Monday, July 31, 2017

Tomorrow is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

Revel the first day of August with a freshly made raspberry cream pie! Doesn’t that sound wonderful? August 1st happens to be national raspberry cream pie day and GardenShare has a short and sweet pie recipe that you can enjoy with your favorite people to celebrate the summer months. The below recipe only requires five ingredients and can be made using fresh local ingredients found at your community farmers market. Enjoy!

Raspberry Cream Pie

Prep time 10 min, Ready in 3 hours 10 min

2 (14 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
5 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 pints of fresh raspberries
2 oz of cream cheese (softened)
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts

1. Whisk sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice together in a bowl; gently fold in raspberries.
2. Gently spread cream cheese onto the bottom and sides of graham cracker crusts using a spatula. Divide raspberry mixture between the two crusts; spread filling evenly within the crust.

3. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Serve!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Farmer Friday: The Trudeau Family Farm

Wednesdays are dedicated family time for the Trudeaus. And a tour around the one hundred plus acre property, tucked away in Edwards, NY, explains why. free time is not something Bobbie Trudeau finds herself having much of. Just five minutes into a conversation about the family farm, it becomes apparent that Bobbie doesn’t like to sit down.

The Trudeau's manage a vegetable garden, raise chickens along with turkeys for meat and eggs, breed rams, ewes, and lambs, and have three dogs to protect the animals. Like many farmers, Bobbie finds gardening therapeutic. Unable to recount the moment she decided to pursue farming, especially since she grew up within a family dairy farm, she recounts fond memories of summer days spent helping her grandmother in the garden. The enjoyment of being outside and accomplishment from filling her refrigerator with food that the Trudeau's are responsible for producing, serve as motivation to continue farming.

The sheep, rams, and ewes came to graze. The land is fenced and divided to allow the animals to feed. Once a year someone comes to sheer their wool, many are for sale and leave the farm, some they are butchered for meat, and many are chosen to continue cross breeding. But for the Tudeau's, farming is a family affair. Many of the animals names are chosen by Bobbie’s daughters. They are consistent with themes; many are given character names from a favorite movie. Snow White, Smokey, Bandit, and Pablo are just a sample of the many.
Vegetables growing on the property
There seems to be a constant stream of project ideas going on in the mind of Bobbie Trudeau. “Every year we expand a little more”, she says. They most recently have been building a greenhouse and installing a walk in cooler for the vegetables that quickly become abundant with produce the day before the Canton Farmers Market. Next year she plans to expand and spread out the vegetable garden, plant blueberry bushes, and hopes to begin building a barn.
Whenever Bobbie does find “free time”, she puts her effort into creating wooden signs sold through her Pretty & Prim Etsy account. The summer, busy as it is, allows Bobbie to slow down. Both her and her husband have full time jobs and farm on the side. In the fall Bobbie has to balance farmwork with teaching and coaching cross country. She calls it “organized chaos”.

The Trudeau Family Farm sell their products at the Canton Farmers Market along with a roadside stand at Bob’s Market.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fight Hunger 5K is coming up in September!

Run or walk.  Come on your own or organize a team of family, friends, church members, or coworkers.  Bring the kids - push a stroller or pull a wagon or if they're big enough have them pull you!

Just plan to come!

Join us for the third annual Fight Hunger 5K on September 17, in Canton and help raise awareness of food and hunger issues and also raise funds to support GardenShare's work to solve the problem of hunger by building a stronger local food system.

Sunday, September 17, 2017
Remington Recreation Trail, Canton
Registration begins at 12:30 PM
Walkers leave at 1:00 PM
Runners leave at 1:30 PM

You can sign up online and raise money via the website or download a paper registration form and get started with your fundraising.

Registration is a $20 donation.

Raise $50 or more and receive a T-shirt.

Prizes include:
  • Individual who raises the most money
  • Team that raises the most money
  • Fastest time in the following age categories:  12 and under, 13-25, 26-40, over 40
Full details at

Thank you to our generous sponsors who make this event possible!

Presenting spnosos:

Partnership sponsors:

Friend Sponsors:
Conboy, McKay, Bachman & Kendall, LLP
St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hammond: Not Your Average Farmers Market

The diversified and copious amount of crafts, along with a variety of seasonal produce, make Hammond a distinct market within St. Lawrence County. Every Wednesday from three to six pm, the Hammond Farmers andArtisans Market sets up on the lawn of the Hammond Historical Museum.

            At the market, one can quickly stock up on produce provided by Circle G, Deep Root, and Ennisbrooke Farms. Currently, customers can purchase zucchini, cucumbers, jam, honey, maple syrup, potatoes, blueberries, homemade bread, mushrooms, and greens. Other vendors were also contributing delicious pretzels and homemade baked goods.

While produce is a staple for any farmers market, what makes Hammond stand out from all the others are the artisan vendors. Wandering amongst the tents, you will find hand painted barn quilts, glassware, soaps, ceramics, and hand sewn quilts. There are multiple vendors that sell beautiful earrings, bracelets, and rings. Along with natural essential oils, bug deterrent, a natural “Kiss Me” mouthwash, and other holistic products provided by Thistle Essentials. Similarly, the Card Creations tent sells beautiful handmade cards for any type of occasion for just two dollars.  

This balance between crafts and produce make the Hammond Market a hidden attraction for anyone looking to go on an afternoon adventure.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


A new report finds SNAP participants are strongly connected to the labor force, but many experience changes in employment and labor force participation over the course of a year. In addition, many SNAP participants who are not employed face significant barriers to work. In April 2010, 41% of SNAP participants ages 18 to 59 were employed; most of the remaining participants were out of the labor force (46%) rather than unemployed (13%). Employed SNAP participants earned, on average, $1,250 per month before taxes and worked 40 hours per week. Nearly all employed participants (88%) worked one job; 10% worked at two jobs. SNAP participants who were not working faced a diverse set of barriers to employment. Many lacked significant recent work experience. More than two-thirds (68%) of had not worked in the past 18 months.

Source: Mathematica Policy Reports, 7/19/17, SNAP Work Data

Monday, July 24, 2017


The number of SNAP participants fell by 1.8 million people over the first seven months of FY 2017, nearly matching the decline over all 12 months of fiscal year 2016 (1.875 million). SNAP’s 41.6 million participants in April 2017, the most recent month for which data are available, are the fewest since mid-2010 and 13%, or 6.2 million, below the December 2012 peak. For the fourth straight year SNAP spending also continues to fall.  For the first nine months of this fiscal year, it was 4.3% below the same months last year, and almost 15% lower than the same months in 2013, when spending peaked. These declines are in nominal — not inflation-adjusted — dollars. The stronger economy likely explains most of the decline, though the return of the three-month time limit on certain unemployed childless adults also is a contributing factor. The Congressional Budget Office projects SNAP participation will continue falling 1 to 2% annually over the next decade, from 42 million people in 2017 to 32 million in 2027.

Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 7/19/17, SNAP Caseloads

Friday, July 21, 2017

Farmer Friday: Ober The Moon Goats

If you ran into Wendy Chapman at a grocery store you would struggle to find anything besides paper towels amongst other supplies in her cart. The Chapmans, of Ober the Moon Goats and Lay-Z Duck Farms have adopted a lifestyle and farm that seldom requires a need to gather food outside their property. Their animals and garden have allowed the Chapmans to take total agency over their diet. The meat, vegetables, eggs, cheese, herbs, even laundry detergent, found within the home of the Chapmans are products of their backyard.
One of the many goats of Ober The Moon
Goat cheese is a relatively new project that Wendy has taken on but has already gained positive recognition. “We eat it as fast as we make it”, she explains. The goats produce a gallon of milk a day, and she currently yields three to four pounds of cheese a week. Wendy only sells by the ounce, and has a waiting list of customers so long that the idea of having enough left over to sell at a farmers market is unfathomable. The three main types of goat cheese produced at Ober The Moon are Chevre, Mozzarella, and Ricotta Salata.
 Wendy did not grow up in an agrarian household; this project began just eight years ago as a result of frequenting farmers markets, engaging with local vendors, and becoming more informed on farming and our food system. Ober the Moon Goats and Lay-Z Ducks Farm were created from a domino effect of adopting more and more animals. First came the ducks, then the chickens, then the goats, and finally the turkeys. Both Wendy and her partner Phil have become educated through involvement with the Cornell Cooperative Extension and GardenShare, constant conversations with farmers about what works and what doesn’t, and participation with the LocalLiving Venture.
What is most unique about Wendy is her inability to give up on an animal because it has some type of birth fault, “I just love little heartbeats”, she explains. For years Wendy has been involved in animal rehab. On her property she introduced me to a turkey she keeps even though it was not accepted by its mother and a duck that seems to struggle with arthritis. Similarly, Wendy has taken in numerous crows and finches to care for and bring back to health.
Ducks bathing on Wendy's property
This tenderness found in Wendy is also evident in her hesitation to promote her products, “ I don’t want to get out there and step on anybody’s toes”. The farm in her backyard is making just enough profit to allow her to continue to buy animal feed, although she does point out that her family has been able to save money by relying on their backyard compared to grocery stores.
“I didn’t get in this business to get rich, just got in it to be healthy” says Wendy Chapman. In the future the Chapmans hope to raise pigs, continue to expand into their backyard, and hopefully dip their toes into the miniature cow business. The Chapmans do encourage customers to call ahead if interested in their cheese, chicken, eggs, herbs, and turkey products, and can be reached at (315) 705- 7935. 


The House Budget Committee has “marked up” its FY 2018 Budget Resolution, the first step in the budget process.  The “reconciliation” instructions on which the budget is based require $203 billion in mandatory spending through savings and reforms over 10 years. That includes likely SNAP cuts of $10 billion over 10 years, and apparently $1.6 billion/10 years in cuts from eliminating thousands of schools from the School Meal Community Eligibility Provision. The budget resolution, though, goes further, assuming $150 billion in SNAP reductions, which would kick in halfway through the decade, and $20 billion from Earned Income  and Child Tax credits. The committee’s budget blueprint “recommends focusing on reforms that will restore overall SNAP funding to sustainable levels, while still providing states the flexibility to tailor the program to best meet the needs of their SNAP-eligible populations.” It also calls for states to enforce SNAP work requirements to better ensure that public assistance transitions people to independence. The blueprint also proposes requiring verification of income before Earned Income Tax Credits are paid and using the resulting savings to eliminate tax penalties for marriage. In addition, the budget would require people seeking the refundable child tax credit to submit a Social Security number for each child in order to claim the credit.

House Budget Committee, 7/19/17, Budget Blueprint

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Volunteers needed at Campus Kitchens

Every Monday you can find an eclectic mix of the St. Lawrence community at the Canton Unitarian Universalist Church between 5-6:30pm eating a meal put on by Campus Kitchens. People from local areas rely on the effort put on by students and volunteers to provide a well-balanced and healthy hot meal.

“It gives us the sustenance to keep going and allows us to be with each other”, explains Lura, Violet, Bob, and Larry, who consistently attend every community meal in the area.

Bill, another frequent visitor expresses his appreciation for what Campus Kitchens provides, “since I am in a poor financial condition, this is the only way I can get my meals and nutrition”.

Originating in 2010, Campus Kitchens began as a grant for a senior project, through St. Lawrence University, and has since developed into a well-managed and vital service to the community.

The University program operates year round, regardless of academic vacations. The program is executed through a balance of St. Lawrence students and community volunteers who come together to create healthy and delicious three course meals for individuals their families.

GardenShare has a grant through the State of New York's Volunteer Generation Fund and is working with Campus Kitchens to help recruit community volunteers to serve when the students are away.

These meals are free of charge and open to the public. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact SLU Volunteer Services at (315)-229-5135. 

Monday, July 17, 2017


Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week celebrated and defended the Trump administration's recent controversial move to relax some of the school-nutrition standards championed by former first lady Michelle Obama. Perdue spoke to the crowd of some 7,000 professionals at the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) annual conference in Atlanta. Perdue was adamant that the administration’s new policy isn't a step backward. He asserted that the administration is simply “freezing things in place to help us evaluate what the palatability, what the acceptance of these changes have been and to reduce the burdens on schools to get you back to feeding kids and not doing paperwork so much anymore.” Perdue said he wants SNA to help USDA make school nutrition standards better.

Source: Politico, 7/13/17, School Meal Standards

Friday, July 14, 2017

Farmer Friday: Fobare's Fruits

The Farm Market of Fobare's Fruits
On a dead end road within Rensselaer Falls you will find a playground, corn maze, pumpkin patch, farm market, raspberry field, and apple orchard. These are only some of the attractions offered by Steve and Gayle Fobare, of Fobare’s Fruits. Their family friendly, safe, affordable, and local oriented property allows families, birthday parties, schools, and businesses, the opportunity to pick apples and raspberries straight from the fields and connect with their environment.
Even in the off season, on a warm August day, it is apparent how much time is dedicated to this interactive and inclusive property. With fifteen acres dedicated to apples, four and a half for the corn maze, and one for raspberries, combined with the diversity of attractions within the playground, and the variety of products sold and baked within the farm market, you wonder what it is that keeps the Fobares motivated.
Mining Attraction and the Orchard
“When a kid is crying because they have to leave you know you did good” explains Gayle Fobare. The most rewarding aspect of their job is being able to watch children and families experience local food. Both Steve and Gayle explain their joy in the ability to help a child eat an apple straight from the tree, and watch children connect their food directly to the source. Fobare’s allows visitors and North Country residents the opportunity to limit the miles it takes to bring fresh fruit to your home, and for many children it is the first time they understand and experience where it is their food comes from.
Like all farmers, the Fobares depend on the weather to create produce. “There aren’t many orchards up here and there’s a good reason for it. We are too far north. But there are orchards in Canada that are further north yet, so we were hoping that if we picked the right variety we could make it work” explains Steve. Gayle also elaborates on this reliance with our natural world, “You’re playing with Mother Nature. She controls everything. You don’t control her, she controls you”.
Some of the goodies inside the Market
From exploring the property and knowing the success that the Fobare's have had in a still relatively new business, you can see that weather is not a limiting obstacle and they have created an equally beneficial and respectful relationship with their land.
The orchard began in 2009 and now houses at least five apple varieties and has expanded to consist of almost seven thousand trees. This amount of apples would be an endless task to allocate if it was not for the help of u-pick visitors in the fall. The help allows Steve and Gayle to work on the other attractions around Fobare’s property. Gayle spends most of her days inside the Farm Market store, baking everything from cinnamon rolls, baked donuts, pies, apple crisp, and homemade bread that can be bought directly, while Steve constantly assists with the crowd and activities outside. They also have hosted a Princess Tea Party, Super Hero Event, and are currently planning a Cancer Walk for August 12th.
Although the fall is notably the busiest time on the farm, Fobare’s is open from Wednesday to Sunday and is a great and easy place to sit and enjoy "A Taste Of Country". For more information visit, .