Page 13 - The Valley Table - Fall 2021
P. 13

                                and hot, humid summers are particularly detrimental to growth — leaving us with fall as the only reliable season.”
But the state is making headway. New York is currently part of the Eastern Broccoli Project, a ten-year federally funded initiative to overcome farming obstacles. So far, it’s been successful in breeding heat-resistant varieties of broccoli and fine-tuning growing techniques, according to Thomas Björkman, a Cornell University horticulture professor and principal investigator of the project.
Michael Roznye, the founder and “chief evangelist” of regional distributor Red Tomato agrees, adding that the project’s findings have “completely changed the game”
for broccoli producers in the East. In fact, the successful research encouraged Todd Erling, executive director of
the AgriBusiness Development Corporation, to enlist Red Tomato and the Eastern Broccoli Project in a $50,000 state- funded study grant which will explore the feasibility of expanding production, packing, and handling infrastructure in New York.
“Farmers respond to market opportunities,” says Erling, and the new study identifies several, including expansion of large-scale commodity production in western New York, the establishment of cooperative production, icing and packing facilities, plus a frozen broccoli initiative that would
ship New York broccoli to underutilized berry freezing equipment in Maine.
Although California farming is stressed by climate change and soaring labor and transportation costs, New York still has a way to go to be competitive in broccoli production. But, Arnold says, “as part of a diversified distribution model that’s targeting local markets, broccoli definitely has a very important role in our region.”
 photo by allison usavage (broccoli); courtesy of hv marshmallow company (staff picks)
When the temps turn cold, I make dinner reservations at restaurants with fireplaces. My favorites are Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish in North Salem, Peter Pratt’s Inn in Yorktown Heights, and the Tap Room at Crabtree’s Kittle House in Mt. Kisco. All three serve up delicious seasonal food using local ingredients and happen to be housed in 18th century buildings for the ultimate coziness.
—Linda Fears, editor-in-chief
Once the leaves start falling in the Valley, I make a beeline to Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. in Beacon for a bag of pumpkin spice marshmallows. They're the perfect seasonal twist for s'mores.
—Sabrina Sucato, digital managing editor
Pesto is a year-round fave for me — I love it in any season. But there’s just something about Hudson Valley Pantry’s all-natural basil pesto (find online, or at Rockland-based farmers markets) over an autumnal dish of fettucine, butternut squash, and arugula. It hits the spot.
— Francesca Furey, associate editor
Autumn brings incredible farm-to-table specials throughout the Hudson Valley, especially in Rhinebeck. Terrapin's menu matches the season expertly. When October movies play at Upstate Films, it's absolutely vital to walk down the street for farmers' market veggie crepes, BBQ duck quesadillas, and fall-flavored cocktails.
—Raphael Beretta, digital editor
sept – nov 2021 11

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