Chenango’s bounty

Melissa Stagnaro

I spent much of yesterday at the Chenango County Ag Summit V. Sponsored by the Chenango County Ag Development Council, it was an opportunity for area farmers and others related to the ag industry to discuss issues related to agriculture.

It really was a thought provoking experience, and I learned quite a bit from listening to the speakers, panel and even the conversation around me. Especially when it came to labor issues and different farming philosophies. (Don’t worry, you’ll get to read all about it next week.)

The coolest part of the experience, though, wasn’t just hearing about the diversity of agriculture in our region. It was getting to taste it. The day’s menu included a wide array of local foods, all produced and prepared right here in Upstate New York.

I knew I was going to enjoy the day as soon I arrived at Canasawacta Country Club and saw the morning’s refreshments: Coffee courtesy of Chenango Coffee Roasters, milk and cream provided by Evans Farmhouse Creamery, a generous supply of Kutik’s honey and – be still my heart – a tasty assortment of petite pastries from La Maison Blanche. (You haven’t lived until you’ve tried their almond croissants and pain au chocolat. Yummy!)

I’m not going to lie. I made numerous trips to that delightful table all throughout the morning. But don’t worry, I didn’t spoil my appetite for lunch.  Which was truly a feast of local products, all artfully put together by Canasawacta’s culinary genius, Sue Ryan.

There was a salad bar resplendent with greens from Finger Lakes Fresh, feta cheese from Euphrates (Agro Farma’s sister company), New York apples and maple-coated nuts from Baker’s Maple in Bainbridge. The dressing to go with it was a sweet and spicy concoction made with Evans Farmhouse Yogurt and some of Baker’s maple syrup.

And that was just the beginning! There were ham sliders made with fresh ham from Quarry Brook Farms in Sherburne and topped with New York apples and Evans cheese; and hamburgers made from Quarry Brook Farms’ grass fed beef. There was quiche as well, made with eggs from Sunrise Farm and Lash Taylor, more Evans cheese and chorizo from Quarry Brook.

Dessert? Chobani yogurt parfaits with a variety of maple-coated nuts from Bakers and granola from Upstate Harvest.

Everything was delicious, right to the last morsel. And the best part? Knowing that most of it was produced right here in Chenango County.

Help support Chenango’s diverse agriculture industry by buying local foods. It just doesn’t get better, fresher and more local than that!

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.