One the of things you hear about eating local and supporting local farms is that in Upstate NY it is difficult to source products year round. Changes in technology and the efforts of some of our small farms have started to change that perception, and it is a very good thing. All of that aside, there is no better time of year to enjoy the local harvest and everything it has to offer than in September.
Local farms have a bounty of foods for you to enjoy this time of year. From sweet corn to pumpkins to fresh apples and crisp greens, the options are many. Just this week I’ve enjoyed many local products on my dinner plate. From the venison chili I made last weekend (locally grown and shot venison by the way) to the giant tomatoes and crisp salad greens that I’ve been enjoying as a side dish, the choices are varied and delicious.
This coming weekend you have many opportunities to celebrate the harvest. Critz Farms in Cazenovia is open for the season and this weekend hosts not only the Tour de Farms event on Saturday, but the Big Toys for Big Girls and Boys event too.
I love this event as it takes me back to my youth when dad would take my brother and I to Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls. We would spend all day climbing in and out of tractors. Green ones, red ones, blue ones, we didn’t discriminate in the least. Now you can give your kids the same experience this weekend at Critz Farms, while enjoying apple fritters, hard cider, fresh cider, donuts and more!
Wolf Oak Acres in Oneida opens for the 2012 season the weekend. If you are a teacher, you and a guest receive free admission to the grounds. You can enjoy the cow train, corn cannon, the corn maze and new this year ballistic ball, essentially paintball without the mess and welts.
Both of these fall harvest festivals celebrate the best in local foods and farms, and they give us the opportunity to connect to the people who grow our food, and the people who help make Madfoods country a great place to eat and drink! Don’t forget that the Hamilton and Cazenovia Farmers markets are in full swing on Saturday as well. You have little excuse not to indulge in local products this weekend and in the coming week.