locavore weekend

this past weekend i was teaching in NYC, but the previous weekend was cram-packed with local fun. my pal Mrs. Hungry (ha that’s your new name i just decided!) and her other half came up to visit, and coincidentally there was an event going on that i just knew all four of us would love: the Seed & Sow Skill Share, organized by the Hudson Valley Food Network! this was a really cool and fun thing, which i already plan to attend next year. and apparently workshops like this are sprouting up all over! there were six skill-sharing presentations, of which we attended two: Mushroom Propagation (Mr. Smith has been DYING to learn how to grow mushrooms) and Integrated Pest Management in the Organic Garden. both were excellent and we learned a lot! in fact, someone i know now has a moldy bag of straw in his room which he swears will become a delicious dinner eventually. we shall see…

there was also a market area of local farmers and food makers. i sampled (and then promptly bought) some goat cheese from Sprout Creek Farm. i would have loved to stay for the Organic Chicken Raising talk, but we had other plans…

when i had looked up exactly where the Skill Share was going to be, i happened to notice that it was just a stone’s throw from the Tuthilltown Distillery. i’d been wanting to bring Mr. Smith there since i went to the knit night back in december, and Mrs. Hungry has long been a fan but had never been herself either (see her recap of the day over here). so we went on the fascinating tour, which includes a tasting after. did you know that whiskey has not been produced (legally, anyway) in New York State since Prohibition? this place uses only local ingredients and makes an assortment of really good stuff. we may have brought home a bottle or two…

from their website:

Before Prohibition more than 1,000 farm distillers produced alcohol from New York grains and fruits. Tuthilltown distillers are bringing back traditional batch-distilled spirits.

For 220 years Tuthilltown Gristmill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, used waterpower to render local grains to flour. In 2001 Ralph Erenzo and Vicki Morgan acquired the property and with the help of partner Brian Lee, they converted one of the mill granaries to a micro-distillery.The partners worked tirelessly to teach themselves the craft of small-batch distillation while navigating the legal and administrative aspects of building the company.

Two and a half years later Tuthilltown Spirits produced their first batches of vodka from scraps they collected at a local apple slicing plant. Now the distillers use fresh cider from nearby orchards. Production includes vodkas, whiskeys, rum, eau de vie, brandy, and infusions. New York’s first Bourbon is HUDSON BABY BOURBON, distilled from 100% New York corn. Tuthilltown whiskeys are the first legally distilled and aged grain spirits produced in New York since Prohibition.


  1. wow lucky you! that sounds like the ultimate weekend.
    anxious to hear how the mushroom growing goes.. we are on our last batch of shittake. What is Mr. Smith hoping to grow?

  2. Daisy and Daisy

    How cute is Mr. Smith!
    BTW…Still digging over here!

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