Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We've hit the "pause" button...

Dear readers,

Ithaca's Food Web has hit the "pause" button as we reorganize to become a bigger, better, more inclusive, and more useful resource.

You can expect to hear more from us in winter 2014-2015. In the meantime, would you like to be involved? We are looking for people to help with writing, photography, editing, advising, marketing, and fundraising. Please contact ithacasfoodweb@gmail.com if you are interested. No experience necessary.

Thanks, and enjoy the summer's bounty!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Movie: Lunch Hour

From Healthy School Food:

A feature length documentary explores the National School Lunch Program, childhood obesity, and our addiction to unhealthy foods.

The movie includes interviews with representatives of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food and some of our school programs.

Watch the trailer, buy, or rent (streaming online) the movie here.

Read the review in Forbes Magazine here.

Spring Into Gardening, 3/29 at CCE Tompkins


Spring Into Gardening
Saturday March 29, 9 am - 5 pm
Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins County
615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca NY

Had enough of winter yet? Start spring off on the right foot by learning skills to grow, cook and preserve your own fresh organic fruits and veggies!

This year's Spring Into Gardening theme is Gardening and Climate Change - learn how sound gardening practices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing your 'food miles'. There will also be classes on preserving the harvest and cooking with renewable energy sources.

Cost: $8.00 per workshop, or register for four different workshops for just $25!

Workshop descriptions and a downloadable brochure are available at http://ccetompkins.org/garden/spring-gardening

Spaces are limited! Call CCE's reception desk at 607-272-2292 to register or download a brochure and send it in with your workshop choices. For more information contact Chrys Gardener at cab69@cornell.edu

Spring Into Gardening 2014 – Workshop Descriptions
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Gardening in a Warmer Climate: Gardeners and farmers know that our climate is changing and we have to adapt our growing methods. Climate change means increased opportunities, such as a longer frost-free season and warmer temperatures for heat-loving crops, but it also can bring challenges such as droughts and new insect pests and diseases. The Master Gardeners will share some tips for taking advantage of the longer growing season and new plants to try out in your garden, as well as information on preparing your garden for longer dry spells and dealing with new insect pests and diseases.

Water-Wise Gardening: Climate change is altering the rainfall patterns – our region is predicted to receive fewer rain events of increased intensity. Gardeners need to be prepared to harvest and store rainwater to use during dry spells, and also to design gardens that can absorb run-off during heavy storms. Sharon Anderson, CCE Environmental Program Leader, will present information on using rainwater harvesting systems and planting 'rain gardens'.

10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Composting Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gases: We all know how composting can reduce our trash disposal costs, but did you know that, when done properly, composting can also help reduce greenhouse gases? Composting helps sequester carbon in soils, improves the water-holding capacity of soils, and reduces or eliminates the need for fertilizers and pesticides. The Master Composters will share information on the best composting methods and techniques.

Extending the Growing Season: Learn about different strategies to extend the growing season into the fall and winter. Margo Hittleman and Richard Lansdowne will present information on constructing high tunnels and low tunnels to grow greens all winter, and Chrys Gardener will talk about solar greenhouses, which require no additional heat and can be used to grow salad greens in winter. There will also be a hands-on demonstration on constructing an inexpensive light stand from PVC to grow plants under fluorescent lights.

Canning Garden Fruits and Vegetables: Canning is a great way to preserve some of the garden harvest for winter. This class covers the science of food preservation and how to safely can high-acid foods,, such as tomatoes, fruits or pickles. Participants will receive up-to-date information and see a demonstration of canning by CCE Consumer Educator Carole Fisher.

12:15 pm – 1:14 pm: Lunch Bring a brown bag lunch to eat at CCE or go out to a restaurant or café downtown

1:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Unusual Fruits and Perennial Vegetables for the Ithaca Area: Sean Dembrosky, owner of Edible Acres in Trumansburg, will talk about less-common fruits such as paw-paw, persimmon, hardy kiwi , currant and jostaberry, and perennial vegetables such as cardoon, sea kale, skirret and air potato. Sean will also lead a hands-on demonstration on taking cuttings from jostaberry and hardy kiwi. Participants will take home cuttings from these plants for their own gardens.

Using Biochar as a Soil Amendment: There's a lot of buzz lately about biochar and its role in boosting soil fertility and sequestering carbon in soils. Created through a process called pyrolysis, biochar locks in and stabilizes carbon that decomposing green waste would otherwise release back into the atmosphere as CO2. In the form of biochar, that carbon can be returned to the soil where it will continue to store carbon while increasing water retention and air capacity as well as providing habitat for soil microbiology, which helps cycle nutrients. John Gaunt from GreenTree Garden Supplies will talk about what biochar is and how to use it, and he'll have biochar samples to show.

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Worm Composting: No space for an outdoor compost pile? The Master Composters will teach you all you need to know about "vermicomposting," an indoor composting system that is easy and produces particularly rich compost for your garden and houseplants. Participants go home with a working worm bin. There is an additional materials fee of $15 per household (payable directly to the instructor on the day of the class).

Cooking with Renewable Energy : You have grown and harvested your garden vegetables in the most sustainable way possible, now learn to cook those vegetables using sustainable and renewable energy sources. Joey Gates, proprietor of Sol Kitchen, will show different types of solar cookers and talk about solar cooking techniques as well as cooking on a woodstove.

Freezing and Dehydrating Garden Fruits and Vegetables: Learn how to preserve your garden harvest to feed your family throughout the winter. Carole Fisher, CCE Consumer Educator, will demonstrate techniques on freezing fruits and vegetables to get the best results. You'll learn tips on blanching, packaging, and how to avoid freezing errors, as well as methods for dehydrating fruits and vegetables.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Event: Foodnet Mac 'n Cheese Bowl in Ithaca - a fun family event


March 22, 12-4pm, Ithaca High School Cafeteria. The first annual Mac 'n Cheese Bowl benefits Foodnet Meals on Wheels. Tickets available at Wegmans, Lansing Market and Foodnet office, 2201 N. Triphammer Road. Price: Advance, $10 adults, $8 children, at the door, $12 and $10. 5 and under free.

To read more about Foodnet: http://www.foodnet.org

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shares of local, log-grown shiitake mushrooms offered for 2014

Announcement from Wellspring Forest Farm:

Join our 2014 CSA share and receive a half pound (or more!) of fresh, log-grown shiitake mushrooms each week. The share runs from the second week in June through the second week in September, for a total of 14 weeks. Pick-up locations include Thursdays on the patio at the Westy bar (alongside Plowbreak Farm CSA pick-up) or on-farm in Mecklenburg on Fridays. If you can get together 5+ orders with neighbors and friends we will offer free delivery weekly to a location in Ithaca or Trumansburg.

$112 for 1/2 pound per week for 14 weeks ($8/week)
Double shares (1 lb/week) get a 10% discount

The farm also has pre-inoculated logs for sale if you prefer to grow-your-own. Logs come ready to go, you just set them up in a cool, shady spot.

Read about the nutritional and medicinal benefits of log-grown mushrooms, and details about our 2014 CSA shares and pre-inoculated log sales at:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Concession Stand Makeovers

News from Cornell's Food and Brand Lab:

A new study in the Journal of Public Health, "Concession Stand Makeovers: A Pilot Study of Offering Healthy Foods at High School Concession Stands,"coauthored by Dr. Brian Wansink (author of the forthcoming book Slim by Design), shows that adding healthy options to high school concession stands can increase sales and customer satisfaction. "If you're a concession-stand sponsor, and you want people to eat better, and you want to make more money, add at least five healthy items," says Brian Wansink, the Cornell lab's director and a marketing professor. "There's got to be a critical mass, and we find that five's a very lucky number, and ten is even better."

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Finger Lakes LandLink aims to connect landowners with landless farmers

News from Groundswell:

Finger Lakes LandLink Inaugural Meeting March 18th

The Finger Lakes LandLink website is live and ready for landowner and farmer listings.  Visit the website at www.fingerlakeslandlink.org.  Landowners willing to make land available for farming and farmers looking for land can sign up on the website to list their properties or farming profile. 

There will be an informational and networking meeting on March 18th, 7 pm at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County office on Willow Ave. in Ithaca.  This meeting is geared towards farmers and landowners interested in participating in the LandLink program, and will provide an opportunity for them to connect.  In addition to an overview of the project and website, we will answer questions regarding how LandLink will work and resources that are available for successful arrangements.

Finger Lakes LandLink is a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County and Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming.  The LandLink project is a free service to help landowners and farmers connect.  For more information contact, Ian Bailey, at idb6@cornell.edu or call Cooperative Extension (Monika Roth) at 607-272-2292.  Please confirm with CCE if you plan to attend the March 18 meeting.