2015-07-16 Fussy Little Blog

Benefit of the Doubt

JULY 16, 2015

tags: About, Albany, Cheese, Cocktails, Event, Farm, Food, Love, Meat, Summer, Trust

Integrity is important. Supporting farms and farmers is also important. And I find myself at loggerheads today in that doing both at the same time could cause the perception of a conflict. But there is something awesome going on this weekend, and I want to make sure you all know about it.

At the end of the day, it’s my blog. So I’ll do what I want.

But it’s important for me to tell you that Yelp is a sponsor of the FarmOn! Foundation, and in turn the FarmOn! Foundation is a sponsor of the Weekly Yelp. I approached the foundation, because after meeting Tessa at the Albany Institute of History and Art, I knew I wanted to try and find some way to get involved with her work supporting local farms and farmers.

Let’s make something clear. This blog isn’t for sale. What I’m sharing with you wasn’t part of any terms of any agreement. It’s simply something that I feel compelled to share with as many people as I can across as many platforms as are at my disposal, because I believe in the cause.

Saturday is also going to be one amazing party. And if you miss it, you may regret it.

I’m talking about the 5th Anniversary Hoot! Yep. It’s a Hootenanny, and it starts at 5pm on Empire Farm, about an hour south of Albany, with local drinks and snacks. I know Old Chatham Sheepherding very well, and they will be there. Chaseholm Farm and Jacuterie are new to me, but I can’t wait to try their stuff. Hillrock Estate Distillery makes amazing whiskey, and they’ll be pouring. So will Harvest Spirits, Sovereign Cider, Chatham Brewing, and more.

But there’s also a sit-down dinner put together by executive chef Jonathan Wright of Manhattan’s Rainbow Room. But this isn’t about chefs, it’s about farmers and the food they provide.

Here’s a blurb from a story Tessa wrote for the Register-Star about the event:

Bruce Conover raised the Berkshire pig that chef will honor from Sir William Farm as the centerpiece for the festivities. Jeremy Peele’s grass fed organic beef brisket from Herondale Farm will be smoked and barbecued to perfection and the pastured free range chicken from Heather and Rob Kitchen of Pigasso Farm are sure to delight us all as we eat with the people that truly make our food.

And after the food, there will be music and a bonfire.

Now here’s the thing. It’s not just a grand night out on the farm, it’s also a benefit. The goal here is not just raising awareness of farms, farming, and farmers, but also raising funds to support the work of the FarmOn! Foundation.

It would be a fair question to ask then, what does this foundation actually do. To answer that, I’ll point back to a couple of paragraphs from Tessa’s article:

Five years since the inaugural launch, the FarmOn! Foundation has created and funded programs that inspire youth, fund scholarships and community outreach and develop a local school milk initiative called #MilkMoney, making lunchrooms smarter and bringing local nutrient dense milk cow-to-kid in 36 hours, in partnership with Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy, to regional school districts.

The foundation also hosts and funds CampFarmOn! Aug. 3-7 for 25 youth in grades 8-11. This year, it offered five scholarships for students ages 17-19 on Empire Farm this summer to teach them the business of food on a working farm while learning the economics and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in agriculture.

 can’t even begin to tell you how excited that #MilkMoney program makes me. The milk in my kids’ school has been awful. But while the FarmOn! Foundation has been expanding the program, it still hasn’t made it out to the Guilderland schools yet.

Here’s the link to learn more about the event and buy a ticket. I’m going to be there, and it would be great to see some of you as well.

Next week I’ll start my diet.

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