All posts tagged: upstate New York


In the 1970s, each of the United States determined organic standards based on regional limitations and production practices. But the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 claimed too much variability existed across state lines, and by 2000, the USDA had developed standardized national organic certification standards. Now, disparities many consumers aren’t aware of exist among the quality of (and ethics behind) organic food available through farmers markets, directly from farms, and from big chain grocers. Fast forward a quarter of a century to 2017, and we’re left wondering who those labeling and certifying regulations protect: is it the consumers, local farmers and small businesses, or big organic corporations? And at what cost? The big question for everyone today is whether to certify or not – and why? Photo by Steve Carter, Social Strategist for Boomtown Table FOR FARMERS PRACTICING ABOVE AND BEYOND ORGANIC STANDARDS, THEY SAY LITTLE MOTIVATING INCENTIVE EXISTS FOR THEM TO CERTIFY – AND OUR INTERVIEWEES AGREED: IF ANYONE SHOULD BE UPHELD TO CERTIFICATION STANDARDS, IT IS THE FARMERS USING GMOS AND PESTICIDES IN THEIR GROWING.  …

Countdown to Upstate Social Sessions 2016 On October 15th

In just under a week, on October 15th, Upstate Social Sessions 2016 will be underway. During last year’s debut, I had the fun opportunity to moderate the panel that featured a few food industry professionals killing it in the social media sector. I caught up with Upstate Social Sessions’ and Boomtown Table‘s co-founder and friend, Leah Stacy to get the dish on this year’s big day and hear about why food industry professionals should be there this weekend. Garden Eats: Why should food industry professionals attend Upstate Social Sessions this year? Upstate Social Sessions: These days, everyone has two things in common: social media and eating. (OK, maybe not really… But pretty close.) Social media platforms are free (or low cost), highly effective advertising tools for folks in the food industry. A restaurant’s social media can be utilized for everything from new menu announcements to daily specials. Food trucks can update their whereabouts. Products can share photos and quotes from customers. Branding, of course, is a big deal as well. We’ll be covering several topics …

Hive Survival via Boomtown Table

The honey bee is in trouble. While researchers & scientists offer mixed data, we know that the world’s largest class of insecticides, neonicotinoids – along with Nosema ceranae, a microbial fungus – are two (controllable) environmental variables largely responsible for what is referred to as colony collapse disorder. Currently, more than 150 U.S. crops depend on pollinators with a USDA estimated worth of more than $10 billion per year. Since colony collapse syndrome first hit over ten years ago, home beekeepers have popped up hives to do their socially conscious part in maintaining bee survival. I depend on these little creatures to pollinate the ‘farmacopia’ of medicinal foods and plants I suggest to my patients and consume for personal wellness. Without them, I’d be out of a job. Read my full story at Boomtown Table here.

Before the First Frost, Eat Your Celosia

As the first frost approaches, you’re no doubt gifting extra tomatoes and peppers to the neighbors, blanching broccoli to pop into the freezer and wondering if you can drink enough green juice to deal with all of the kale varieties you decided to grow. Some will let the frost come, naturally petrifying their gardens until spring, while others start pulling and composting… Have you considered the edibles that may still be blooming in your flower garden? Celosia. Vibrant, wispy and still alive in your upstate New York gardens until the first frost. Belonging to the edible and ornamental amaranth family, celosia is characterized by a soft, wooly, flamed bloom or a fascinating, cockscomb tip. While bright celosia finds its (debatable) roots in Africa, it’s eaten throughout the world: South Americans, Chinese, Italians, Indians and Indonesians all enjoy the leafy greens and flowers… Story and recipe continues at Edible Finger Lakes here.

Visiting Rochester’s Brighton Farmer’s Market 

Fresh live foods + local vendors + spending $$$ locally + less fossil fuels + organic = Rochester’s Brighton Farmer’s Market.                This past Sunday, Kath, Milan and I strolled over to Rochester’s Brighton Farmer’s Market. Kath wanted to see her fave local growers and I wanted to meet more Rochestarians doing the local growing and food purveying thing… Win, win for both of us. As for Milan, her highlights were hot cocoa from the Java’s Coffee Truck and posting up in front of the band for dancey dance time! When I think about food and the experience I hope to appreciate surrounding it, Brighton’s Sunday market really steps up. The best way to bring food into your home if you don’t grow it yourself is when it’s still alive- the growers I met, along with our friend John of Bolton Farms all offer lush plant foods plucked-from-their-fields within hours of arrival. The W O R D S we live by were all present too… Non-GMO, organic, sustainable, local, biodynamic, certified by NOFA, grass-fed, free-pasture-raised, …