red flower in barley headsThis blog was started as a way to keep my colleagues across NNY region updated with progress of a regional local foods project.  This project has since been completed and I have left my position at Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County.  But my interest in local food has not waned, nor has my desire to say something about it.  Granted my outlook has shifted a tad bit west and north as I have returned to my home province of Alberta, Canada.

Most recently I was facilitating a workshop on social media, and one of the participants mentioned that she had recently started a blog on WordPress, and since I was talking about how to manage your social media presence using Hootsuite could I please show her how to connect her WordPress Blog to Hootsuite.  And I realized that I had a WordPress blog that was sitting idle, not serving it’s purpose, although I still had something to say about the topic on which I started this blog.

So I have decided to reclaim my WordPress blog, I will retain the past postings but I will pull down the additional pages that referred to the regional project.  I hope if you had been following me you will continue to do so.  Who knows maybe we can learn something together.




If I had a dollar, for that manner a nickel for every time I have been asked that I could make some pretty impressive investments.  And unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question.  I have used several different ways to explain what is local and how it truly orbits around you–the customer.  But today as I was searching for some images to ‘show’ local I came across a Wordle created by someone else that was meant to do just that.

For those who aren’t familiar, a Wordle is a tag cloud or a word cloud that uses a weighted list of words to provide a visual design or depiction of a concept.  In this case it would be local food.  Which got me to thinking well, rather than use someone else’s visual depiction of local food (which is depicting what is local to them) why don’t I create my own Wordle for local food related to where I am located, which is in the Adirondack North Country of New York state.

And here is the result of my efforts.  Not too shabby for a first go.  And I learned something new while I went on this journey.  So check out my Local Food Wordle, are there words I missed or overlooked?  Send a comment or try to make up your own.

local food wordle

Finger Lakes Fresh, a division of Challenge Workforce Solutions, uses a workforce of employees with disabilities to provide high quality, local vegetables year round. Grown in a hydroponics greenhouse, Finger Lakes Fresh produce provides an environmentally friendly and healthy alternative to large-scale products shipped long distances. The organization plans to add to an 8,000 square foot Food Hub to their greenhouse operation. The new facility, to be located in Groton, NY, will purchase products from farmers in the region, and will then clean, process, package, and deliver them throughout New York State through the existing distribution network. The goal is a cost-effective system that will increase local food access, support farm stability and agricultural growth, and create over 35 new jobs.

According to the Finger Lakes Fresh website, the region has experienced an increased demand for local food, but there has not yet been an effective network for connecting the area’s farmers to customers. The use of a single ‘Hub’ in the food delivery system will save distribution time and thousands of gallons of fuel each year on transportation. The collaboration between Finger Lakes Fresh and farmers will also provide farmers with access to new markets, such as schools, healthcare facilities, businesses and food banks. As an added benefit, the new facility’s flash-freezer and dehydrator will extend the shelf-life of produce, making local food available year-round.

Construction on the new facility began last spring, and is scheduled to finish next month. Visit the Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub website for more information about the project.

There once were two apples, one grown in New York and one grown in New Zealand. Both apples were delivered to a New York grocer and purchased by consumers for a dollar each. The dollar from the New York apple was used by the grocer to the pay the distributor, who paid the New York farmer, who paid his farm staff, who bought movie tickets in New York, and the movie theatre paid contractors to renovate the building, and so on. The dollar from the New Zealand apple was used by the grocer to pay the distributor, who paid the importer, who paid the wholesaler. Along the first supply chain, the apple dollar from the locally owned New York farm recirculates and exponentially multiplies throughout the local economy. Conversely, part of the apple dollar from the New Zealand farm leaves New York when the businesses involved in bringing the apple to New York are paid. Those businesses are often owned by shareholders around the globe, and that portion of the apple dollar goes into global financial markets.  At the same time, New York loses out on all of the ways that money could have created growth in New York.  This phenomenon is called the multiplier effect.  Continue Reading »

Greek yogurt continues to grow in popularity and with that increased demand is the opportunity to Rebuilding New York’s Economy: A Farming Industry on the Rebound | wgrz.com.

CWK.ChildrenMeasuring.2008.12One of my fondest memories with my nephews and nieces was making individual pizzas with them.  It was one of the times my oldest sister was visiting the farm, and she brought her 4 children with her.  My brother lived on the farm with his wife and their 4 children.  The first 6 children were fairly close in age as you went down the line in either family.  My sister had went into town with my dad, leaving three of her four with my Mom and I at the farm.  Since their cousins were at Baba and Dido’s my brother’s oldest three came over to my parents house.  And the territorial squabbles soon commenced.  My mom and I had decided to make pizza for supper, to feed the entire family, and I got a brain storm to engage the kids in the process, but having them take part in preparing the toppings for the pizza, rolling out their dough and decorating their pizzas as well.

As I separated the kids evenly around the table and placed cutting boards, bowls, graters and knives at their work stations my Mom turned to me and said “Do you really think we should arm them?”  She had a point, given the fights that were taking place minutes before over a toy.  But thankfully, the kids were more interested in what toppings they could put on their pizza than maiming each other.  Continue Reading »

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.