local foods

As families all over New York State enjoy holiday celebrations, sweet and hard ciders will undoubtedly be on the menu at many gatherings. The industry has expanded in recent years, and in New York, recent legislation could take the hard cider industry to greater heights.

On a brisk fall Friday morning in Utica, the Nail Creek Pub has just opened for business. As the lunch crowd files in, they’ll have their choice of craft beers from New York state, but another product produced in their own backyard is beginning to make a splash. Just ask pub owner Chris Talgo.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Back in the 1930s, when Finger Lakes resident Carl Mortensen was a kid, agriculture was his small town’s link to the rest of the state.

“New York City was full of horses,” Mortensen said. “They used horses for everything. And our big thing then was to put up oats, straw and hay and like that and ship it to New York City.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo/flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the Finger Lakes on Tuesday playing host to restaurant owners and chefs from New York City and around the state.

The latest in a string of initiatives aimed at promoting upstate produce, the event was designed to showcase the region’s wines and foster downstate partnerships.

Cuomo says increased emphasis on the region’s quality produce has been a long time coming. But it’s proving to be good for business.

The Daily Refresher

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.

Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

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.

urban sea star / via Flickr

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.

Local food economy overcomes obstacles

Aug 28, 2012
Joanna Richards/WRVO

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.