Turns out Americans across the country are learning the details about how their meat is butchered. Many self-described foodies are taking classes where they work with experienced butchers, donning aprons and using cleavers, saws and hatchets to cut up slaughtered pigs and other animals.

Organizers say the classes indicate the public's growing interest in how the food they eat affects their health and the planet. They say that interest is driving more people to shop at farmers markets and even raise chickens in their backyards.

Canadian chef Steve Mitton, co-owner and head chef of Murray Street Restaurant in Ottawa's Byward Market, is part of that broad culinary movement.

Mitton's kitchen combines creativity with efficiency, using techniques he learned from butchers in Germany, where eat local is nothing new. He told Lucy Martin his apprenticeship was kind of an accident.  Go to full article

Getting more consumers to eat local

Over the next few days, farm leaders are taking a sort of local food road show across the North Country. Cornell Cooperative Extension is offering an "Eating Local Yet?" conference tomorrow in Plattsburgh, Friday in Canton, and Saturday in Watertown.

The goal is to persuade more consumers to buy local fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy. The keynote speaker is one of the pioneer's of the local food movement.

Jennifer Wilkins is nutritional science expert at Cornell University. She wrote the nation's first food guide tailored to regional eating in the 1990s. She told David Sommerstein processed foods that rely on commodity subsidies and a heavy carbon footprint dominate the supermarket and fuel America's obesity epidemic. Local produce, on the other hand, is fresh and better for you and the land.

"Eating Local Yet?" conference, which will be held tomorrow night in Plattsburgh, Friday night in Canton, and Saturday afternoon in Watertown. The event will provide contacts for local farmers, recipes to cook local produce and meat, and lessons on how to make your own sauerkraut, lard, and other foodstuffs. Pre-registration is required. Contact your local extension office to register. The fee is $10.  Go to full article

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