September is an important month. The season’s bounty is in full bloom. Somehow those dreary months of winter when only cellared root vegetables and greens are available seem so distant. Heirloom tomatoes overflow from farm stands, pumpkins shine brightly in the sun, and apples arrive crisp and fresh off the trees. It’s like a rainbow, shades of every color draw you in, inviting you to indulge in far more produce than you could consume. September is aptly dubbed National Organic Harvest Month and also marks month-long NY Locavore Challenge, sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY).
Being a New York Locavore means not only eating locally but drinking locally too. Which means spending ample time sipping local wines. New York has three major wine regions–the North Fork of Long Island, the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley. We get out to the North Fork a few times a year. A quick day trip, courtesy of Zipcar or a leisurely train ride and we’re there. And the Hudson Valley is practically a stone’s throw from our parents’ homes, so getting out there isn’t a problem. That only leaves the Finger Lakes. There’s no easy way to get there besides renting a car and driving the 5.5 hour trek. To make it worth it we stay at least three nights, meaning a long weekend, meaning using an extremely coveted vacation day. We take our time off very seriously and if it comes down to spending an extra day in Ireland or a weekend in the Finger Lakes, Ireland wins hands down. So, the moral of the story is, we don’t get up to the Finger Lakes too often. Though when we finally make the trek earlier this month for the first time in 4 years it made me wonder what kept us away for so long.
Well if you know me at all, you probably know about my cupcake obsession, both cooking and eating. So obviously I would probably endorse nearly any cupcake place. But this is a little different. I’ve actually never tried Butter Lane made cupcakes, but did have a fantastic time making my OWN Butter Lane cupcakes at one of their recent classes that I HIGHLY recommend to any baker (or non baker) out there.
I’m one of those people who likes to learn. So when I commit to an idea, I tend to read about it and buy a lot of books. Amazon Prime is my downfall. Take for example when I tried a month long vegan experiment earlier this year (sorry, not blog recorded). I managed to build a 4 book vegan cookbook library practically overnight. So when I became more interested in the locavore movement, I started reading.
Food Coops and CSAs are great. They’re an easy way to guarantee LOCAL farm fresh produce. With a CSA get to know the farm, often the farmer. You can visit. It’s like your very own farm, because you actually “own” a piece of it. With coops, you own a store, with maybe a few hundred or a few thousand other members. You get a say in what’s stocked and how the store is run. Plus, by buying in bulk, you save.