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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
22 January 2021 11:54PM
LaVonne Elaine Roberts

BOSTON — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that all residents in Phase One of the state vaccine distribution plan are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, effective immediately. Vaccinating the populations in Phase One now will preserve the Commonwealth’s healthcare system, protect many of the most vulnerable residents; and ensure the vaccine is distributed equitably.

Eligible residents can now make appointments to receive vaccine at more than 150 locations across the state including first responder only sites, the newly opened mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium, regional vaccination sites and participating CVS Health and Walgreens pharmacies. Additional mass vaccination sites, pharmacy sites, and community clinic sites will open in more locations on a rolling basis.

A full vaccination site map can be found here. Residents are urged to check back often for additional vaccination locations.

Residents eligible for vaccine immediately under Phase One include:

COVID-facing healthcare workers
Long term care facilities (LTCF) residents and staff
First Responders (EMS, Fire, Police)
Congregate Care setting residents and staff (including corrections and shelters)
Home-based healthcare workers
Non-COVID-facing healthcare workers
Commonwealth’s Self Attestation Form

All residents must demonstrate their eligibility to receive the vaccine. Eligibility can be established by self-attestation.

Most pharmacies such as CVS Health, require individuals to attest to their eligibility as part of the online appointment scheduling process.

All other sites will accept the Commonwealth’s Self Attestation form, which can be filled out online. Residents should be prepared to present this form in a hard copy or electronically at their appointment.

All residents should bring one of the following forms of identification to your appointment:

Employer-issued ID card that includes your name and title; or
Government-issued identification or license; or
Recent paystub.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
14 November 2020 09:04PM
Emily Sachar

Red Hook’s first public access point for free Internet service launched today. Now, visitors can answer work email while their kids enjoy the playground, take an online class at a picnic table or from a car, or listen to a podcast without drawing down a device’s data plan.

The new network, “Red Hook Rec Park Wifi,” extends outward from the snack bar to the north and south. It’s an unsecure network, meaning there’s no password required. Rather, users are asked to agree to terms on a landing page when their device connects.

The project, jointly funded by the Red Hook Rotary Club, the Red Hook Public Library, and the Town of Red Hook, cost roughly $8,000 and is the culmination of several months’ work. This access point, it is hoped, will be the first of several throughout the village and town.

ADDRESSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Indeed, the Rec Park wifi project is one of a series of initiatives the library is developing to address the digital divide that exists in Red Hook and that separates those with access to the Internet and those without it.

“Access to knowledge and information is a public library’s reason for existing,” said Amy K. Smith, Red Hook Library Head of Programs & Youth Services. “Our job is to democratize information. In the long run, it won’t be libraries that run wi-fi networks throughout communities. But right now, when there are so many demands on public institutions, this is part of our mission.”

When the library was forced to close due to the Covid pandemic, from March 17 through June 15, Library Director Dawn Jardine answered the library’s phones from home, providing tech support to community members every day. Jardine and Smith started to consider how they could expand the library’s existing technology programs and collections to better meet the needs of Red Hook families, with Covid top of mind.

In 2018, Red Hook Public Library began circulating two hotspots, small devices that use cellular service to create a password-protected Wifi network. Library cardholders could borrow the hot spots for free for a week at a time. The devices proved extremely popular, Jardine said, and soon the library expanded to have 10 in circulation. Each hot spot costs the library $15 plus $120 a year for an unlimited service plan through a discount program available to schools and public libraries.

OTHER LIBRARY INITIATIVES
In the spring of 2019, the library piloted a program of long-term loans for cardholders that paired a laptop computer and a hotspot. Grant funding provided for three such paired sets, one of which was borrowed out of the library and two of which were housed at the Red Hook High School library for ease of access by students.

Facing the Covid pandemic and closure in March, Jardine and library staff also placed every computer device available in the library into circulation in hopes of helping as many families and residents as possible to gain some internet access during Cuomo’s mandated Pause NY.

REASONS FOR THE DIVIDE
Based on their prior experience circulating devices and providing tech support, Jardine and Smith continued their research on the sources of the digital divide in Red Hook and recognized that there are three primary reasons. For some Red Hook residents, the costs of devices and/or internet service are prohibitive. For others, the location of their homes draw a weak signal for cellular service and/or there is no infrastructure from Spectrum for cable internet access. Finally, some people have trouble because they simply haven’t learned how to properly and efficiently access and utilize Internet tools and Web sites.

The library’s collection of circulating hotspots, laptops and the addition of four Chromebooks help those who can’t afford devices. New software called TeamViewer enables the library to provide safe, remote tech support and instruction on residents’ home computers, tablets or devices borrowed from the library.

And now, the WiFi access point in the Rec Park is an example of the type of creative solution needed to address more comprehensively Red Hook’s digital divide. Jardine and Smith continue to apply for grant funding to expand both the circulating device collection and to develop more public access Internet service points.

————————–

Photos courtesy of Amy K. Smith
1) Library Director Dawn Jardine shows off the working network.

2) Jardine and Amy Smith, Red Hook Library Head of Programs & Youth Services, proudly test the new WiFi access point at the Rec Park.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
26 April 2020 10:45AM
IMBY

goodmenproject.com/featured-content/covid-19-crisis-likely-to-widen-income-racial-and-gender-inequality-exacerbating-spread-of-the-virus-and-prolonging-economic-downturn-new-levy-economics-institute-study-says/

“ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The spread COVID-19 is inflicting tremendous societal costs on the United States. But it is not affecting all segments of society equally. According to a new study from the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, the pandemic’s toll, both in terms of health risks and economic burdens, will be borne disproportionately by the most economically vulnerable. A new Public Policy Brief, “Pandemic of Inequality,” argues that low-income populations are more likely to develop severe infections that can lead to hospitalization and to experience job losses and overall declines in well-being. Moreover, the pandemic and economic lockdown will worsen inequality, exacerbating the spread of the virus, further weakening the structure of the U.S. economy, and undermining economic recovery efforts.

“ ‘Unless policies designed to combat the epidemic are sensitive to inequalities, the coronavirus outbreak will exacerbate biases and increase social, gender, and racial gaps—and consequently increase the length and severity of the crisis,’ write Levy scholars Luiza Nassif-Pires, Thomas Masterson, Michalis Nikiforos, and Fernando Rios-Avila and physician Laura De Lima Xavier, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School.

“Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “500 Cities” project (CDC 2019) and the American Community Survey, the authors demonstrate the asymmetric impacts of the spread of the coronavirus.”

Read the rest of the story at the above link.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
21 March 2020 08:56PM
IMBY

Governor Cuomo: “We’re working on every level. Every pistol is firing. Everything that can be done is being done.”

Governor Cuomo: “We’re requesting 4 field hospitals at 250 capacity each. That would give us 1,000 field hospital beds. We’re going to be looking at Javits as a location for those field hospitals. We’re also requesting 4 Army Corps of Engineers temporary hospitals. Those are the sites I mentioned earlier that I’m going to take a look at. The SUNY Stonybrook, Westbury, Westchester Convention Center and also Javits That would give us a regional distribution and a real capacity if we can get them up quickly enough and then increasing supplies which is one of the most critical activities.”

Cuomo: “We’re going to send 1 million N95 masks to New York City today We’re [also] gathering ventilators. Ventilators are the most important piece of equipment and the piece of equipment that is most scarce. We’re gathering them from all different health facilities across the state and then we’re going to use those in the most critical areas. We also identified 6,000 new ventilators that we can actually purchase so that’s a big deal.”

Cuomo: “We’re also asking our Federal congressional delegation to fix a law that was passed on the coronavirus Federal aid because of a technical issue in the way the bill was written, New York State does not qualify for aid. That’s over $6 billion, that is a lot of money and we need the Federal delegation to fix that bill, otherwise New York State gets nothing. New York State has more coronavirus cases than any state in the United States of America. That we should not be included in the bill, obviously makes no sense.”

Cuomo: “My last point is practice humanity. We don’t talk about practicing humanity, but now if ever there is a time to practice humanity the time is now. The time is now to show some kindness, to show some compassion to people, show some gentility – even as a New Yorker.”

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
27 September 2016 02:32PM
Leaf Peeper Concerts

In the third of four Leaf Peepers Concerts of the 2016 season, the program will feature two works of Franz Schubert and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s great Divertimento in E flat major. Performance time for the Saturday, October 8 concert at Our Lady of Hope Church in Copake is 7:30 p.m.

“Classically Romantic” follows on the heels of well-attended Leaf Peeper concerts at the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School and the St. James Church in Chatham. The October 8 concert brings together Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; Melissa Reardon, viola; Daniel Chong, violin; and Eugenia Zukerman, flute.

Zukerman, who also serves as Leaf Peeper Concerts music director, said “I’m thrilled that these three extraordinary string players, each of whom is a devoted chamber music player as well was a superb soloist, are performing some of the greatest works of Schubert and Mozart. Their ebullient and powerful playing will surely delight our listeners.”

The evening’s performance will open with “Quartet in G minor for flute, violin, viola and cello,” an arrangement by Robert Stallman of Franz Schubert’s Violin Sonata D.408. Stallman, known for having expanded the chamber music repertoire for flute with his re-creation of works by Mozart, Schubert, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Dvořák, Mendelssohn and others, is the founder of the Cambridge Chamber Players and the Marblehead Summer Music Festival in Massachusetts. In this arrangement of a work Schubert produced at age 19, Stallman has vividly brought to the forefront the composer’s exploration of a new harmonic vocabulary and created a totally integrated chamber work.

The opening work yields to Schubert’s String Trio in B Flat Major, D 581, with an elegant theme that begins the Allegro moderato certainly reminiscent of Mozart. Particularly endearing is the way the theme keeps returning, always slightly different, yet always beautiful.

Mozart’s Divertimento in E Flat, K.563, often described as the crown jewel of the string trio repertoire, concludes the evening’s program. As Julian Rushton notes in his biography of Mozart, the trio is full of “thematic invention, contrapuntal play and ornamental elaboration,” which mark it as great chamber music. Considerable virtuosity is demanded from the performers in this piece.

The 2016 Leaf Peeper concert series concludes Saturday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m., with “Basking in the Baroque” at the Hillsdale Methodist Church.
Single tickets are $25, with premium tickets (reserved seating) priced at $35. Students are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available at leafpeeperconcerts.org, or by calling 413-644-0007.

These performances are made possible in part with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the NYS Council on the Arts, administered through the Community Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
10 September 2016 06:45PM

“The ABCs of Writing Page-Turning Fiction,” a writers’ workshop taught by author, teacher and scholar Joanne Dobson, will be held on Saturday, November 12, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library.

The workshop is designed for writers of all levels—from more experienced writers who wish to refresh and deepen their skills, to new writers who want to learn the basics. Brief lectures will cover fundamentals of creating compelling fiction: character, plot, voice, setting, narrative momentum, and point of view. Lectures will be interspersed with short, intensive writing exercises permitting participants to explore the topic being addressed.

The fee is $20 for those who register by October 29, and then increases to $25. The fee can be waived upon request. To register or to request fee waiver contact Bobbie Slonevsky at bslonevsky@slonevskygroup.com.

Snow date for the workshop is November 19.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call 518 325-4101 or visit the library’s website.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
22 July 2016 11:32AM

www.berkshiretaconic.org/HealthyFood

Sheffield, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation today announced the launch of Fresh and Healthy Food for All, a five-year, $750,000 initiative to increase access to healthy food among low-income families and the elderly in Columbia County, New York.

A first of its kind and scope in Columbia County, the initiative is funded by two anonymous donors and designed to transform the food system over time for the benefit of all residents.

“Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has been proud to support healthy food projects for decades through grants from our area funds, education enrichment funds and generous individual donors,” said Peter Taylor, president of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. “This initiative will serve as a significant new resource for collaborative projects and innovative thinking that can help close Columbia County’s healthy food gap.”

ADVISED BY THE COMMUNITY

The initiative was developed after careful consultation with over 80 local community members involved in food-related industries across Columbia County—including farms, food pantries, distributors, food retailers, restauranteurs, community-based organizations, schools and county agencies.

After commissioning a countywide scan of healthy food access, Berkshire Taconic engaged community members in a planning and assessment process to identify opportunities to meet immediate and long-term food needs and develop a grants program to fund collaborative pilot projects.

A committee made up of foundation staff, donors and local residents reviewed the applications to make funding decisions.

“Agriculture in our region is increasingly an economic driver through tourism, food production, farm-to-table and related small businesses, but we must ensure that fresh, local, nutritious food is accessible to all our residents,” said New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106), who attended the stakeholder meetings. “This initiative will make a true difference for seniors, working families and others in our region struggling to make ends meet.”

GRANTMAKING NOW & IN THE FUTURE

Funding for a first year of pilot projects totals $150,000, with renewal funding available to successful grantees in the second year and additional funding available in year two for new projects. The following programs were awarded first-year funding:

• Hawthorne Valley Association (Ghent) – $75,000 to coordinate local and countywide cross-industry stakeholder networks that will identify areas of need in the food system and forge local solutions together. The grant will facilitate the first of a planned multi-year process to implement these strategies, as well as an expansion of food rescue programs in Columbia County in collaboration with Long Table Harvest (Hudson). Project partners will include Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, Perfect Ten After School, St. Peter’s Gleaners and Kite’s Nest.

• The Sylvia Center (Kinderhook) – $50,000 to expand its school-based healthy eating and cooking program in collaboration with Hudson Bluehawk Nation After School Program (Hudson). The expansion begins in Hudson and will move to rural districts later in the year, and includes a produce gleaning and distribution program for students and families through partnerships with Long Table Harvest, Field Goods, Katchkie Farm and Ginsberg’s Foods.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, the Sylvia Center and Hawthorne Valley Association will collaborate with and learn from one another and the larger community as they move forward on these projects over the next year.

An additional $25,000 will be made available for capacity-building support at food pantries and food banks serving the county’s rural communities to help promote their engagement in the initiative.

“We consider access to healthy food a basic right and will leverage our social and economic relationships to develop collaborative, locally driven strategies for change,” said Martin Ping, executive director of Hawthorne Valley Association. “We are eager to bring immediate help to food insecure communities and to develop a self-sustaining and vibrant food system for the county.”

“Learning to cook is the only way for low-income young people and families to eat healthy food regularly,” said Anna Hammond, executive director of the Sylvia Center. “Through community partnerships that will expand our reach, we aim to reduce hunger and help more families develop cooking skills and healthy eating habits, while avoiding waste in local food production through vital gleaning programs.”

THE PROJECT IN CONTEXT

About one-quarter of the land in Columbia County is dedicated to agricultural production, a number that has declined by 11% over the last five years on record. The market value of the county’s agricultural products is estimated at over $66 million per year, largely from the sale of milk, fruits and vegetables, and nursery items.

Over the last decade, the number of grocery stores in the county has shrunk by nearly one-fifth. Due to store closures and a lack of reliable transportation, approximately 15% of the population is without ready access to a supermarket. At the same time, the food sector has increasingly shifted to serve the demands of seasonal residents, weekenders and tourists.

One in 10 of the county’s estimated 62,000-plus residents live in poverty and about 13% are food insecure, or lacking sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food. One-third of those struggling to avoid hunger are seniors and children. Half of the county’s public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The geography of poverty in the county is varied. More than half of households in Hudson are living below 200% of the federal poverty level, or $48,600 for a family of four, an income level often considered “near poor” or “working poor.” Communities in which 25-50% of households are living at this level are scattered elsewhere throughout the county. Hudson has the county’s highest concentration of seniors living in poverty, while the percentage of children under 18 living in poverty is highest in Hudson and towns in the southeast.

BERKSHIRE TACONIC’S COMMITMENT

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has long provided community leadership and grantmaking support to address urgent regional priorities, including early childhood development, affordable housing and nonprofit capacity-building.

It offers donors a variety of ways to get involved, including donor advised funds, scholarship funds and field of interest funds that—like the fund established for this initiative—support specific areas of community life.

“Our partnerships with donors and engagement with communities are essential ingredients for identifying solutions to our regional challenges together,” said Taylor. “With healthy food for all as our goal, we hope to engage the philanthropic community to help capitalize on Columbia County’s vital agriculture sector for the benefit of every resident.”

ABOUT BERKSHIRE TACONIC COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

For nearly 30 years, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has built stronger communities and helped donors make a difference through charitable giving in northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY. Each year, the foundation distributes over $8 million through grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. You can make a difference. We can help.

###

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
23 October 2015 08:59AM
CoeCoe News

www.nytimes.com/2015/10/21/movies/review-heart-of-a-dog-laurie-andersons-meditation-on-loss.html?_r=1

Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” screens at FilmColumbia Saturday, October 24, 8:30 pm at the Hudson Lodge, 601 Union Street, Hudson, NY and Sunday, October 25, 7pm at the Crandell Theatre on Main Street, Chatham, NY. Animal trainer and behaviorist Elizabeth Weiss, who taught Anderson’s dog Lolabelle to play the keyboard, will introduce the film in Chatham Sunday night. Tickets $16, available at the door or at filmcolumbia.org. Anderson will discuss her film with Sarah LaDuke on WAMC’s The Roundtable, 11:12am today, and online after that any time, at wamc.org.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
15 September 2015 09:55PM
www.VERAvalatie.com

www.facebook.com/events/409859615881863/

Beth Ann Debuts @ The Market!
Bask in the sunshine, luxuriate to the sweet sounds of ukulele, AND (of course) buy your produce, pork, and artisanal goodies!! What could be better? Nothing? CORRECT!!

this Sunday September 20th AT THE VALATIE FARMERS’ MARKET
TIME: from 11am-1pm

LOCATION:
@ 3211 Church Street: “Glynn Square Park”
* across from MH Glynn Municipal Bldng
* across from the First Presbyterian Church

** * Every Sunday, Valatie Farmers’ Market * **

Broad range of diverse locally grown produce, fresh-baked desserts and pastries, pasture-raised meats, cheese, pesto, fresh-cut flowers, Fair-Trade Coffee AND LIVE MUSIC (and More!)

MORE INFO:

https://www.facebook.com/valatiefarmersmarket

http://valatiefarmersmarket.com

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
23 April 2015 09:00AM
Ellen Thurston

A re-creation of what happened when Lincoln’s funeral train stopped in Hudson on April 25, 1865, described as “one of the most weird ever witnessed,” including a torchlight procession, a choir of women singing dirges, an oration, and a tableau vivant. It all begins a approximately 8:45, at Basilica Hudson, in front of Kite’s Nest, then crosses over the railroad tracks at Broad Street to the lawn beside the old Dunn warehouse.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
17 April 2015 06:38AM
Preserve Rural Germantown

drive.google.com/open?id=0B6_yNGg_wSytQmUyLUpYZEtaMWs&authuser=0

Click on the link above to SIGN THE PETITION to review and update Germantown’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Law.

Preserve Rural Germantown calls on the community to work collectively to stop Primax Properties LLC from building a Dollar General store. We urge you to sign the petition NOW and attend the Town Board meeting on April 20th at 7pm!

If we, the residents and property owners in Germantown, do not take action, Primax will proceed with its application. Postponing action or sitting on the sidelines is, by default, a proxy vote for a Dollar General store in our beautiful hamlet.

Preserve Rural Germantown (PRG), represents residents, property owners and businesses with a vested interest in protecting Germantown’s rural and historic character.

THANK YOU to all who have already signed the petition and written to Town Board members to voice your support to review and update the town’s 2007 Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Law.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
20 December 2014 07:40AM
Mark Scherzer

imby.com/hudson/userblogs/agriculture-turkana-farms/

Fifteen years into farming you’d think we would have our business down to a routine, our methods all down to a science, and know everything we need to know to succeed. After all, farming is pretty basic. You produce a commodity, you advertise it, people buy it, there you have it.

Since Peter runs two other businesses and I run one, we should know that nothing is ever routine in business. There is always a new angle, the world evolves around you, old customers move away and new ones arrive. And tastes change.

What is this thing called “taste?” There is an odd duality in the word. “Taste” is the sensation of food or drink in one’s mouth, of course, and one would like to think of such sensations as eternal or unchanging. The different combinations and proportions of sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, in combination with distinct aromas that result from a food’s chemical composition, are consistent over time and should affect your taste buds and the flavor centers of your brain in a consistent way. One may experience these foods in different ways as one ages, but these are very gradual changes that don’t necessarily change our perception of what the intrinsic taste of the food is.

But the word “taste” also has a more ephemeral meaning: the desire for a particular sensation at a particular time which may be influenced by current styles, trends, and fads. In this meaning, we see taste as purely subjective and as the epitome of inconstancy. Truffles may be “in” one year and walnut oil the next. The New York Times recently told us that schmalz (rendered chicken fat) is back in vogue after years as a pariah food. People may have a taste for a taste one year, and not the next.

I like to think of my tastes as immune from fads and rather constant over time. Yes, there was the New Year’s Eve in college that I drank a tall glass of Jim Beam, straight. When I recovered from the inevitable gross illness I found I had forever lost my taste for that sweet corn mash taste. Peter had a similar experience with grappa in Venice. But by and large, I love now the same tastes I loved in my youth–cabbage and tomato, sweet peas and Bosc pears, Brussels sprouts, cashews, blue cheese and chocolate, though usually not combined in the same dish. My tastes may be determined by my upbringing and culture in the broad sense, but not, I like to think, by the temporary whims of fashion.

Peter interjects here “Are you sure?” and of course I am not. One of the reasons I went to grad school to study anthropology was my desire to understand what motivates people to adopt tastes and beliefs and identities that seem both so arbitrary and so powerful. I didn’t anticipate that farming would raise similar questions, but it has been intriguing to see first hand how changeable peoples’ taste in foods actually is. A few years ago, we simply couldn’t produce enough beets; our customers were wild for them. This summer, virtually nobody bought beets. It wasn’t a tragedy, I still have a strong taste for beets and am happy to eat pickled beets all winter, but it’s a mystery nonetheless how beets seem to have gone so thoroughly out of style. Fava beans, on the other hand, have been on an upward trend for the past three years, as evidenced by how quickly and in what quantities people order them as soon as they are advertised. There seems to be no such thing for us as a glut of favas, as whatever we can produce in a given week immediately walks out the door in shopping bags. Swiss chard has experienced a steady growth curve as well.

Planning for the future based on what sold in the recent past has long been the ruin of farmers. In part it’s because once farmers think a crop will be a hot seller they all, en masse, plant more and more of the stuff, glutting the market and causing prices for even a popular commodity to fall. This happened when midwestern farmers used every available acre for corn a couple of years ago. But partly, it seems, the problem is also that food is sometimes no different from other items that enjoy temporary fad status: midi skirts, platform shoes, bell bottoms, the pet rock, the hula hoop. Some foods are just one-season wonders. I can’t help but wonder if the ubiquitous kale I see in restaurants this year will still be with us next year. (Peter and I personally agree here; we’re ready to move on).

Which brings me to something very much on my mind just now, the Christmas goose. The association between the bird and the holiday was once so strong that “Christmas goose” is one of those word pairings that just come to mind as a phrase. But, it seems, only as an historical memory. In at least one time and place (Dickensian England), the goose seems to have had the same inseparable association with Christmas as the turkey does with today’s Thanksgiving.

The Christmas/goose association certainly makes sense. If you were looking for a rich hearty food (goose meat is dark. moist and beefy) for a cold winter day, one that would glisten on its serving platter with a crisp glazed golden skin, confirming the festive tone of the occasion, you could not do better than a goose. We roast ours on a rotating spit on the open hearth, which lends a further special occasion note to the meal. These days, many people opt for roast beef or prime rib for Christmas. They are also dark, rich, and of course beefy tasting, but if you want a similar taste with a more attractive presentation, the goose is an even better candidate.

Why, I wonder, does the taste for Christmas goose seem to have largely gone out of fashion? Do people associate the goose on sale in their supermarket freezer with the pesky Canada goose they’ve come to view as an urban pest? Has the goose marketing association just not done its job promoting the flavor and benefits of geese? Are there concerns about the force feeding of geese for foie gras? Or is it just an arbitrary artifact of the zeitgeist? Few of our customers have ever even tasted goose, and fewer still see it as epitomizing the holiday meal.

Sociologists have associated changing skirt lengths with variations in economic prosperity. Perhaps a clever anthropologist could analyze our cultural attitudes toward eating goose and come up with a similarly compelling explanation of the goose’s fall from fashion. Had I become an anthropologist, I might find this an intriguing topic for a book. But we are farmers now. We will thoroughly and unanalytically enjoy our Toulouse goose this Christmas, and our thoughts on why others are not madly clamoring to do the same will remain in the realm of idle speculation. We would be pleased, though, if another dozen or so of you were to recognize that Christmas and goose are a natural pairing worthy of your indulgence. It’s not too late.

And now to business: farm@turkanafarms.com, (518) 537 3815, 118 Lasher Avenue, Germantown

CHRISTMAS GOOSE: Return to the Dickensian ideal of Christmas, and claim your Christmas goose. Our lovely Toulouse geese went to market Tuesday, and are now freshly frozen. Most range between 7 and 8 lbs, with a couple of 6 lb birds available too. $10/lb. Those of you who did reserve can pick up from Monday on, please contact us to arrange a convenient pickup time.

EGGS ARE BACK: You may recall our plague of predators, chiefly a large fisher and some weasels, who decimated our egg laying flock last winter and spring. The chicks we bought in June to replenish the flock are now newly matured laying hens, and as always when they first start they are going great guns. We have nearly spring level production in winter. No restrictions on quantity, order away. $4/dozen

LAMB: Coming next month, you can order a whole or half lamb cut to your specifications, $7/lb. hanging weight

PORK: Did reading the Cochon menu in Peter’s recent bulletin get your mouth watering? Our 20 lb. pork packs are available at $200 with a selection of chops, roasts, ribs, hocks, sausage and smoked bacon. Pork chops sold separately at $10/lb.

PUMPKINS: Our Long Island Cheese pumpkins are still available, great for pies, candied pumpkin, custard and other holiday pumpkin treats. $.50/lb.

Leeks: The weather has been mild enough and the ground soft enough to dig leeks, $2 for 3.

SUMMER BEEF: Our newest grass fed beef is on hand. Order a sample pack this weekend for Monday pickup (20 lbs., $180). Our British White beef is 100% grass fed, no grains, no antibiotics, no growth enhancers. We still have a good enough selection for a couple more sample packs, which will use up most of our steaks, but otherwise you can buy cuts as follows:

Ground beef, $7.50 for a 1.5 lb. tube. (All from one cow..ours!)

Short ribs, $7/lb.

Stir fry or stew beef, $5/lb,

Chuck roast, 5/lb

Top or bottom round roast, $8/lb,

Sirloin tip roast, $12/lb

OTHER STUFF:
Peacock feathers: $1 each, $10 a dozen

FARM PICKUPS: let us know when you’d like your order and it will be on the side screened porch in a bag for you; you can leave your check or cash in the pineapple. Regular pickup times Saturday and Sunday are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m., other days by arrangement.

SPECIAL TURKANA ODYSSEY NOTE: TRIP IS IN FORMATION. Peter’s small group tours to Turkey, including a week long Blue Cruise on a small wooden yacht on the Mediterranean’s Lycian Coast, are a once in a lifetime experience (except for those of us who are lucky enough to repeat them year after year). His website is http://www.tribal-kilims.com in the section Organized Tours. Trips can be customized, but for first timers wanting to sample the best of what Turkey has to offer the ideal choice is An Insider’s View of Turkey in four Acts. Act I Ephesus Region, Act II the Lycian Mediterranean coast by yacht, Act III Cappadocia, and Act IV, Istanbul. Trips are in formation for 2015. If you’d like more information, call Peter at 518-537-3815. Truly memorable trips.

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Red Hook, New York
Local living | Politics/Government | Tech
25 October 2014 01:46PM
John Isaacs

www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/opinion/for-congress-in-new-york.html?ref=opinion

Today, the New York Times endorsed Sean Eldridge for District 19:

“DISTRICT 19, HUDSON VALLEY AND THE CATSKILLS Chris Gibson, a Republican first elected to Congress four years ago, has been willing to buck his own party, at least occasionally. He has, for instance, been among the few House Republicans willing to acknowledge that climate change is caused by humans. He also believes that parts of the Patriot Act, passed after the 9/11 attacks, are unconstitutional. But he does not support the Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage or comprehensive immigration reform, all of which are important to the lives of his constituents.

His Democratic opponent, Sean Eldridge, offers a fresh voice and smart ideas. Mr. Eldridge has been an important force in New York politics for same-sex marriage and an energetic fighter for campaign finance reform. He is a strong supporter of reproductive rights and equal pay for women. And he wants to provide tax relief for middle-class families and small businesses. We recommend Mr. Eldridge in District 19.”

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