Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer intern starts

Greetings! My name is Amanda Korb, a rising Junior at St. Lawrence University studying Environmental Studies and English with a minor in Outdoor Studies. I am ecstatic to be interning for GardenShare this summer for ten weeks!

Hailing from a rural town, one mimicking those similar to the North Country, I understand how in a smaller setting there is prospect for connectivity in the community. With that said, to think hunger issues are relevant only in far off places is easy. GardenShare is a concentrated bite of the larger conversation as they connect local farmers to families in the area. In this way, the issues of food insecurity, poverty, and job security are addressed using the unique bonds of the community. Everyone deserves a right to eat healthy nutritious food as well as know where that food originates!

In my spare time, I enjoy digging my toes in rich humus while boogieing to Paul Simon. You can also find me hiking ADK peaks, reading a Jane Austen novel by the river, or cracking corny jokes with my dad- who I strive to emulate each day (I once brought him to show-and-tell in second grade). Hobbies aside, I look forward to studying off the grid in a yurt village on Massawepie Lake this coming fall, exploring the way humans connect to nature and in turn each other. As it rounds lunchtime here at the office, I will unpack the cooler in my car (because my refrigerator is still in storage) filled with cantaloupe, trail mix, a baggie of mixed veggies, fresh blueberries, wilted spinach, a jar of peanut butter and a half gallon of orange juice.


SNAP  benefit levels are “based on increasingly outdated assumptions, including unreasonable expectations about households’ availability of time to prepare food, and need to be modernized,” a new paper explains. It calls for a 20% benefit increase in the short term and more research to modernize the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) — the estimate of a bare-bones, nutritionally adequate diet that USDA uses to calculate SNAP benefits.  The cost of the TFP, which hasn’t been updated to reflect changes in dietary recommendations since the 1970s, “assumes that low-income households can spend an unlimited amount of time preparing food from scratch and has consequently shifted toward the food items that are lowest cost but most time-intensive,” according to the paper.

Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/25/16, SNAP

Sunday, May 29, 2016

SNAP fraud by state employees denies people benefits

New Mexico is supposed to grant people in dire financial situations expedited SNAP benefits within seven days, rather than the 30 it takes to process regular applications. But  thousands of New Mexico residents may have been cheated out of those benefits, according to new allegations that claim SNAP administrators in the Human Services Department tampered with applications to disqualify people from the program. Nine former and current HSD employees have testified that if the department hadn’t met the required seven-day processing deadline, they were told to give the case file to a supervisor. When the files were handed back to them, they say, the data on the application had been altered. Assets were added and the applicant no longer qualified for the emergency benefits. The practice, which may have been going on since 2003, allows HSD to take the longer, 30-day timeline to process the application. That way, the delay doesn’t count against its court-ordered efforts to comply with regulations.

Source: Think Progress, 5/25/16, SNAP Fraud @ the Top

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Impact of Minimum Wage Increases on Agriculture

This is such a complicated issue and I have not waded into it yet as a result.  I found this piece on Local Harvest and thought it addressed the issues involved quite well and so just wanted to point GardenShare friends to it.



LocalHarvest Newsletter, May 27, 2016
The Fight for Living Wages

Photo by: Wrecking Barn Farm
Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.
I need to preface this discussion by pointing out my - and LocalHarvest's - longstanding commitment to social justice, fair trade, and living wages. Yet, as a recovering farmer who had a business large enough to have employees, I also understand the invisible math that most people never get to see. In the December newsletter we spoke to some of the challenges that US farmers face when competing with cheaper, imported food. If a retailer or a consumer can get a cheaper organic tomato grown for a 10th of the labor costs as a US organic tomato, they just might do that. Now imagine if those US labor costs were to go up 50%?
Continue reading


The Food and Drug Administration finalized a rule last week to update Nutritional Fact Labels on food products. The updates include a new design for the label that highlights  calories and serving sizes, as well as new serving sizes that more closely reflect the amount of food people actually eat. The update will include two columns that list both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for certain products consumed in one or multiple sittings like a pint of ice cream or 3-ounce bag of chips. The rule also includes a provision that forces food producers to list the grams and a percent daily value for added sugar, that is ingredients like high fructose corn syrup they add to a product’s natural sugars. Other changes to the label include a requirement for products like a 20 ounce soda that’s consumed in one sitting to be labeled as one serving and removing from labels “calories from fat,” but “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat” and “Trans Fat” will remain. Food groups up in arms over the new requirement have accused the Food and Drug Administration of pushing forward without the proper science to back it up.

Source: The Hill, 5/20/16, Food Label Update

Friday, May 27, 2016

GardenShare annual dinner and auction coming up in June!

GardenShare will hold its seventh annual fundraising dinner and auction on June 14, 2016 at Jake's on the Water in Hannawa Falls.  There will be a cash bar cocktail hour at 5:30 and dinner will be served at 6:30.  The event will feature a locally-sourced, fresh, seasonal menu prepared especially for GardenShare by Jake's head chef, Josh Taillon.  Tickets are $75 each.
All proceeds from this fundraiser support GardenShare's efforts to make healthy, sustainable food choices available to everyone in the region.
The dinner is sponsored by presenting sponsors St. Lawrence Health System and Stauffer Farms; partnership sponsors County Seat Realty, Green Hammer Construction, and North Country Savings Bank; and friend sponsors Coakley Ace Hardware Stores, Community Bank, Conboy Law Firm, Glow Skincare and Spa, and Save-a-Lot.
A silent auction at the event will also support GardenShare.  Early donations of auction items have been received from Brewer Book Store, Coakley's Ace Hardware Stores, First Crush, Inlay Design, MH Studio, Northwind Farm Day Camp, Orebed Sugar Shack, Potsdam Food Co-op, and Potsdam Town and Country Club.

Additional information about tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or auction donations is available at or by calling GardenShare at 315-261-8054.

Young Farmers & Ranchers Award Applications Are Available!

The New York Farm Bureau State Young Farmers & Ranchers Program is excited to announce the 2016 Young Farmers & Ranchers Awards: Achievement and Excellence in Agriculture.  These competitive events allow young farmers to be recognized for their involvement, achievement & leadership in agriculture, Farm Bureau, and their community as well as their understanding of agricultural issues.
Young Farmers applying for the Achievement Award or the Excellence in Agriculture Award must submit their applications to NYFB by August 15, 2016.  These contests are for farmers who are 18-35 years old as of 1/31/17.  For eligibility requirements and applications visit the Young Farmers & Ranchers page on the New York Farm Bureau website or contact NYFB at 1-800-342-4143

The NYFB state winner of each of these competitive events receive a cash prize and trip to the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention held in Phoenix, AZ in January 2017. In addition to these prizes, the winner of the Achievement Awards wins use of a Kubota Tractor/Compact Track Loader/Skid Steer Loader and the Excellence in Agriculture Award winner receives a STIHL MS251 18” Chainsaw, Chainsaw Carrycase, Chaps, Hearing Protector & Protective Glasses (see contest information sheets and applications on NYFB website for more details).

Young Farmers be sure to submit your award applications NOW!

If you would like to nominate a young farmer to receive an application to apply for one of these awards, please contact NYFB at 1-800-342-4143 by July 1 so that the pertinent application and information can be sent to the young farmer.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


A new report outlines the state of food insecurity in the United States and highlights successful tools to bring healthy and sustainable food sources to underserved communities. The report notes that people of color, low-income communities, and families with children are most likely to live in “food deserts” with limited or no access to consistent sources of healthy food. The authors illustrate successful policies and approaches to address food insecurity through case studies of programs to (1) create healthy corner and nonprofit grocery stores and food cooperatives; (2) develop farm-to-school networks; and (3) use and improve state and local governments procurement policies, land use ordinances, and permitting processes to improve residents’ diets and bring more local, fresh, and unprocessed food into low-income neighborhoods.

Source: Center for American Progress, 5/12/16, Best Practices 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Have you ordered your CSA share yet?

It's time, maybe even past time, to order a CSA share.

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a concept where consumers buy a share in a local farm.  By paying the farmer up front, you help him or her plan, purchase seeds and equipment, and so on.  Then you get to have a great box of fresh, nutritious, locally grown produce every week of the growing season.

Find the CSA farms in the area here on GardenShare's website.  Just click on the CSA tab to narrow down the list to CSA farms.

Think you'd like a CSA, but can't afford it?  Check out GardenShare's Bonus Bucks program to see if you qualify for a subsidy to help you purchase one.

Farmer Dulli from Birdsfoot Farm in Canton sent me these photos of how some of the crops are progressing this week!

Apple trees in bloom

Onions coming up through the mulch and under the netting

First peas are up, next ones planted

Tomatoes are planted right in the bed of mixed greens in the high tunnel.
The tomatoes will take over as the greens are done.


Providing low-income children with $30 to $60 a month during the summer reduced severe food insecurity, according to a USDA report. The Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (Summer EBTC) demonstration project was also associated with positive nutrition changes in participating children. the Summer EBT demonstration project provides parents or guardians of children eligible for free and reduced-price meals with a monthly benefit via a debit-type card that can be redeemed for food purchases throughout summer when children do not have access to school meals.  Providing low-income children $30 or $60 per month per child during the summer reduced the most severe type of food insecurity by one-third.  A $60 per month per child benefit cut less severe food insecurity by 10%.

Source: USDA, 5/11/16, Summer Benefits

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


The Education Committee bill would change WIC in ways that cater to corporate interests and could make the program less cost-effective. For decades, WIC has used competitive bidding to reduce the cost of infant formula and some other foods for infants. The bill would require states that want to use competitive bidding to jump through a series of hoops that appear designed to discourage competitive bidding.  (Gerber Foods, which controls the majority of the U.S. market for infant foods other than formula and is a subsidiary of NestlĂ©, has been lobbying for limits on competitive bidding for infant foods other than formula.)

Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/17/16, WIC Costs

Monday, May 23, 2016


The House Education and Workforce Committee, on which Representative Stefanik serves, completed drafting its bill last week to reauthorize the Child Nutrition and Education Act. The bill, critics contend, contains a number of damaging provisions, including: shrinking coverage of the community eligibility provision and inadequately investing in the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The bill would reduce access to the programs, water down nutrition quality, and increase administrative burdens on both schools and families, they say. 
This legislation also includes a three-state school meal block grant demonstration pilot to replace School Breakfast, Lunch and other school meal programs. The funding would be capped at the amount a state received for the programs and administrative funding in FY 2016. The pilot states would have broad discretion to:
  • establish eligibility rules for free or reduced-price meals;
  • decide the length or time of year that meals are provided;
  • and abandon the current nutrition standards (meals are only required to be “healthy”).

Source: Food Research  & Action Council, 5/18/16, Child Nutrition Bill; Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/17/16, Child Nutrition Bill II

Saturday, May 21, 2016


There are no federal standards for expiration dates, except for baby formula, and best-by or sell-by date have no basis in science —they’re a manufacturer’s best guess for when the food is likely to be freshest or at peak quality. Some food products could last a year or a year and a half past their “sell by” date. Because many American consumers don’t know that they throw out a lot of perfectly good food. Recent surveys of over 1,000 American consumers found that one-third believe expiration labels are federally regulated. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has introduced legislation aimed at combating the issue of misleading expiration dates at the federal level. He would create a national standard for expiration dates, requiring labels to clearly distinguish between foods that reach their peak freshness by a particular date and foods that are unsafe to eat after a certain date. The bill would also make sure that food may be donated even if it has passed its peak freshness.

Source: Think Progress, 5/18/16, Sell-By Bill; Washington Post, 5/19/16, Expiration Dates

This drove me crazy all those years I worked in food banking - so many people throwing out perfectly good food because of a date printed on the package!


Friday, May 20, 2016


Prices for local food products are about the same at farmers markets – within a 10% price range – as at retail stores, and, for some foods, they are even less.  Local, certified organic products at farmers markets are almost always competitively priced with those at retail stores. These are just some of the findings from a recent project conducted in Vermont. Researchers compared the average prices of 55 products – such as produce, meat, poultry, and eggs – at 12 Vermont farmers markets and five retail stores.  They found that many items sold at farmers markets are similarly priced to those sold at traditional retail outlets.   For example:
  • Prices for organic produce at farmers markets is competitive with retail establishments 92% of the time, including: apples, broccoli, carrots, chard, kale, lettuce, raspberries, summer squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.
  • Produce identified as “local” at farmers markets is competitively priced with retail establishments 89% of the time, including: carrots, chard, garlic, lettuce, summer squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.
  • Local” meat at farmers markets is competitively priced with retail establishments 57% of the time, including: eggs, sirloin, and ham.

Source: USDA, 5/19/126, Comparison Shopping

Thursday, May 19, 2016


USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced in April that their Farm Storage Facility Loan program can now help finance portable storage structures, portable equipment, and storage and handling trucks in addition to continuing its longstanding capacity to finance stationary crop and cold storage on-farm facilities. This expansion of the low-interest loan program will help FSA better serve fruit and vegetable farmers and others who need to get crops safely and efficiently to local farmers’ markets, schools, restaurants, food hubs, and retail stores.

The program also offers a new "microloan" option, which allows applicants seeking less than $50,000 to qualify for a reduced down payment of five percent and no requirement to provide three years of production history. Farms and ranches of all sizes are eligible. The microloan option is expected to be of particular benefit to smaller farms and ranches, and specialty crop producers who may not have access to commercial storage or on-farm storage after harvest. These producers can invest in equipment like conveyers, scales or refrigeration units and trucks that can store commodities before delivering them to markets.


Mounting evidence shows that children who grow up poor are more likely to be subjected to stresses like hunger and neglect that act like toxins and hijack the developing brain. In small doses, stress is normal, even helpful. But repeated exposures to adverse childhood experiences remake the architecture of a child’s developing brain, particularly in the prefrontal cortex, which is in charge of executive function and differentiating between good and bad, and the hippocampus, which handles memories and learning. Toxic stress can interact with other toxins like air pollution with consequences including cognitive deficits and emotional disorders, which in turn, help perpetuate disadvantage. There is evidence that children aren’t only affected by stress they experience directly, but by traumas experienced by their parents and grandparents. Some researchers have found evidence that these traumas are passed from parent to child.

Source: Mailman School of Public Health, 5/10/16, Toxic Stress

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

USDA Official: Reauthorize Child Nutrition Programs So They Benefit Children

Posted by Kevin Concannon, Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

It may seem like common sense for child nutrition programs to benefit children, but some see it differently today.

Nationwide, schools have made the lunchroom a healthy environment. In fact, in only the second school year of full implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), over 98 percent of schools participating are already meeting the healthier meal standards.  Students are eating more fruits and vegetables during the school day and more low-income children are eating nutritious breakfasts and lunches at school. And data show obesity rates for some children are leveling off. With all the success of HHFKA, now is not the time to intentionally go backwards on nutrition standards in healthier school meals and to block access to these meals for millions of children.

In January, the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously took a bipartisan step toward reauthorizing critical child nutrition programs like school lunch and breakfast. Rather than diminish the progress we’ve already made, the Senate’s bill ensures these improvements to our children’s diets will continue.  The bipartisan Senate bill represents a compromise that allows us to stop rehashing old debates and secures a healthier future for our kids. It represents a win for children, parents, schools, and our country’s future.

In contrast, the House Education and Workforce Committee’s bill aims to weaken one of the most successful aspects of HHFKA. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows high-poverty schools or districts to serve all students free meals without any burdensome paperwork, has been lauded for increasing student participation, reducing administrative burdens and costs on schools, cutting down on paperwork for busy parents, and improving program integrity. But the House bill would place new limitations on the number of schools in high-poverty areas that qualify for CEP, forcing many high-poverty schools to lose eligibility. This would cause school meal participation to fall dramatically, and schools would be forced to spend more time on paperwork and less time focusing on feeding kids. And some children who need free meals may slip through the cracks.

The House bill would also roll back the school meal nutrition standards and gut the Smart Snacks in School rule, which ensures that all snack foods and beverages for sale to students during the school day are nutritious. Under the House bill, school vending machines could go back to selling soda and junk food.  Schools have already invested time and effort into making the switch to healthier options.  The snack food industry has innovated and developed hundreds of new products that meet the requirements and are popular with students.  Now is not the time to regress.

We are proud of the way the school meals program provides flexibility for schools to tailor the programs to their local needs. For example, schools design their own menus and have the ability to serve items they know their students prefer.  They can also choose options like CEP and serve afterschool snacks and suppers if they are the right fit for their local community. However, in the name of local flexibility, some are considering a proposal to convert the school nutrition programs into a block grant. That is a very dangerous idea. Not only would it put further strain on state and local school districts’ budgets, but it would jeopardize children’s access to quality, healthy school meals no matter where they live.
Instead, we are working with schools and districts to ensure their programs meet their needs. One example is the Team Up For School Nutrition Success training. Along with the Institute of Child Nutrition, we offer all state agencies the opportunity to host local events to provide tailored technical assistance, support, and best practices for schools in administering successful meals programs. During the training, schools cover topics like menu planning, financial management, procurement, meal presentation and appeal, as well as youth engagement tactics and strategies to reduce plate waste. Schools have the opportunity to learn from each other in order to make positive strides toward providing healthy school environments with financial stability and strong student participation. With all these strides being made, now is not the time to eliminate the successful partnership between the federal government and state agencies, putting further strain on state and local school districts’ budgets.

It would be unwise to roll back the school meal standards and I urge Congress to stay the course for sake of our children. USDA looks forward to working with Congress, schools, parents and communities to continue to improve the health and wellbeing of the next generation.


Salmon can’t actually be marketed as “healthy” under current FDA guidelines, despite being recommended as a good source of protein in the government’s most recent dietary guidelines. Pop-Tarts, on the other hand, are in the clear.
The labeling rules around “healthy” haven’t been revisited in over 20 years, even though our understanding of healthy eating habits has changed considerably since then. That’s why the FDA has announced that it will reevaluate the definition of “healthy,” seeking to bring labeling up-to-date with modern understanding and current science. Depending on the final rule, the change could have a huge impact on how food can be marketed to consumers.

Source: Think Progress, 5/11/16, Healthy Foods Redefined

Read or listen to more on this topic on North Country Public Radio

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


The current economic recovery is already longer than the postwar average, so it may be prudent to ask--is a recession lurking around the corner? While there’s no way to know, Congress could start preparing for one by strengthening the “automatic stabilizers” in the federal budget—programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance—that, without the need for action by Congress, expand when the economy is weak and contract when the economy begins to recover.

When the last recession hit, Congressional action was needed to increase SNAP’s maximum monthly food benefit by about $63 a month for a family of three, and that boost was only temporary.  In addition to raising consumer demand, this benefit expansion reduced hunger, and it kept nearly a million people out of poverty in 2010. If Congress doesn’t act before the next recession, it will again be pressured to enact a temporary benefit increase, which may not take effect in time. Instead, Congress could enhance SNAP now to ensure that an expansion kicks in automatically when certain economic indicators are breached. Its size should be tied to the severity of the downturn, and the increase would phase out once things improved.

Source: New York Times, 4/29/16, The Next Recession

Monday, May 16, 2016


The number of SNAP participants has fallen by more than 3 million in the last three years, new USDA data for show — reflecting the broad pattern for SNAP that the Congressional Budget Office and others had forecast. SNAP grew significantly between 2007 and 2011 to meet rising need, as millions more people became eligible due to the Great Recession and lagging recovery; participation among those eligible also rose.  That’s consistent with SNAP’s design and purpose.  Caseload growth slowed substantially beginning in 2012 as the economy improved.  Participation peaked in December 2012 at 47.8 million and fell by roughly 3.2 million between February 2013 and February 2016, to 44.4 million. The declines have been widespread:  43 states had fewer SNAP participants in February 2016 than in February 2013. 

Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/10/16, SNAP Caseload

Friday, May 13, 2016

Schools get FRESH with local food

According to the USDA, an investment in the health of America's students through farm to school programming is also an investment in the health of local economies . In school year 2013-2014, school districts purchased nearly $800 MILLION in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers. That's a 105 percent increase over the $386 million of local food purchased in the 2011-2012 school year. Forty-six percent of school districts report that they will buy even more local foods in future school years.

In the North Country:
For more information on what ANCA is doing to increase regional access to local foods, go here.

No cash? No problem at the Farmers Market!

With farmers market season arriving today, just a reminder that you can use a debit card of a SNAP EBT card at the farmers markets in St. Lawrence County.  Here's how....

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Economic impact of local food in school lunches

Research findings from Cornell University's Community and Regional Development Institute indicate that a 50% increase in demand for fresh, local fruits and vegetables one day/week in school meals could generate up to $9.2 million for vegetable producers and $5.3 million for fruit producers. These findings contribute to the idea of creating incentives for school districts to purchase more local produce for school meals. Click here to view the policy brief.

Farmers market season is here!

With May right around the corner, visions of garden-grown meals have probably begun to engulf your every thought. Reveries of lightly roasted asparagus spears fill your consciousness, begging for the day when you can simply head to the farmers market for a generous share of this bountiful veggie. Never fear! It's just about market—and asparagus—season! 

Starting May 13, the Canton Farmers Market will take place every Tuesday and Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Starting May 14, the Potsdam Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm.  You can swipe your credit, debit, or SNAP card at the market manager table located at each market. Also, SNAP recipients will get double the amount to spend this year! (Example, if you swipe $5 on your SNAP card you'll get $10 in tokens to spend!)  If you have any questions, visit the market manager at the farmers market, or email GardenShare at

The makings of a delicious spring meal are right at your fingertips!

Spring Dinner Meal Plan:
Start with a tossed green salad of mixed lettuce, arugula, and mustard greens, followed by a side dish of roasted asparagus with rosemary and lemon. A main course of chicken with creamy green onion sauce is a hearty staple, and for the vegetarians, the green onion sauce can be mixed over chickpeas and rice. Top it off with a warm rhubarb pie, baked with rhubarb straight from the farmer. The recipes are listed below:

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Rosemary
Showcase the rich flavor of asparagus by complimenting it with herbs and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Prep time: 10 mins    Cook time: 15 mins    Serves: 4


1 whole Lemon
1 bunch of asparagus
Handful of rosemary sprigs
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Thinly slice half of lemon.
  2. Along with the lemon slices and rosemary, spread asparagus shoots on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, as well as salt and pepper. Squeeze juice from remaining half of lemon.
  3. Roast in oven for 7 minutes, then carefully turn asparagus over and continue roasting for another 8 minutes. Watch for preferred doneness. Add additional time if needed. Total roasting time should be between 15-20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm.
(Recipe from

Chicken with Creamy Green Onion Sauce
For the vegetarians, omit the chicken and instead pour the sauce over a mix of some chickpeas and rice.
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Serves: 4-6

Untitled.tiff6 medium chicken breasts
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
⅓  cup chopped green onion
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (to taste)
1 cup plain yogurt

  1. Melt butter over med. high heat.
  2. Stir in flour and cook until bubbly.
  3. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients except yogurt. Make sure you stir the green onions into the sauce at this point. The release of these flavors as it warms is what makes the sauce!
  5. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens (3 to 5 minutes).
  6. Stir in yogurt and heat through.
  7. Serve over baked or sautéed chicken breast.
(Recipes from

Rhubarb Pie
This recipe takes a bit more effort than the previous two, but will be well worth it in the end!

Straight-Up-Rhubarb-Pie-articleLarge.jpg2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
⅔ cup vegetable shortening, plus 2 tablespoons
6 tablespoons ice water

5 cups sliced rhubarb
1 ¼ cups sugar
5 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Make the crust: before measuring the flour, stir it to leaven with air and then measure out 2 cups. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Cut the shortening into the flour with a fork or pastry blender. Stop as soon as the sheen of the butter disappears and the mixture is a bunch of coarse pieces. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water at a time over the dough, lifting and tossing it with the fork. When it begins to come together, gather the dough, press it into a ball and then pull it apart; if it crumbles in your hands, it needs more water. (It's better to err on the side of too wet than too dry.) Add a teaspoon or two more water, as needed.
  2. Gather the dough into two slightly unequal balls, the larger one for the bottom crust and the smaller one for the top. Flatten the larger ball, reforming any frayed edges with the sides of your hand. Dust with flour and roll the dough, starting from the center and moving toward the edges. Take a knife or thin spatula and quickly work its edge between the crust and the counter top. Lift the dough to the side; dust the dough and counter top with flour. Roll again until the diameter is an inch or 2 larger than that of the pie pan. Lay the rolling pin a third of the way from one of the edges. Roll the crust onto the pin and then unroll the crust into a 9-inch pie pan and press it into place. Place in the freezer.
  3. Make the filling: in a large bowl, blend the rhubarb, sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pour into the crust-lined pie pan. Dot with butter.
  4. Roll out the top crust. Dab the rim of the bottom crust with water to create a glue. Then place the top crust over the rhubarb; trim, seal and cut several vents. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until a bit of pink juice bubbles from the vents in the crust.

Written by Lanika Sanders,  Intern at GardenShare
Visit us at

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Farmers Markets Open This Week

The Canton Farmers Market opens this Friday, May 13, on the green in Canton.  This Market will be open from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM every Tuesday and Friday until October.

The Potsdam Farmers Market opens this Saturday, May 14 at Ives Park in Potsdam.  This Market will be open from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM every Saturday until October.

Farmers Markets are held rain or shine.

In May at the Farmers Markets, you may find asparagus, lettuce, green onions, parsnips, dried beans, and rhubarb, among other things.  In addition, the markets frequently have other food, wine, and craft vendors. 

Both Farmers Markets are equipped to accept debit cards or SNAP-EBT benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps).  To use these cards, the customer should visit the Market Manager's booth, where the cards can be swiped and tokens will be provided to spend with the farmers.  GardenShare manages this service for the Farmers Markets and more information can be found at

This year, thanks to a generous grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, GardenShare will be able to double the value for anyone purchasing at the Farmers Market with a SNAP-EBT card.  For each $5.00 charged to the SNAP-EBT card, the customer will receive $10.00 worth of tokens that can be spent for SNAP approved items like fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, or food plants at the Farmers Market.

In addition, SNAP-EBT customers will receive a frequent customer card.  After visiting and purchasing food at the market five different days, the SNAP-EBT customer will receive an additional $20.00 in tokens to be spent at the Farmers Market for these food items.  This benefit is also supported through the grant from Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield.

Shopping at our local Farmers Markets not only gives the consumer the freshest, healthiest produce possible, it also supports our local farmers and keeps that money in the local economy.  GardenShare is pleased to be able to make the benefit of this healthy, locally-grown food accessible to our lower-income neighbors and especially grateful to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for funding the bonuses to those who rely on the SNAP program in order to feed their families.

For more information, visit