Chef David Allen of Latitude 44 Bistro will be preparing a buffet of food made from locally grown products for this year’s Food from the Farm, to be held Saturday, March 2 at the Plattsburgh City Gym.
PLATTSBURGH — In the North Country, locally produced food is available, even in the winter.
To prove it, Adirondack Harvest, a one-stop website for finding farms throughout the region, has teamed up with Cornell Co-operative Extension to put on the third annual Food from the Farm on Saturday, March 2 at the Plattsburgh City Gym.
Amy Ivy, executive director for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County, said past attendees will recognize many of the locally produced items, including meat, eggs, maple syrup, honey and local wine.
Some of the farmers participating in the event will have those items for sale, and some might even have storage vegetables on hand, products like kale and potatoes, which can be stored for long periods of time.
“The fact that we can have an event like this in March, the most challenging time of year for food production, shows how much we have in this region,” Ivy said. “It shows people the diversity of food they can have.”
A pre-season farmers market is just a small part of what Food from the Farm is all about, though.
Information is the driving force of the event, and it will be readily available.
Attendees will be able to get educated on things like gardening, nutrition and Community Supported Agriculture, a program some farmers offer that allows people to pay a set price for a weekly share of farm fresh products. It's like paying one lump sum for a year's grocery bill.
Ivy said CSAs have experienced an increased demand in the North Country, and that she wants more people to understand how they work.
She also explained that the underlying theme behind Food from the Farm is twofold—it gives people a chance to meet local farmers who produce a variety of different goods, and it also shows the farmers that there is a demand for locally produced food in the North Country.
“The local food movement is gradually increasing here,” Ivy said. “More people want to know where their food comes from.”
The reason, Ivy said, is that when people buy local food it is fresher, it tastes better, it supports the local economy and people take peace of mind knowing that the farming practices the farmers growing their food employ.
And this year, there will be a little more than peace of mind to entice people to buy local—there will be tastings of food made from locally raised products for tasting.
Chef David Allen of Latitude 44 Bistro in Plattsburgh, will be assembling a buffet bursting with dishes prepared using locally produced food for everyone to sample.
Allen is not a stranger to keeping things close to home—he has been cooking for 15 years and incorporates locally grown products into his food at Latitude 44 Bistro as often as he can.
“I go to the farmers market every weekend (in Plattsburgh) and purchase a lot of my herbs and vegetables there in the summer,” Allen said. “In the wintertime, I use companies that are more local to the Northeast.”
One of those companies, Sid Wainer and Son, located in Massachusetts, grows vegetables year-round in greenhouses.
Ordering from them doesn't decrease Allen's carbon footprint as much as when he shops at the local farmers market, but it is still better than buying tomatoes from California, he said.
“Farmer Joe down the street is going to have a little pride and care about what he's doing and who he's selling to, because he's selling to his neighbors and his friends and his family,” Allen said. “Even though he's not having as high a profit margin as other people, he cares about what he's doing.”
Allen said he is waiting to see what the farmers give him to work with before he can put together the Food from the Farm buffet, but he is expecting to offer salads, hearty stews, desserts, cheeses and jams.
“You're going to see a lot of the apples and the maple syrups and the root vegetables,” Allen said. “I've also talked to some people that produce lamb and goat, so I will probably try to do a goat stew.”
Even though the specifics are uncertain, Allen said the samplings will run the gamut of menu offerings—from appetizers to desserts.
“I want to show people what can be done with the different items that are available right now,” Allen said. “I only serve to my customers what I'd serve to my family.”
If you go:
Food from the Farm will be held from 2-5 p.m. at the Plattsburgh City Gym, 52 U.S. Oval, Plattsburgh.
Admission is $10 per adult and $5 for ages 5-12, with a $30 maximum per family.
Tickets can be purchased online, at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County office, or at the event.
For more information, visit blogs.cornell.edu/cceclintoncounty/, or contact Amy Ivy at 561-7450 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find the farm nearest you, visit adirondackharvest.com