WESTPORT Adirondack Harvest is sponsoring the 4th Annual Harvest Festival Week which will commence on Sunday, Sept. 9 and continue through Saturday, Sept. 15. This annual event, which originated in Essex County, now also encompasses Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Warren Counties.
Harvest Week is Adirondack Harvest's largest and most extensive event of the year, meant to draw attention to local farms, celebrate agricultural heritage and gain recognition of the Adirondack Harvest logo.
We hope that people will want to participate because of their interest in and support of local farms and direct market farmers. Supporting local farms can ultimately improve our lives with fresher, tastier food and the economic well being of our farms and extended communities, said Adirondack Harvest Coordinator Laurie Davis.
The highlight of the week is 38 farm tours, more than the festival has ever had in the past, along with the chef demonstrations at the Keene, Elizabethtown and Lake Placid farmers markets.
The week kicks off Sunday at the Keene Farmers Market with a harvest theme; other farmers markets during the week are planning special events as well.
With recent scares concerning the safety of the industrial food system, people are looking for alternatives. Although agriculture in our region keeps our open land in production and is contributes to the scenic vistas, small farm numbers continue to decline, said Davis.
The farm tours are meant to connect the public both year-round residents and tourists with local small farms.
Local restaurants have been urged to serve at least one meal during Harvest Festival Week that will consist of local farm products.
Nancy Scanlon, Dean of Hospitality, Resort and Culinary Management at Paul Smiths College, will be addressing the Essex County Board of Supervisors on the importance of patronizing local farms on Wednesday, Sept. 12.