Browsing CategoryFarms

hops2

Originally, this post was going to be about locally grown hops, and what Long Island breweries were doing with them. But after talking with a handful of people in the industry — mainly brewers and hop farmers — I was left with more questions than answers. The craft beer industry is growing at a rapid rate, that’s no secret, but can New York farmers keep up with the demand for local ingredients? You may wonder why it matters. If you are a microbrewery it might not at all. Hops and grain will always be available from sources around the world, sources that are consistent, cost-efficient, and allow breweries to function and brew year-round. The importance of ingredients being grown in our state comes into play as more New York based breweries apply for Farm Brewery licenses. Farm Brewery licenses just started being issued this year. Hundreds of applications are pending and…

coffeepotcellars

  Coffee Pot Cellars, winemaker Adam Suprenant’s private label, will open a tasting room at 31855 Main Road in Cutchogue, just east of Peconic Bay Winery on the opposite side of the road. Suprenant, who is also winemaker at Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards, launched the brand in 2011. “The Coffee Pot Cellars business model has always included plans for a tasting room. Together with my fiancee Laura Klahre, the owner/beekeeper of Blossom Meadow, we have been looking to open a retail outlet to market my wine as well as her honey, beeswax candles crayons and lip balm for the past two years,” Suprenant told me in an email. “We tried to buy a commercial property last year but that fell through so we decided to wait a year and rent instead. As we both do all the work for our small companies, it is difficult for us to commit the considerable time…

Barn at the Oles Farm. Photo by Christa Glennie Seychew.

I became acquainted with the Oles family when I was in third grade, when their youngest daughter, Pam, was my classmate. We bonded over a love of digging in the dirt during recess, and subsequently I made many childhood memories at their beautiful farm in Corfu, New York. I ate their fresh strawberries every year on my birthday in June; I drizzled their maple syrup on my pancakes. As I grew up I watched the Oles Farm develop a strong reputation in Western New York; as I became more involved in Buffalo’s food scene, I began to see their products on the menus of some of the best restaurants in the city. I saw their farm become a place of education for chefs, student groups, and anyone interested in sustainable farming. I saw their Promised Land CSA become one of the largest and most successful in the area. I had…

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A farm tour of Chautauqua county this weekend, organized and led by Feed Your Soul founder and Buffalo Spree Food Editor Christa Glennie Seychew, brought the region’s incredible farm scene to life for forty-five Buffalonians with a visit to a cider mill, two family farms, and a winery, as well as two farm-to-table dinners by Western New York’s most renowned chefs. “This is the 5th anniversary of this tour, and it’s absolutely my favorite event of the year,” said Seychew at the start of the tour. Seychew’s company advancing the local food movement, called Feed Your Soul, hosted the all-day event. We began in Jamestown At Busti Cider Mill, where we had the chance to see an old-fashioned cider mill and press that the owners, Bob and Judi Schulz, moved from Syracuse 30 years ago and use to this day. It was amazing watching the machine in action, and the…

Burger

It’s not quite as adventurous as offal, but there’s something kind of wrong and taboo about eating your juicy burger in front of other cows. It seems rude. After all, the sandwich you’re enjoying used to be their friend. But in a world where *not* eating local is virtually a felony, it was only a matter of time until the North Fork would have access to neighborhood red meat. A region with an abundance of produce, seafood, and wine grown in our backyards would eventually need more protein to balance out the food pyramid or food plate or whatever they call it these days. Beef could join Browder’s Birds on the table. But who had the time, excess land or ambition to raise cattle? Luckily for us that person is Russ McCall. McCall Wines in Cutchogue is well known for their pinot noir and their passion for the preservation of the North Fork. Now that they’ve begun to raise…

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McCollum Orchards hosted an old-fashioned harvest party this week to enlist the helping hands of their Niagara County neighbors, willing homebrewers in search of “U-Pick” hops, and any folks interested in experiencing the farm’s first commercial hop harvest. As guests helped owners Rich and Bree Woodbridge cut down Cascade bines and pluck hop cones, then sort them and lay them out on drying racks –– all in 90-degree heat –– the community got a taste of the life of a hop farmer. They also got a taste of banana bread, homemade brownies, pie, hot dogs, and a fresh batch of Wet Frank, a version of Community Beer Works’s Frank Pale Ale wet-hopped with McCollum Centennials, and the homebrewing process itself thanks to a step-by-step demonstration by local homebrewer Weston Cross. Writing about beer is almost as easy as drinking it, so it’s nice to get into the trenches once in…

farm

My husband is a pretty low energy guy. Mets baseball (even when they stink), air conditioning, and sleeping later than 7 a.m. are pretty much all he needs in a weekend. He’s not loud or hyper or excitable about most things. So when you spy the pair of us in late June do-si-doing around a gravel covered parking lot, high fiving and screeching like six year olds on a roller coaster, you have to know the inspiration for our behavior must be pretty damn special. We didn’t hit the Mega Millions. It’s something better. I present to you: The Blueberry Cream Pie from Briermere Farms in Riverhead, New York. What makes this dessert so special? Nothing specific, I guess. Other than its perfection. As you approach Briermere, you aren’t aware you are in the presence of greatness. The simple green and white sign beckons you from Sound Avenue and you pop in ‘just for a second.’ Instantly impressed,…

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There has been a lot in the local press about Goodale Farms as of late.  A year ago, in May 2011, the farm received a license to start making and selling cheese.  Just five months later, they had already won first place in their categories at the American Dairy Goat Association’s 2011 national convention. Winning awards just after a few months in production is quite impressive for cheesemakers new to the business. Goodale Farms in Aquebogue places a strong emphasis on milk quality and the natural farming practices required to support it.  They don’t use pesticides and the fertilizer is primarily made of compost mixed with manure from their own animals.  Practices such as this are incredibly demanding, but the results outweigh the effort for most who are dedicated to sustainable farming. In addition to award-winning cheese, the farm also sells a variety of products from their land such as…

Piggery-Ithaca

“Do you want to meet the butchers?” Heather asked me as we rounded the corner of the kitchen. In the middle of next room two men intricately worked knives into the ribs of a pig, severed in half and propped on a table. Its skin was carnation-pink, and its bones were clean as a whistle and creamy white. Yes. I wanted to meet the butchers. Heather Sanford and Brad Marshall never intended to run a full-scale butcher shop and deli in one of the Finger Lakes’ most vegetarian-friendly towns. They started their organic pig farm seven years ago with the most modest of goals: to raise a few dozen pigs and make artisanal charcuterie on a small scale. That was then. Now, with a storefront called The Piggery on Route 13 in Ithaca, a CSA and 500 pigs, they’ve grown. A lot. “Brad just does everything hog-wild,” Heather said with a wave…

carmelos

By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Editor Foodies who pride themselves on eating local have found Carmelo’s Restaurant in Lewiston, NY as a destination for some of the best “farm-to-table” cuisine in the region. Never before has that term been more literal than with the restaurant’s “Butcher’s Supper.” Chef Carmelo Raimondi and sous chef Bruce Wieszala have created a three-course feast featuring a suckling pig from T Meadow Farm in Lockport, NY as the main attraction. “We’re breaking new ground here,” says Raimondi. And he’s doing it with style. When I was lucky enough to share in the first of such dinners, our main course was met with cheers and applause by the other diners as the chefs carried the whole roasted pig through the restaurant. By the time they set it down the rest of the staff had gathered around with other patrons taking pictures and admiring the sight. Raimondi has…