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How To Start a CSA Workshop Slated for April 22nd

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) ventures are popping up all over the country. If you are interested in opening your own CSA, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County has planned a workshop to help you get started. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, April 22nd from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union, located at 5828 Scenic Ave., Mexico, NY 13114.

The guest speaker will be Diane Eggert, the Executive Director of the Farmers Market Federation of NY, and she and her husband also own and operate a CSA in the Syracuse area.

In a CSA, farmers pre-sell “shares” of their harvest, and then the supporters (buyers) get a portion of the harvest each week, which of course changes as the season progresses. If you are a farmer, or are thinking about starting a small farm and have thought about doing so as a CSA this is a great opportunity to learn.

Once again the workshop will be held Tuesday, April 22nd from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union, located at 5828 Scenic Ave., Mexico, NY 13114. The cost is $10 and light refreshments will be served.  Pre-registration is required and must be done by April 18th. To register, please call 315-963-7286 and send payment to Oswego CCE, 3288 Main St., Mexico, NY 13114.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County provides equal program and employment opportunities. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for the community through education that is valuable to the lives of Oswego County residents. For more information or to advise us if you have special needs please call 315-963-7286 or go online to


19th Annual Maple Weekend Celebrates All-Natural Sweetness March 22-23 and 29-30

What is all-natural, golden brown, sweet and goes with everything from pancakes to popcorn?  New York State maple syrup, of course! “And the best news of all is that the quality of New York State maple syrup is the best in its history, and among the best in the world,” says Michele E. Ledoux, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County.

“Our techniques for making maple syrup today are both time-tested by tradition and enhanced by modern technology. On Maple Weekend, visitors can see all aspects of maple making, from the tapping of the trees to sap collecting to the boiling of the sap into syrup. Some producers will demonstrate the making of maple syrup into other products including maple cream, maple cotton candy and maple sugar. Sampling will be available. Maple Weekend provides an easy and enjoyable, free family-oriented opportunity to see how New York maple producers make some of the world's finest syrup and related products,” Ledoux says.

Techniques of maple production vary from producer to producer. Visiting several of the participating sugaring houses offers a look at different kinds of facilities. In addition, many of the producers will have a variety of additional activities including horse and wagon rides and kids’ activities.

Ledoux says, “New York State maple syrup has established its reputation as some of highest quality in the world. New York Maple producers continually strive to do a better job of telling people about the process from tree to table and that is what Maple Weekend is all about.”

Maple syrup producers across the North Country will hold open houses with syrup making demonstrations and products for sale one or both weekends on March 22-23 and 29-30 from 10am-4pm. Oswego County’s four sugarhouses will be open, visit the Red Schoolhouse Maple, Maple Hollow Farm, Willow Creek Farm and Maple Hill Farm.

This event is FREE to the public. For a list of participating maple producers and maps to their sugarhouses go online at

Red Schoolhouse Maple                                 
 March 22nd  & 23rd and  March 29th   & 30th
2437 County Route 4, Fulton

Come visit Oswego County’s newest maple producer and see the latest technology for sap collection and syrup making!  Join us for pancake breakfasts each day that feature homemade ‘all u can eat’ pancakes and sausage produced locally from Mattland Farm. We are also planning many family friendly   activities including: snowshoeing/walking tours of the sugarbush, tours through the maple production process, sled dog demonstrations, coloring contests and more! Free samples of our maple syrup, maple cream, and maple cotton candy will be available along with other refreshments.  Refer to for the schedule of activities.

Directions: From the south:  Take Rte 481 to exit 14, turn right on Rte 264.  Go through the flashing red light to the second flashing yellow light (State Route 3 & County Rte 4) Turn left, Red Schoolhouse Maple is on your left (about 2 miles)  From the north:  Take Route 104 to Route 3 South, go through Mexico and continue about 3 miles to flashing yellow light.  Turn right on County Route 4. Red Schoolhouse Maple is about 2 miles on left.
From Oswego: Take County Route 4 (Hall Road) east 10 miles.  Go straight through two 4-way stops.  Red Schoolhouse Maple will be on your right.  (About 1 mile)

Maple Hollow Farm
 March 22nd  & 23rd and  March 29th   & 30th
1309 County Route 85, Hannibal

Welcome to our SugarHouse!!! During your guided tour you will experience the sweet aroma of Pure MapleSyrup, in the making, over our large wood-fired evaporator.  You will then have the opportunity to sample the fresh Pure Maple Syrup, and 3 flavors of Maple Cream. Outside we will identify the Hard Maple Tree, which trees are suitable to tap, how to tap, how to measure the sugar content of the sap in the tree & explore the different collection methods used here on the farm. In addition to exploring our Maple Operation, we will offer a meet & greet with the Oswego Co. Maple Queen and Princess, free basket raffles, a sweet story, a chance to meet Emma the Milking Brown Swiss Cow (Supreme Champion at Oswego Co. Fair), & our newest farm babies as well as several other activities. Come enjoy a truly Sweet all-natural fun-filled experience for the entire family at MAPLE HOLLOW FARM -where everyone leaves a little sweeter!!!! Maple Products & refreshments available for more details call 315-564-7133.

Directions: From Rochester: State Route 104 East through Hannibal 2.5 miles through State Route 3 and Route 104 intersection, turn right on County Route #85 3/10th's of a mile on the right hand side.    From North: State Route 104 West out of Oswego, approximately 8 miles, turn left on County Route #85, 3/10th of a mile on the right hand side.  From Syracuse:  Route 481 North or 690 West to State Route 3 in Fulton, turn left on State Route 3, about 6 miles, turn right onto State Route 104, 2 miles, turn right onto County Route 85, 3/10th mile on the right hand side.  

Maple Hill Farm
 March 22nd  & 23rd and  March 29th   & 30th
Donald and Barbara Clonch                 
86 Guernsey Rd, Hannibal

It’s that time of the year when the air around the sugar bush is filled with the sweet smell of pure Maple Syrup. Maple Hill Farm has been in operation since 2001. Come walk the sugar bush, watch the syrup making and bottling process in the sugar house. The sugar house features a Leader oil fired evaporator. (Dress for the weather and bring your mud boots)

Directions: From the north: St. Rt. 48 or 481 or Rt. 3. From the south: Rt. 690 or 481-to the city of Fulton: Go to the St. Rt. 48 south on the west side of Fulton. Right onto St. Rt 176 (Curtis St.) or from the south, left onto St. Rt. 176 (Curtis St.). Follow St. Rt. 176 into Bowens Corners, left onto Co. Rt. 8 for 1/4 mile, right back onto St. Rt. 176. Aprox. 2 miles next left turn is Guernsey Rd. The sugar house and sugar bush is1 mile, on left.

Willow Creek Farm                                
 March 22nd  & 23rd and  March 29th   & 30th
Timothy Whitens                                      
390 Lakeshore Road, Fulton, NY

We started producing maple syrup in1992, collecting sap from about 300 taps. By 2001, our tap count was around 1000, with mostof those being on buckets. We now make syrup from a 2200 tap sugarbush located 10 miles south of us, plus about 100 taps behind the sugar house. All taps now are on pipeline with vacuum. We utilize modern, energy-saving equipment in our process. Total production has been averaging 400 to 500 gallons per year, with a record last year of 730 gallons. We added alpacas to our farm in 2001, and currently have 12. They are shorn once per year for their high quality fleece, which is then turned into fine clothing products.

Directions: From the north: Rte. 481 or Rte. 3 into fulton, south on 1st st (Rte.48), turn right onto Curtis St. (Rte. 176 west). Go about 1.5 miles, bear right onto Lakeshore Rd. We are 2 miles down on the right. From the South: Rte.481 or Rte. 690/48 north to Fulton. Go west on Curtis St.(176) to Lakeshore Rd. 2 miles down on right(green farm sign) From west: Rte. 104 to Rte. 3 east. Turn right at first stop light (about 4.5 miles). South on Rte. 8 for about 2 miles, left on Lakeshore Rd. We are ¼ mile down on left.



Oswego County Harvest Dinner Successfully Showcases Locally Raised Foods
By:  Kelly M. Freihofer

For photos from the event head to our Facebook page!

Upwards of 200 guests enjoyed a feast of locally raised foods at the Oswego County Harvest Dinner on Friday, October 18.  The dinner was held at The American Foundry in Oswego and the 2013 event proved to be as successful in showcasing Oswego County agriculture as it has been in the three preceding years.

The evening opened with appetizers and greetings from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County Executive Director Paul Forestiere who noted that the employees of Cooperative Extension are very much aware of the great things that Oswego County has to offer so, “We do this program for you.”  And, he added, “This event has become a gathering of friends.”

Forestiere recognized the dignitaries in attendance and, as throughout the evening, the 35 farmers who donated their harvest and agricultural products for the dinner were gratefully acknowledged.  “Farmers provide food for us three times a day,” notes Forestiere.  “If it weren’t for them, our lives would be significantly different.”

The appetizers included candied lady apples, chicken and sausage empanadas, tomato bruschetta, Cheddar cheese cubes, and assorted sweet breads. Apple cider was not overlooked for a seasonal beverage, served alongside local milk and cranberry juice.

As the six-course meal was served, course by course, it was introduced in detail – giving special note to where the ingredients originated.  A special tip of the hat was given to the Oswego County BOCES culinary arts department for their hours of prep work for the dinner. In addition, BOCES horticulture department was acknowledged for their decorative skills on the entrance topiaries. 

The dinner menu was orchestrated by American Foundry Head Chef Eugene Batrak, with culinary contributions from Red Sun Fire Roasting Co.’s Executive Chef, Peter Belmonte.             

The first course for the evening was a creamy, yet light, butternut/autumn cup squash soup.  This was followed by an autumn apple salad with fresh greens, carrots, and onions, topped with a spiced maple balsamic vinaigrette. 

Next the third course of apple cider braised beef was served, with two sides; sweetcorn/ green pepper succotash and potatoes with herbs.

A vegetarian course was next, in the form of leek and Swiss cheese quiche.  Next to the tables came plates filled with lamb kabobs with yogurt sauce. 

Last, but not least, the dessert course arrived – strawberry-rhubarb shortcake with blueberry syrup and real whipped cream.

Course after course, guests at the harvest dinner experienced foods produced in their own county.  This experience provided the perfect lead into the guest speaker for the evening – Chris Fesko. 

Lynnette Wright, the Agriculture Economic Development Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County and coordinator of the event introduced Fesko as a farmer, educator, award-winning video producer and owner of ‘On the Farm Discovery Center’ in Skaneateles, NY.  She has spoken nationally and internationally and has been featured in Woman’s Day magazine.

Fesko began by encouraging the practice of buying local, and eating local – as the guests just had. 
To expand the concept of eating local, Fesko encouraged everyone to read labels and to wonder about expiration dates – specifically how a packaged item, such as pudding, could possibly be considered ‘good’ a number of years after it was produced.

Fesko also encouraged everyone to wonder about the labels themselves – considering such advertisements as “100 percent natural” and “vegetarian-fed” on an egg carton.  To really think about what the wording actually means and apply some common sense to them, don’t just buy into the latest fad.

Next Fesko took time to bring the imaginations of her listeners into the cornfield to learn about the interesting, fascinating, typically unknown, and quite entertaining experience of the pollination of sweet corn.

To close, Fesko left a very pleased audience with these words of wisdom, “You are what you eat.  You are what you touch.  You are what you breathe.”

Drawings for the numerous donated baskets and items were raffled off.  Sponsors were recognized, the chefs were applauded, and the evening drew to close. 

“What we are really trying to do here is showcase what you can do with Oswego County food,” sums up Forestiere.  All said, Cornell Cooperative Extension Oswego County did a fine job doing just that.




Oswego County Harvest Guide is Available Online!

The second edition of the Oswego County Harvest Guide is now available online! Scroll down to start finding the freshest, locally grown food! If you would prefer a hard copy of the brochure, please call us at 315.963.7286 to have one mailed to you or look for it libraries, chambers of commerce and other businesses around Oswego County.

The completion of the new Harvest Guide was the first project of the newly hired Agriculture Economic Development Specialist, Lynnette Wright. She explains “the Oswego County Harvest Guide is a directory and map of Oswego County farms and where consumers can buy fresh, local food and agricultural products including fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and maple syrup.” Wright continued “If you’re interested in learning more about where your food comes from there is no better way than to visit a farm and learn first-hand from the farmer!”

Use the Oswego County Harvest Guide to discover all the opportunities Oswego County Agriculture has to offer and unearth all the fresh and local harvest products available throughout the year. This guide will help you make plans to visit an agricultural producer in Oswego County. You can support and learn about local agriculture in a number of ways, including: touring a farm; picking your own fruit, pumpkins or Christmas tree; shopping at a farm stand; or buying local products at a farmers market. The Oswego County Harvest Guide contains over 50 local farms, ready to answer your questions and stocked with products grown and raised locally, in your backyard, Oswego County.
The Harvest Guide is brought to you by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County and your neighboring farmers with the support of the Oswego County Legislature.

To obtain a copy of the Oswego County Harvest Guide, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, 3288 Main St., Mexico, NY 13114, telephone 315-963-7286 or e-mail:

Now Available in Print & Online!    
Oswego County Harvest Guide  

There are 2 ways to search the Harvest Guide Online:
1. Search listings by Category & Farm Name

2. Search based on map location

Discover all the opportunities Oswego County Agriculture has to offer and unearth all the fresh and local harvest products available throughout the year. Use this guide to help you make plans to visit an agricultural producer in Oswego County.

Support & learn about local agriculture by:
  • touring a farm or shopping at a farmers stand
  • picking your own fruit, pumpkins or Christmas tree
  • buying local products at a farmers market

The Oswego County Harvest Guide contains over 50 local farms, ready to answer your questions and stocked with products grown and raised locally, in your backyard, Oswego County.

Brought to you by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County and your neighborhood farmers with the support of the Oswego County Legislature.

To obtain a copy of the Oswego County Harvest Guide,
call or stop by our office:
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County
3288 Main St.
Mexico, NY 13114
Ph: 315-963-7286

There are 2 ways to search the Harvest Guide Online:
1. Search listings by Category & Farm Name

2. Search based on map location



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