As people increasingly stray from mass-produced products, demand is growing for locally produced food, wine and beer. In upstate New York this trend is spilling over into the field of craft distilleries, and the state is seeing a comeback of the small, artisan liquor operations of the pre-Prohibition era.
From the Adirondacks to the Hudson Valley, and down to New York City, dozens of micro-distilleries are popping up.
In western New York, Jason Barrett is adding another operation to the ranks.
In New York’s central region, there are hundreds of farms selling meat and produce directly to the public, and a Binghamton group is working to connect restaurants with those farms. The downtown Binghamton restaurant Lost Dog Café recently held a "Meet the Farmer" event. Sixty people attended a catered dinner in the back of the busy restaurant.
Here's a catchphrase someone who's been to a farmer's market is probably familiar with: "buy local." And for those who try and follow the mantra closely, you may also be familiar with "food miles," the notion of counting how far your strawberries traveled to land on top of your bowl of Cheerios.
Recently, local food has been turning up on more grocery store shelves and restaurants in upstate New York. But the local food economy still faces challenges to bringing agricultural products from farm to table.