Farm briefs: May 5, 2013 - Press-Republican: Local News

Farm briefs: May 5, 2013

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013 3:28 am

Exploring Wild Edibles topic of workshops

MALONE — Humans have a much longer history of foraging and gathering food than their relatively new relationship with agriculture. Until the early 20th century, gathering and utilizing a multitude of wild plants, roots, nuts and berries was as common for rural Americans as going to the grocery store is for 21st century shoppers. 

Many of the plants now called weeds were known as potherbs by our grandmothers and are still enjoyed by those who know how to identify and prepare them. The history of many wild plants also included their uses as medicines.

Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Franklin County 4H Program will again be hosting a series of four workshops titled Truly Wild with instructor Pat Banker, 4H program educator, exploring the process of identifying wild edibles available in Northern New York. Workshops will be held at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid and on the Uhlein Maple Plantation on Bear Cub Road in Lake Placid.

Each hands-on event will follow seasonal wild edibles from spring to late summer. The 4H Truly Wild program is open to youth age 5 to 19 and their families. Participants will be exploring the outdoors, plant history, science and the fun of foraging. Participants will also prepare some wild plant dishes to sample in the kitchen at Heaven Hill Farm.

Dates for the workshops will be Saturdays, May 11, June 22, July 27 and Aug. 24 starting at 1 p.m. The workshop cost will be a one-time $10 per participant fee with a special rate for families not to exceed $30 for the entire four-part series.

Pre-registration is required. Register by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension at 483-7403 or by calling Pat Banker at 327-3457.

New York cheese production increases

ALBANY — Total cheese production in New York, excluding cottage cheese, totaled 754 million pounds in 2012, according to Blair Smith, state statistician of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office.

This is a 3.5 percent increase from the previous year. Italian cheese, which accounted for 48 percent of New York’s total cheese output at 365 million pounds, was down 0.5 percent. Total cottage cheese production at 315 million pounds was up 0.9 percent from 2011.

Total U.S. cheese production, excluding cottage cheeses, was 10.9 billion pounds, 2.8 percent above 2011 production. Wisconsin was the leading state with 25.6 percent of the production.

Italian varieties, with 4.63 billion pounds, were 1.1 percent above 2011 production and accounted for 42.5 percent of total cheese in 2012. Mozzarella accounted for 78 percent of the Italian production followed by Provolone with 7.7 percent and Parmesan with 6.4 percent.

California was the leading state in Italian cheese production with 30.7 percent of the production. American-type cheese production was 4.36 billion pounds, 3.1 percent above 2011 and accounted for 40 percent of total cheese in 2012. Wisconsin was the leading state in American-type cheese production with 19 percent of the production.