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FarmieMarket, Sarah Gordon

4 Mar

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FarmieMarket, Sarah Gordon

Sarah Avery Gordon is the founder of FarmieMarket, the Capital Region’s online farmers’ market. In 2009, she began marketing her family’s grass-fed beef on the internet using more traditional marketing venues and was surprised by the positive increase in sales that she and her family experienced.

In 2010 Sarah organized the Heldeberg Market, helping several of her farming friends from the Heldeberg Hilltowns market their goods through a central website hosting her first online farmers’ market. Her goal was to increase profits for small farms that had limited marketing resources and skills.

Heldeberg Market catalogs fresh weekly inventories from small farms so that Albany County customers can go online, shop, check out with their credit card and receive home delivery of their farm fresh goods. In 2011, Sarah increased the scale of her operation again, launching two more online farmers’ markets under the central brand, FarmieMarket. Turning Point Market began serving Saratoga County in July 2011, and simultaneously Uncle Sam’s Farmer Stand started serving Rensselaer County; Heldeberg Market was also expanded to serve Schenectady County.

Customers all over the Capital Region can visit FarmieMarket.com, click on their location, and shop for local produce, meats, eggs and more from the farms that are most local to them. Currently, Sarah is coordinating marketing activities for twenty small farms throughout the Capital Region and making deliveries to customers’ doors three days a week in four counties.

FarmieMarket, Sarah Gordon (TEDx Albany video)

Local Ocean

3 Mar

Local Ocean in Hudson is a salt water fish farm with zero discharge

A former 40,000 square foot distribution warehouse in Hudson is now home to Local Ocean, a fin-fish aquaculture system that will soon provide Northeast residents with a local supply of fresh salt water fish. Local Ocean is actively expanding square footage with two large additions directly behind the current facility.

Based in Columbia County, New York Local Ocean will supply New York City, Boston and several other Northeaast metropolitan areas with a high-quality product void of any pollutants found in wild caught fish. The facility and distribution protocols ensure “Day Boat” or “Top of the Catch” freshness.

Six varieties of fish are raised and harvested at the Greenport facility.

ROYAL DORADE (Sparus aurata)
Popularly Known in Spain as “Dorada”, as “Dorade” in France, “Orata” in Italy and in other international markets as “Sea Bream”, Royal Dorade is a very popular fish originally from the Mediterranean Sea. Royal Dorade are now being raised in Local Ocean’s Greenport NY facility.

SUMMER FLOUNDER (Paralichthys dentatus)
Often considered to be the most important flounder along the Atlantic coast. Summer Flounder are now being raised in Local Ocean’s Greenport NY facility.

AMBERJACK (Seriola Family)
Amberjacks are members of the “Seriola” family and are powerful world-wide swimmers found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Amberjack is common in waters around California and Mexico. The Amberjack has a nice white color to its flesh and a buttery texture as a result of its high contents of omega 3 fatty acids. Currently, Local Ocean is researching three sub-species for commercial production to begin in the first half of 2012. These are:
“Local Ocean” California Yellowtail (Seriola lalandi)
“Local Ocean” Amberjack (Seriola dumerili)
“Local Ocean” Almaco Jack (Seriola rivoliana)

WHITE SEA BASS (Atractoscion nobilis)
White Sea Bass is a species within the Croaker family and is located in waters from Juneau Alaska to Baja California. The skin is silver, and the meat is white, larger fish are often filleted into steaks. A delicious fish, it is rarely enjoyed outside of California. White Sea Bass are now being raised in Local Ocean’s Greenport NY facility.

BLACK SEA BASS (Centropristis striata)
Black Sea Bass is considered to be one of the finest fish in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Black Sea Bass is mild with a firm texture, but tender at the same time. This species is also highly prized for sushi by the Japanese and for steaming whole in the Chinese cuisine.

EUROPEAN SEA BASS (Dicentrarchus labrax)
This is a popular Mediterranean Sea fish known in America by its Italian name “Bronzino” and its French name “Loup de Mer”. These fish have white tender meat with a soft salty flavor and play an important role in the Spanish, French, Greek and North-African cuisines. Bronzino will come into production at our Greenport NY facility in the first half of 2011.

First fish farm in New York with commercial recirculating marine fin-fish aquaculture system.

The future of Local Ocean promises a large, local and sustainably focused fish supply on a mind boggling scale. Over the past two years Local Ocean has standardized an aquaculture system at the 40,000 square foot location in Hudson that makes possible a large scale fresh and salt water commercial fish farm that is the first of its kind. Once established there are plans to strategically implement other locations throughout North America and the Western Hemisphere.

The patented sustainable aquaculture system of Local Ocean is based on a unique fish-farming system that is highly efficient in respect to water and energy use. Energy conservation at Local Ocean comes from a fully-recycled water supply and a passive solar design that provides light and helps minimize heating requirements for the water.

The water is purified by what is known as a “living machine” which employs the use of natural “living” bacteria. The result is a continually purified recirculating system run entirely by two electric pumps with no pollution from environmental discharge and very little need for water replacement. In fact the only loss of water due to evaporation amounts to a mere one percent over time.

The output capacity of Local Ocean’s system is much higher than that of comparable systems (100kg of fish per metric ton of water, compared to 10kg in existing aquaculture systems). With close proximity to large consumer markets like New York City and Albany, Local Ocean will provide a constant, year-round supply of fresh fish without expensive transportation costs.

While fish is typically considered a healthy food option, various studies have shown that many ocean fish contain toxins like lead and mercury. Such contaminants can be eliminated by Local Ocean’s closed system of circulation. From a health stand-point, the advantages of Local Ocean’s aquaculture system will mean a product that is close to organic, even though there are currently no USDA organic certification standards for fish.

City Farmers

23 Feb

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Watch Meryl Joseph’s City Farmers (31 min. documentary)

City Farmers… “A horror, a war zone, you couldn’t walk on the sidewalk..”

Meryl2Filmed by award winning documentary film maker Meryl Joseph, City Farmers documents the community gardening movement in New York City in the 1990’s where determined inner-city residents overcame the threat of drug wars, murder, and decay to create gardens that have become symbolic metaphors of survival. The gardeners narrate compelling stories of their experiences and personal visions about struggles in both life and the gardens.

“A horror, a war zone, you couldn’t walk on the sidewalk – all the furniture, the refrigerators, stoves, the meat, rotten meat, the vegetables – the stink, the bees, the flies, the worms – it was gross.” (Gladys Gonzales, East New York, Brooklyn)

Since 1978, more than 15,000 people in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem and the Lower East side have transformed 1,000 abandoned lots into garden oases. In the most devastated areas of the boroughs, mixed ethnic community groups have created an inspiring grass-roots campaign that now resonates on a global level.

“When they saw us ladies chopping trees and everything, they said, “That lady’s crazy, she must be crazy” and I said, “No, I’m gonna clean this lot!” (Antonia Diaz, Bronx)

Meryl3With the support of GreenThumb a unique alliance was formed between the government and the people. Community groups were able to obtain leases for land and had access to free seeds, garden supplies, lumber, and educational workshops. Today more than one million dollars in produce is grown annually, much of which is graciously donated to senior citizens, the homeless and needy families.

Meryl Joseph City Farmers looks into the heart of diverse communities where New York’s urban farmers are powerful role models for inner-city residents everywhere. Like their seedlings, defying the broken landscape with an intrepid will to survive, urban farmers search for dignified and graceful solutions to revitalizing their neighborhoods.

City Farmers