31 August, 2010

Hudson Valley Green Festival Saturday in Staatsburgh

A one-day music, alternative energy, food and beverage festival at Staatsburgh State Historic Site in Staatsburg, NY.

Musical Acts include:
Blues Traveler
Donna the Buffalo
Amos Lee
BeauSoleil Band
John Brown's Body
The Duke and the King
and more! See the entire line up here!

15 National, Regional and Local Musical Artists on two stages
Alternative Sustainable Energy Pavilion
Food by Terrapin Catering & Local Beer Pavilion
Farmer's Market of Hudson Vally Products
Over twenty on-site vendors
Green Beans Kids Tent

For tickets and more info please visit

27 August, 2010

Homemade Herbal Medicine Workshop in New Paltz Sept 21!

The jury is still out as to what herb concoctions actually work. Fact is herbs are a food and should be treated like food. In the same way carrots assist with eye sight herbs should be included in the same realm and no longer thought of as mysterious of weird.
That in mind here is info from Hudson Valley Food Network's events calendar about a basic herbal medicine workshop I think is worthwhile. Take from it what you will. My herbal concoction for bronchitis, horehound, sage,basil and dried habanero tea worked wonders. It did not however get mixed during a full moon or some other so called magical evening!
Time: September 21, 2010 from 6pm to 7:30pm
Location: Phillies Bridge Farm Project
Street: 45 Phillies Bridge Rd.
City/Town: New Paltz
Website or Map: http://www.philliesbridge.org…
Phone: 845-256-9108
Event Type: workshop
Organized By: Phillies Bridge Farm Project
Workshop Description
In Basic Herbal Medicine Making Ashley Sapir Lathrop will teach participants how easy and fun it can be to make herbal preparations from plants from our own gardens or even the "weeds" in our yards. In this class she will demonstrate how to make herbal infusions, decoctions and how to create tinctures made from alcohol or vinegar. Ashley will talk about which of these preparations work best for particular situations and common health concerns. Everyone will create their own 2 oz. tincture to bring home.

Ashley Sapir Lathrop is an herbalist who lives in Gardiner. She grows or  gathers the herbs she uses to support her family's health throughout the seasons. She has studied with 7-Song, Matthew Wood and currently with Dina Falconi. Ashley teaches classes locally with the goal of empowering people to take charge of their own health using plants as their allies. The plant world offers abundant gifts and Ashley believes that by just learning a few local plants and their uses a person can improve and maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Workshop Fees:
$20 for members/$25 for non-members
Pre-registration required!

24 August, 2010

Join Me in Bringing a New Slow Food Chapter to the area

I know you like to garden because you read my little blog. I know you like to eat for the same reasons as well. Well how about going a step further and bring the ulimate foodie/locavore project a little closer to home?
Do you like, no love: fresh food, healthy food, homegrown food, sharing your love of same?
Read on then:

As I wrote a few days ago, I was very impressed by the the talk of slow Food USA's Joshua Viertel talk at the IGC in Chicago last week. Currently there is a chapter for the lower Hudson Valley, Saratoga and western Catskills but nothing for the always overlooked area of the upper Hudson Valley Greene/Columbia counties. I would add Northern Ulster, Northern Dutchess as well as southern Albany and Rennsalaer counties as well.
I am testing the waters to see if there is any interest in forming a chapter for this region. Several unique traits to the region:
1) A lot of poor rural and inner city (Hudson, Catskill) residents that could benefit from the slow food idea
2) Substantial number of  second home owners who seek fine local food at restaurants,  
3) Large talent base of professionals who live in the area to provide pool of talent to head up a chapter.
4) Greene/Columbia counties often overlooked as to being "members of the Hudson Valley or Capital Region
5) Large tracts of operating farmland to draw from
6) Potential huge win/win for the local grower and the local eater 
I am committed to do doing this over the next fewl months.
If you are interested please contact me a gsdraiss@aol.com

Organic Fertilzer on Track to Be Outlawed in New York

Yes indeed. The ever thinking thought provoking government in Albany has outlawed fertilizers coning phosphorous in fertilizers exceeding .5% in content. Phosphorous is deemed responsible for algae blooms in major water bodies. Many soils are already sufficient in phosphorous for necessary plant growth so the elimination of the element in chemical fertilizers is no big deal. However it will deal a death blow to organic fertilizers. Even compost has some phosphorous in it. Does this mean your backyard compost pile is at risk? Could be under give an inch take a foot process. It is very easy to rid a box of Miracle Gro of phosphorous. But to rid a glorious bag of organic plant food or bird guano of phosphorous is preposterous. Here is a comment from the state senator who voted in favor of this nonsense:
Especially take note of this line:Violators of the new law would receive a written warning and educational materials
Buffalo, NY – New York State Senator Antoine Thompson (D-parts of Erie & Niagara Counties) changes the Environmental Conservation Law regarding the amount of phosphorus used in household products.  

Senate bill S3780, sponsored by Thompson prohibits the sale or distribution of dish washing detergent containing more than 0.5% of phosphorus.  The bill, signed into law by Governor David Paterson on July 15th, also prohibits the application of phosphorus fertilizer on lawn or non-agricultural turf.
Studies show that one pound of phosphorus can produce 500 to 700 pounds of algae, which reduces oxygen in water, causing fish and shellfish to die.

Thompson calls excessive phosphorus a growing threat to our environment.   "By reducing levels of phosphorus entering the environment, communities could save significant cost, because they would not be required to install as much storm water treatment systems in impaired watersheds."

The amendment to the Environmental Conservation Law goes into effect January 2013.  Violators of the new law would receive a written warning and educational materials for the first violation. However, repeat offenders could be fined up to $250.00.

04 August, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Festival August 22th

Rogowski's Farm  Orange County, NY will be hosting their 6th annual heirloom tomato festival on Sunday, August 22nd from 11-6. Cool thing is the admission is affordable at only $3 per person and kids under 15 FREE!!!!! That leaves a little bread in the wallet to splurge on some of dem cool d'maters. Another thing I like about this festival is the hours. For once someone gets it. I do not attend events that are heavily advertised and crowded that only run four hours.  (I was once saw a very popular church supper that advertised hours from 4:30-6PM, 1.5 hours to eat besides 10's of others? NO WAY)
This one runs most of the day giving crowded schedules a chance to break free and enjoy some locally grown produce.

My Garden How To Videos Now Online

Hello gardeners: Just as I picked my first tomatoes of the season I found out my How To Videos are finally up on the web site at Adams. 
Though late blight seems to be held at bay this season early blight has hit my tomato patch. I will control it with a sulphur or neem oil spray for now.
Time to start hanging up those bunches of herbs in the garage to dry. Tie them tightly as the stems will shrink when they lose all that water content. It is easy to do and well worth the effort. Just look at the price of dried herbs in the markets. Basil especially can run $16 to $20 per pound alone. I do not believe what I read when it comes to what herbs do not dry well. many say cilantro is best fresh. I like it dry as well since it seems less potent.
I plan on bunching herbs by their intended use. For instance for my annual bought of bronchitis I am combining basil, horehound, lemon balm, and gray sage in one batch. when dry I will crush up the leaves and place them into a jar labeled cold and flu. For winter Italian cooking: parsley, oregano, basil, marjoram, chives etc.
Bunching herbs by use makes it easy in the winter to just grab the jar and shake. What a hassle going through the cabinets looking over thirty or more jars of herbs just to find 5-6 you need. Remember gardening should be fun not just THYME consuming.