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Wednesday night brought a terrific thunder and wind storm here in East Central Alberta. Thursday morning I was greeted by clear skies and freshly washed roadways, as well as many branches down along the way. As I pause between in my research and digging into statistics about Flagstaff County I gaze out of my office window to the neighboring pasture across the road where most of the cattle herd have settled down in the grass to ruminate. The hillside is dotted with low slung bodies barely visible over the waving grass. In the pasture, next to the office, the horses have yet to appear. All is quiet there, where yesterday was quite a stir as this year’s crop of foals were loaded on a trailer and taken out to wean. The mares were less than pleased, and spent the rest of the day circling back to the gate where the truck had left the pasture with their foals. I wonder what the weekend will bring?

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.