Tag Archives: Finger Lakes

Fresh Market Success in Waterloo

20 Jun

By Kristen Moore

First day of Waterloo Rotary Farmer’s Market was certainly memorable. Meeting vendors and staff was fun!

In Costa Rica, I won an award for “Best Note-Taker in the Jungle” but somehow I failed to record the name of the young artist selling earrings. She has a remarkable style!

Before farmers’ tales, please let me explain my own background and interest in healthy local foods and communities. A self-designed major at Green Mountain College in Adventure Education and Media Arts prepared me to launch my website and begin designing and leading programs. Now, as Moore Dirty Boots, LLC, in addition to yoga hikes, guided paddles and interdisciplinary events; I’m initiating my own series of sustainable initiatives and created my own sustainability guide!

Though my goals are green, my kitchen habits have tremendous room for improvement. My advice and instructions in this realm are elementary, which I hope encourages others to be humble and to try and learn along with me.

Grace sold me baby yellow squash and raspberries from Cassim Farms on Yellow Tavern Rd. Grace said Cassim Farms has been operating 40 years!

Bridget and Sydney from “The Tyre Produce Stand” had rhubarb, lettuces, cherries and feverfew. (I first heard of the flower feverfew in an amazing book, Your Brain On Plants by Nicolette Perry, PhD and Elaine Perry, PhD.)

The Tyre Produce Stand is on Black Brook Rd., opening Friday, I believe. Find these farmers on Facebook and Instagram for their latest news.

Lynn Anderson showed characteristics of a successful market veteran. Colorful bouquets and healthy starts invited market patrons to visit. Bouquets in an array of prices adorned one table, while a third hosted house plants. Hanging baskets of cherry tomatoes and maple syrup were just some of her offerings. As I purchased many plants, Lynn advised me on their care, including sun preferences. I’m eager to get outside and rediscover my market purchases! Lynn had tomato and eggplants with fairytale names! I brought home, Juliet, a tomato plant but resisted the temptation of eggplants named Hansel and Gretl. Aren’t those names amazing?!

Strawberry shortcake ingredients were ready in my cooler. A jar of cream was going to quickly shaken into whipped cream for a fun demonstration but I was talking and shopping instead. Strawberry shortcake with biscuits from a bakery is such a treat! Local foods may matter more to some if they knew how flavorful and aromatic they can be. Basil butter on an english muffin became exciting and vivid.

“Lean Years, Happy Years” by Angelo M. Pellegrini is a favorite guide for planning food needs. Knowing what ingredients can transform dishes and what foods you adore, can help one choose what to plant or purchase. For a beginner like me, going to farmers can be an excellent way to secure quality food. Reducing the transportation of food is key to reducing carbon emissions.

Fresh asparagus called me, just like the raspberries and yellow squash from Cassim Farms. The raspberries-were perfect. Better than I have had in years. Tips for the asparagus next post!

Moore Dirty Boots at Waterloo Rotary Market! Let’s Encourage Sustainability

19 Jun

By Kristen Moore

We’ve been having fun preparing for market’s opening day tomorrow! A bit of rain may put a damper on the day, but working with fresh strawberries and basil is a treat for the senses!

My goal is to share some of the insights I’ve been gaining from personal research and my friend, Cindy. Cindy boasts she watched Julia Child as a little girl growing up in Chicago. She spent time beside her grandfather when he cooked and still cherishes his handwritten recipe book.

Cindy stocks up on fresh produce from the best growers at the peak of quality. She then prepares each vegetable or fruit in the best method, wether canning for jam, blanching and freezing for broccoli and beans or…? She is so knowledgable in regards to food preparation and preservation, that her family thrives and it is a fascinating learning experience to discover her processes.

Working in restaurants myself, but in the front of house-F.O.H., I have developed a keen palette without the culinary skills to produce consistently at home.

Using fresh ingredients for multiple dishes is an art in itself to me! Strawberries are an important food in upstate NY, so I’ve thought up four recipes for the quart of strawberries I purchased.

After photographing these beauties, I hulled the strawberries and rinsed them in a colander. At the height of freshness, tender care is necessary. After drying half of the berries, I lined a tray with parchment paper and placed the berries in rows. These berries went into the freezer to save, while the remaining berries were cut up for salad and shortcake.

While preparing the strawberries for use and for storage, I dreamt up a salad that I can’t wait to try! Tasty accompaniments and just the right beverage came to mind. Dessert too. Of course, that will have to be strawberry shortcake! Our strawberries are cut up nicely and chilling, ready to top shortbread biscuits from the local grocery store’s bakery! A BOGO deal on biscuits, meant 6 biscuits went into 2 freezer bags and into our large freezer.

Basil butter pats were a delicious treat I enjoyed last year for a week or so. Another friend and I got together specifically to process fresh basil for each of our households. We cleaned, dried and finely chopped the basil, mixing it into melted butter; some of the batches also had fresh garlic. These supplies did not last long in my house as I wanted to use the trifecta of basil, garlic and butter in everything!

Striking out on my own, I made a batch of basil butter this week; with basil I’ve been growing. Baked potatoes were timed to finish just before the basil butter was ready, allowing an incredible garnish for dinner and some prepared ingredients stored in the freezer. Portions of ingredients need to be researched, as this turned out to be a micro-batch, only making 6 pats!

Soon, I will be sharing the gourmet summer meal and wine pairing-featuring strawberries. Also, I have a classic strawberry dessert recipe to share from personal family archives. Simple to create, yet delicious and complex; it can impress the most discerning guest.

If you haven’t spotted wild strawberries yet this year there is still time. Their rounded, serrated leaves look romantic; while the vivid color of the berries can catch your eye. Discounted for lack of flavor by some, I found a berry at perfect ripeness and felt the original delight of exploring the same banks as a youth. Mmm.

Busy Summer for Moore Dirty Boots!

8 Jun

During quarantine, I created the acronym L.O.V.E. for Lake Ontario’s Valued Ecosystems and launched Moore Dirty Boots, LLC. Our media and adventure education is now complemented with our Sustainability Innovation Department! I’m developing an illustrated sustainability guide and working with a fantastic team of marketing professionals, artists and graphic designers. Projects are in the works within each category and there will be feature articles and media.

Saturday, June 12 I will be cleaning a stream with Girl Scouts to support the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network with an “Embrace the Lake” event. We will continue south to Treman Marina on Cayuga Lake’s southern end to board The Teal, Discover Cayuga Lake’s research cruise vessel and Floating Classroom. After our seminar we will head back north for a stop at Cayuga Creamery to celebrate our day caring for and learning about Cayuga Lake.

Working with students to improve the watershed and share information presented in W.O.W.!, Women On Water is a great honor! W.O.W.! is a series I created for Audubon NY that may gain new life, even being presented in a Sunset Cruise later this summer upon the Discover Cayuga Lake boat.

This Thursday, I am registered for a writing workshop with Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass! As this book affected me profoundly, I’m thrilled to be attending! I’m so glad to be able to include her perspectives and insight-within my limited understanding, in my work. Reading about the author discovering and assessing wild strawberries as they ripened, was a retelling of my own memories. It was also a red maple which I swung from and read within. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s call to experience and nurture our surroundings, led me to incorporate celebration as a major component of outreach. In addition to energy, transport, food and waste; outreach is a fifth pathway for sustainability. Service, education and celebration can transform relationships among people and the relationships with our physical surroundings. I’m so eager to hear from this inspiring author and scientist!

August 14, I’m hosting Love Your Greats Day with a series of events on Lake Ontario, including a Butterfly Walk at 11 am at Alasa Farms/Cracker box Palace. Lunkenheimer’s Craft Brewing Co. is located right on the way to Chimney Bluffs where we will reconvene after lunch. East of NYS Park Chimney Bluffs, we will clean the beach at the NYS DEC Wildlife Management Area. The beach side forest is lined in fine pebbles and sand, as well as trash. We will improve and enjoy this space together. Susan Gateley will celebrate the release of “Natural History of Lake Ontario” on Arcadia Press, with a sunset bluffs/beach walk. Please mark your calendars and join in this special day however you can!

It seems butterfly season has begun, with milkweed popping up and casual walk & talks with little ones. My ten year old friend scored high marks when he told me viceroys pretend to be monarchs to be safe from predators.

I’ll be reading about butterflies at Sodus and Port Byron libraries, hopefully with caterpillars, chrysalis or butterflies in nursery!

September 12, Karen Haas of Bayview Wellness Center and I will co-lead a yoga hike at Sterling Nature Center. Our yoga hikes here were AWESOME, so I’m so glad we are co-hosting this yoga hike again. Donations to the Sterling Nature Center are encouraged!

These are the major highlights on the schedule thus far. Who knows what might be next? I look forward to seeing work along the pathways for sustainability. We all can do better, together!

B is for Butterfly

28 Apr

There is a little boy named Cedric who shouts my name three times when he sees me.  His joy for life is incredible and refreshing.  He knows all of his letters and just turned 3. One of his favorite books came from the Family Reading Partnership, located just outside of Ithaca, NY.  “Love Those Letters” introduces children to letters, encouraging practice of sounds and providing matching imagery.  Cedric or Ceddy quotes the book in conversation, saying things like “J is for Jumping.”

              Cedric enjoys a round hay bale on a chilly day.

In the book, B is for Bike, but as butterflies have been on my mind since January, at least, I realized, B is for butterfly.  Beyond their personal or metaphorical symbolism, butterflies are a unique part of the web of life.  Discussing our upcoming efforts to support butterflies, I discovered many people are very concerned about bees. Also, bugs, like ladybugs.  Chattering away one day about butterfly efforts, an entomologist from Cornell University told me she could explain why ladybugs are ‘more important(?!)’ than butterflies.  I’m still waiting to hear her contributions to the discussion but I began hearing a buzz in my ear from all of these Bs.

A force known as Bill Castle, co-owner of Pollywogg Holler passed away recently.  He was happy to hear my ideas about butterflies and he loved to host people. B is for Bill and Barb, his beloved wife.

    Bill Castle poses with a bee at his golden wedding anniversary.

I’ve always worked in hospitality and tourism, often in the world of wine.  This year, I’m on the east side of Cayuga Lake at Aurora Ale & Lager Co.  The views are amazing and the beer is fantastic!  The nano-brewery has a casual atmosphere where people come to relax, enjoying time at a slower pace than typical of our hectic lives.  Musicians are beginning to gather and regulars are visiting us often.

Guests do get hungry, so I’m hoping to arrange for a caterer specializing in barbecue to visit the brewery. B is for beer, barbecue and brewery.

Catching up with a friend, I told him my ideas about bees, and bs.  He said he is building bat houses and planting his favorite trees, birch trees…Really?! Ha, ha, b is for bats and birch trees, too?!

The synergy of interests and ambitions kind of amazes me! In these difficult times, it is the simple things that can inspire and support us.  The little insects that foster reproduction of plants through pollination, the warmth of a smile and strong handshake or hug, the time spent watching a sunset with friends and sharing finely crafted local products.

We hope to host informal talks regarding bees and butterflies this season.  I’m looking forward to the delivery of monarch larvae in June, so we can begin raising monarchs in a small nursery at the brewery.  I would love to see people caring for monarch larvae across New York state! This is a great project for people who would like to help support monarchs and witness their metamorphosis.  There is so much good that we can do and share.  I’m looking forward to it!

B is for butterfly.

Winter Entertainment

3 Feb

Sun sets on Lake Ontario behind spectacular Chimney Bluffs and the author.

Sun sets on Lake Ontario behind spectacular Chimney Bluffs and the author.

Winter in the Finger Lakes requires a bit more planning and effort than during our warmer months.  Though slick roads or white-out conditions can keep one at home, making time for fun and education can improve one’s mood and health greatly.  Cold and wind have pushed me inside after many brisk walks.  The Tompkins County Public Library is stocked with resources to exercise and relax the mind.  From exotic cooking shows like Made in Spain to local books like “Memoirs of a Fall Creek Boy” and “Underground Railroad Tales: With Routes through the Finger Lakes Region.” I revel in the facts, stories, sights and meals. (Read this article about author Emerson Klees, for writing advice and other local historical books he has written.)

Sunshine becomes a rare treasure in upstate New York.  Vitamin D, bright colors and imagery can warm one’s view and outlook.  Sun graced snow covered fields and wetlands early this week, making a snowshoe at the Montezuma Audubon Center  idyllic.  Caution was necessary as trails were not easily followed with the fresh snow cover.

A rare road trip with friends to attend live music in another city offered greater fuel than one might think!  Joyful dancers embody courage and hope of the human spirit.  Local DJ, Mike Judah spreads positivity internationally through Reggae Explosions on WICB, Ithaca College’s radio station.  He asks listeners to be conscious and loving in their actions, while sharing the affirmative messages of Reggae music each Thursday morning from 10-12 am.

Quite close by is The Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, “the North American seat of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.”  A new contact shared a picture of the ceiling there which stuns! Meditation there is a special experience to discover and enjoy in these cold, worrisome times.  I plan to go there soon! (Along with The Johnson Museum!)

My interdisciplinary studies of adventure education and media arts push and pull my social media and outdoor tendencies. After graduation, time near waterfalls were often spent composing tweets.  I’ve reduced my social media activities in order to spend time in nature as uninterrupted as possible.  At times, I do enjoy taking pictures but oftentimes I will spend my digital connection time outdoors attending to emails. When I’m indoors, I may be devouring images of nature and details of other adventurers, many on Instagram.  Mud covered sneakers and boots inspired my name on Instagram and Twitter.  Find me @mooredirtyboots.

Cold weather has proven to be a great time for planning events, developing partnerships and organizing photos! A new theme for my blog and other digital maintenance will highlight future and re-discovered photos well.

This summer’s projects are beginning to take shape, coloring partners’ outlooks vividly with images of people cooperating to improve and share the places where we work and play.  There is a great deal of work to do but winter is long.

What helps you to thrive during Finger Lakes winters?  Or if you are somewhere sunny and warm, feel free to brag nicely in the comments.

Inconspicuous Killer

5 Sep

Brown dog stands in calm, blue water.

Hope, a chocolate lab mix,  looks for fun in a favorite play spot.

September begins quietly, with a heavy heart and golden leaves.  Avid explorer and enthusiastic playmate, my dog Hope fell victim to Lyme disease and complications from Lyme disease this summer.  A vibrant three year old, she was as active as ever until she began a sharp decline.  Visits to various veterinarians and attempts to treat her were unable to thwart the disease processes within her.

My previous post entitled “June!” warned of dangers linked with adventures in the Finger Lakes.  Though wary of ticks and other dangers present in our local environment, my prevention practices did not keep my pet from becoming exposed to this deadly virus.  A visit to Tompkins CountyNY.gov  reveals staggering statistics regarding the increase in Lyme cases in humans since 2007.  There is cause for alarm and vigilance in protecting ourselves! Though there is a vaccine available for dogs, some people are uncertain of its efficacy or safety.  Given the prevalence of the Lyme virus in our area of the Finger Lakes prevention is a practice to be investigated fully immediately.

Dressing appropriately and routinely checking for ticks is necessary but one must do more.  Applying an insect repellent to clothing is a wise choice.  Ingesting garlic or turmeric has also been suggested.  Eliminating my exposure to the outdoors is impossible, yet peak times for tick activity and cycles should be considered.  Running and lying in tall grasses should be avoided like suntanning with baby oil. Once these activities were enjoyed but now the dangers are simply too high.

Hope was likely exposed to the disease that killed her on one of the walks we shared.  The few moments of intense freedom, when we retreated to the woods to run free and absorb the sights, smells and terrain together.  She run’s in my mind’s eye, up ahead on the trail, looking back to be sure I am following.

Reflections of a brown dog.

A ripple surrounds a brown dog as she looks into the clear, still waters of  Lake Ontario.

June!

15 Jun

June in the Finger Lakes is exciting! Happy to see green hills, ferns, flowers, trees with leaves, fresh produce and students anticipating summer, it is easy to forget the threats we face individually and on a larger scale. Ticks carrying Lyme disease are silent, tiny enemies that need to be avoided with diligence. Invasive species threaten the balance of ecosystems and chemicals from a multiplicity of sources can contaminate our fresh water resources. Learn what you can do to enjoy the outdoors safely and encourage the health of our local and global environment.

The Finger Lakes Institute of Hobart and William and Smith Colleges is doing great work in our region, engaging students and communities to become aware of their environment and ability to impact it negatively and positively.  Working as a Watercraft Steward for FLI allowed me to train with leading educators and others committed to preventing the transport and spread of invasive species.  “Clean, drain and dry” became more than a slogan for thoughtful boaters and more of a step by step directive for those who may be contributing to the spread of invasive species without even knowing it.

Read June’s monthly newsletter to discover the variety of projects FLI’s staff members are involved in around the area.  FLI Happenings

Individuals and small groups are also working to shed light on environmental concerns and to bring people together to discuss impacts and solutions.  Susan Peterson Gately is an environmental educator, sailor and author who has launched a KickStarter campaign to fund a video about Lake Ontario from her vessel, the Sarah B.  She hopes to share facts about the lake, current pollutants and possible improvements that can be made to improve the health of the Great Lake north of the Finger Lakes.  View her campaign,  Lake Ontario A Love Story and consider supporting this passionate scientist and advocate now.

Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity and Nature Preserve.

Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity and Nature Preserve.

Meadows and forests feed my sanity yet enjoying them must be done with care as Lyme disease carrying ticks are prevalent in the Finger Lakes region of NY.  Dressing sensibly is a necessity, even though one may prefer shorts to long pants, creating a barrier to ticks is logical.  High socks, proper shoes, a tucked in shirt and a hat are wise gear to choose.  One may also apply topical deterrents such as essential oils of lavender and/or eucalyptus.  Dogs can share in the protection if safely applied to a bandanna to be worn around the neck.  Essential oils can be strong so do not overuse them!

Permethrin was recommended to me this morning for tick prevention.  A quick search brought up product details and other suggestions that may be more gentle than those applications containing DEET.  What have you found to be useful in warding off ticks and other pests?

As you get out and enjoy this amazing place to visit and call home, please do so with care.  We are connected in ways we may not yet understand. Have fun!

 

Creme de la creme

18 Dec

Homemade triple berry pie brought back the vibrant flavors of summer. Summer in the Finger Lakes is delicious! Wild blackberries, corn on the cob, yellow squash, ice cream, cheese, wine, beer and more.  There is so much to enjoy this time of year one wishes the season would linger much longer. Fall brings a different blend of abundance that is a fine consolation.

Not only are the taste buds happy with premium local food and drink but the visual aesthetics of the Finger Lakes region are satisfying.  In especially rural areas, neat fields cover the landscape in grid-like patterns, only being interrupted by vineyards, dairy farms and the lakes. Keuka Lake proved to be an excellent locale to enjoy scenery, good times with friends and the bounty of the surrounding hills.

Domaine LeSeurre one of Keuka Lake’s newest wineries is producing amazing wine via a blend of New and Old World wine making techniques. Celine and Sebastion LeSeurre originated in France, met in New Zealand and launched their winery in Wayne, NY alongside Keuka Lake. They recently released their first red wine, a Pinot Noir, that I was happy to try during a recent stop to their tasting room.

Domaine LeSeurre released their first red wine earlier this month, a stunning Pinot Noir.

Domaine LeSeurre released their first red wine in 2014, a stunning Pinot Noir.

Visiting friends were thrilled to try this amazing new Pinot Noir! An enormous full moon rose above the hillside to cast its reflection upon the lake as we enjoyed the fine wine of Domaine LeSeure and an assortment of local cheeses from Heron Hill’s Blue Heron Cafe.

The full orange moon begins to rise over the Bluff and reflect upon the water.  Abandoned chairs hold wet towels.

The full orange moon begins to rise over the Bluff and reflect upon the water. Abandoned chairs hold wet towels.

Keuka Lake becomes quiet as the full moon rises and night advances.

Keuka Lake becomes quiet as the full moon rises and night advances.

Colder temperatures helped turn my attention to Coltivare in Ithaca.  This farm to bistro project, launched by the TC3 foundation in downtown Ithaca plans to be a leading example in hospitality and culinary operations.  A sixty acre farm located in Dryden, near Tompkins Cortland Community College, will provide much of the produce used in the restaurant, Coltivare.  The farm will also provide experience for students in the Sustainable Farming Systems and Culinary programs. This unique project emphasizes sustainability throughout the agriculture, culinary and design practices.  Re-purposed barn board and brick dominate the interior of the dining space, while tin and stainless steel lighting fixtures offer pleasant  accents. The inviting atmosphere may help beat cabin fever while the impressive menu is sure to delight.  13 local beers are on tap, and wines from leading local wineries are certainly available too. (Plans for 3 local ciders on tap are in the works too!)

Winter in the Finger Lakes can be rough. Cold temperatures or heavy snowfall make travel brutal at times. Err on the side of caution but consider the changing weather and seasons as opportunities to explore and have new experiences.  Whether you are inspired to read, snowshoe or snowboard, here in the Finger Lakes the options are endless!