Saturday, October 3, 2009
NEW YORK FARM DAY happens this Wednesday evening in the elegant Senate Caucus Room, where hundreds of key Washingtonians will be tastefully reminded that New York is a major farm state, and agriculture is a major part of our State’s economy.
Since 2002 when we first organized this celebration and former Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton served as host, “Farm Day” has become the most popular reception on Capitol Hill, where receptions are a daily occurrence, largely because many of the people who actually grow the food and make the wine are there proudly presenting their personal creations.
This year we are delighted that the gala event will be hosted by Senator Kirstin Gillibrand, who replaced now Secretary of State Clinton, is the first New York Senator in 40 years to serve on the Agriculture Committee, and in her brief tenure has already been very active in supporting the state’s agriculture industry.
Farm Day’s purpose is to promote New York agriculture, from Apples to Zucchini and from Long Island to Chautauqua Giving decision-makers a taste of New York —literally—reminds them to keep this big farm state in mind when they are making policy decisions.
In the United States , New York ranks #2 in apples and maple syrup, #3 in dairy, grapes, grape juice and wine, #4 in pears, #5 in floriculture, and high in several other categories. Nearly a quarter of the state’s total land, or over 7 million acres, are covered by 36,000 farms which generate $3.6 billion for the New York economy annually.
Besides the dozens of award-winning wines at Farm Day, the attendees flock to certain perennial favorites like Long Island fresh oysters and hard clams (we actually have to hire professional shuckers), culinary creations by several Finger Lakes winery restaurants (Fox Run, Red Newt, Sheldrake Point), and Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream, which was actually conceived at the 2003 New York Farm Day.
That year, we placed Mercer’s Ice Cream next to the Ice Wine table, and when we saw many consumers pouring the ice wine onto the ice cream, the proverbial light bulb went off in our heads. Afterward I sent samples of several different types of New York wine to the unstoppable Roxaina Hurlburt of Mercer’s, they tested a few different flavors, we got some laws changed, and now Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream is sold in many states, Europe, and Dubai, with China a highly probable next market.
Two Washington restaurants with New York connections are also popular attractions. Rosa Mexicano, a New York City icon with a similarly popular Washington restaurant, uses New York vegetables with fresh avacados (we haven’t figured out how to grow those in our climate—yet) for an incredible guacamole. The Source, one of Washington’s hottest restaurants owned by Wolfgang Puck and located in the new Media Museum, is run by Executive Chef Scott Drewno from Penn Yan, New York, who uses New York ingredients to create delightful delicacies—this year Organic Chicken with Buckwheat Dumplings (Penn Yan is the buckwheat capital of the world).
Our “regular” participants always offer something new, and each year we add two or three new groups as well. This year Tuthilltown Spirits, a Hudson Valley micro-distillery, will provide samples of its locally produced whisky, bourbon and vodka. East NY Farms/United Community Centers in New York City will feature fresh produce, honey and herbs from its own gardens.
Farm Day is made possible not only by those who interrupt their busiest season (fall harvest) to travel to Washington and show their products, but also by the generosity of many sponsors: CoBank, Constellation Brands, Farm Credit of Western New York, Mastercraft Glassware, New York Farm Bureau, New York State Restaurant Association, New York State Maple Producers Association, New York Wine & Grape Foundation, New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets—Pride of New York, and Yankee Farm Credit.
It is orchestrated almost entirely by Jennifer Cooper, Special Projects Manager of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, in conjunction with the staff of Senator Gillibrand and the dozens of exhibitors and sponsors.
New York Farm Day is generally set up by wine region, with farm, wine, and restaurant tables in each case. Here’s the “menu” by region of New York Farm Day 2009:
Long Island Farm Bureau— Schmitt’s Fresh Mixed Greens and Catapano Goat Cheese topped with a Vinaigrette Dressing, North Fork Potato Chips, Fresh Oysters and Hard Clams farmed by F.M. Flower & Son and Noank Aquaculture Cooperative, and Smoked Duck from Crescent Duck Farm
Wines of Long Island — Bedell Cellars, Martha Clara Vineyards, and Wölffer Estate
Cool Fish Restaurant— Roasted Satur Farms Butternut Squash Salad with Smoked Jurgielewicz Farms Duck Breast, Apple, Catapano Farm Feta, and Arugula, finished with a Cider-Honey Vinaigrette and Pumkin Shooters
Tuthilltown Spirits—Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey, Hudson Single Malt Whiskey, Hudson Baby Bourbon, Hudson Four Grain Bourbon, Hudson New York Corn Whiskey, Heart of the Hudson Vodka, and Spirit of the Hudson Vodka
Culinary Institute of America—Hand-made Candies - Quigley Farm Raspberry Jelly, Glorie Farm Peach Jelly, and Russel Farm Maple Fudge
Freshwise Farms— Spring Roll stuffed with Freshwise Farm’s own fresh Wasabi Greens, Peppers, Leeks and Carrots, Sautéed in Sesame Oil
Wines and Juices of the Hudson Valley —Brotherhood America’s Oldest Winery, Benmarl Winery, Clinton Vineyards, Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
Fox Run Vineyards & Café— Lively Run Goat Farms Goat Cheese and Sage Scones with Fox Run Vineyards Blackberry Port Jam
Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty— Knapp Farms Jam, Finger Lakes Farmstead Cheese, Crackerman of Etna Crackers, Golden Oaks Foods Nunda Mustard, Hill ‘n Hollow Fruit Chutney, Finger Lakes Honey, Geneva Crabapple Sauce, Chef Lerman BBQ Sauce and Salad Dressings, Java Gourmet Chocolate Bark, Allens Hill Farm Apple Cider Molasses Cookies, Hill’n Holloe & Cherry Knoll Vinegars
New York Wine & Culinary Center —Truffles
Wines of the Finger Lakes— Anthony Road Winery, Arbor Hill Grapery, Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars, McGregor Vineyard Winery, Ravines Wine Cellars
SUNY (State University of New York)— SUNY Cobleskill - Maple Iced Oatmeal Applesauce Cookie featuring Sharon Orchards apples, Singer Farms dried cherries, Cayuga Pure Organics flour, Maple Hill maple syrup, and Cooper’s Ark Farm eggs; Alfred State College – Aioli featuring Pioneer Farm garlic
Finger Lakes Wine Alliance with Food by Simply Red Bistro— Flatbread made from fingerling potatoes, shitake mushrooms and truffle oil
Wines of the Finger Lakes — Hosmer Winery , King Ferry Winery (Treleaven), Red Newt Cellars, Sheldrake Point
Red Newt Cellars Winery & Bistro— Apple Black Bean Salsa featuring Honey Crisp apples from Thyme Stands Still Produce, black beans from Cayuga Pure Organics, Remembrance Farms Onions, Finger Lakes Food Company verjuice, and Red Newt’s own herbs
Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences— Three unique flavors of ice cream: Slammin’ Yam, Beehive Crunch, and Stickey Buns
Wines of the Finger Lakes— Casa Larga Vineyards , Chateau LaFayette Reneau , Imagine Moore Winery, Lakewood Vineyards , Wagner Vineyards
The Source— Organic Chicken with Buckwheat Dumplings
Niagara and Lake Erie
National Grape Cooperative/Welch’s—Sparkling Red & White Grape Juice and 100% Black Cherry Concord Grape Juice
East NY Farms!/United Community Centers—Featuring New Visions Garden Bittermelon, long beans and peppers from UCC Youth Farm, Hands and Heart Farms collard greens, and honey and herbs from East New York’s own gardens
McCadam Cheese— McCadam Extra Sharp Cheddar (2007 New York State Fair Grand Champion & 2007 U.S. Cheese Competition Best in the U.S. ), McCadam Pepper Jack ( 2006 2nd Place Scovie Awards Winner), McCadam Muenster, and McCadam Horseradish Cheddar
Rosa Mexicano ( New York City and Washington , DC )— Guacamole en Molcajete featuring New York Onions, Tomatoes, and Cilantro
Wines of Lake Erie and Niagara Escarpment— Johnson Estate Winery , Mazza Chautauqua Cellars , Merritt Estate Winery , Niagara Landing Wine Cellars , The Winery at Marjim Manor
New York Maple Producers Association— Maple mustard, maple coated cashews, and maple cream on wheat crackers
North Country Specialties—Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spinach & Atrichoke and Sun-dried Tomato and Basil on crackers, Adirondak Beef Company All Natural Beef Jerky, Well Dressed Food Adirondak Crunchy Maple-Walnut and Apple-Crumble Granola, Gunnison Orchard’s Honey Crisp Apples, Whitestone Farm North Country Lamb Sticks, Dogwood Bread Company French Baguette, Asgaard Farm & Dairy Barkeater Buche Goat Cheese
Mercer’s Ice Cream— A La Port, Royal White Riesling, and Chocolate Cabernet Wine Ice Cream, and Organic Vanilla Ice Cream
Ice Wines of New York — Hunt Country Vineyards , Johnson Estate Winery , Sheldrake Point Vineyards