The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

February 4, 2011


Energy Action Day takes on the local food equation at Fox Lane


SCOTT MULLIN PHOTO

Rippowam Cisqua School ninth-graders Arianna Gelwicks and Emma Boyd display mulch from their school’s rocket composter, which is one of only five in the nation.

 
By ELLEN S. BEST

For the Food Energy workshop at Bedford’s Environmental Action Day on Saturday at Fox Lane High School, the medium was the message: dialogue. Experts with information were positioned at tables on the periphery of the gym and attendees were instructed to cruise around and stir up answers to their quests. There were sample “circuits” with color codes to guide you to answers if those questions struck a chord for you. Helpers were around to help you find your way. If your interest was in a community or school garden, you could consult experts to tell you how to plan, build and maintain it. Were you looking to eat and buy local? Or did you want to find out how to become a farmer or to start a garden in your backyard?

The workshop signaled the launch of the Bedford 2020 task forces. The workshops represented task force initiatives that are critical to the reduction of greenhouse gasses. Mimi Lines, a landscape designer, president of the Bedford Garden Club and member of the Food/Agriculture Task Force, began each food energy session by explaining the purpose and the format. After the experts briefly introduced themselves, everyone interacted.

Ms. Lines knew that the unique networking format for the day was a bit of a risk, compared to a typical seminar format, but said that exit responses proved that it was a tremendous success. “It got dialogue between everyone started and allowed people to get involved in the local food web,” she said. “The first environmental summit in 2009 was about education. This event was about taking action.”

Vendors reported to Ms. Lines that they made contacts for food sourcing and also for customers. A large farm was connected to a hospital as a possible local food supplier. “All the experts’ bios and contact information will go into the database for the Bedford 2020 website as resources for future connections,” Ms. Lines said. “Our job is to keep the momentum going and keep up the conversations between processors, distributors and farmers.”

There were 60 experts at the four Food Energy sessions, and each explained their part in making local food a reality in the Bedford vicinity.

Annie Farrell, a member of the Food/Agriculture Task Force and an expert on virtually anything sustainable, said she has been working for sustainability since the 1970s, “before it was in vogue.”

Currently working with the Millstone Foundation to create sustainable communities, she acknowledges that this could be a difficult task in the Bedford area because of the high cost of land. “Families could group together to have neighborhood gardens,” she said. Ms. Farrell has been integral to many successful local food operations, including Cabbage Hill Farm, the Flying Pig Restaurant and Rainbeau Ridge Farm.

Miriam Haas was there as a farmers market expert. She is the woman behind the market at the Boys & Girls Club, and around 20 other markets in Westchester, Rockland and New York City. Her first one started in Ossining in 1991, and now includes five indoor winter markets. Ms. Haas is dedicated to her local brand of market. She makes sure that products sold there have some local connection to the community, an inherent boost to a local economy.

Peter Zander is a 20-year chicken raiser. “I’ve seen it all and have finally created a foolproof, easy way for people to raise chickens,” he said.

With his Front Yard Coop (frontyardcoop.com) all you have to do is pour in the food and water, add the chickens and you’re on your way. One of the models has a solar panel, a built-in electric fence, and a version that moves slowly to distribute the you-know-what to the lucky lawn or garden below.

“Now they’re for rent, two chickens included, for $175 for a two-week period, including delivery within 25 miles of Katonah,” said Mr. Zander. If you decide to buy it, you can apply that toward the total price, which starts at around $1,700.

It’s one thing to grow food in the warm weather, but what about food energy in the winter? Food processing is a sought-after part of the sustainable equation. Winter Sun Farms is a processor based out of town but is used by local producers. They sell frozen and preserved local vegetables and fruit during the winter. Locally their products can be found at Mount Kisco Child Care Center and O2 Living.

Kathryn Dysart of Katonah works with the company and says they partner with farms in the Hudson Valley. “I got involved with the local food movement and moved here from Larchmont with my husband because we wanted more land. We love it here.”


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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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