Oh, the perks of being a food blogger. When I was working full time as a vegan private chef, I never got invited on cool trips to local farms. Last week we took a day trip up north to the Hudson River Valley’s Black Dirt region to visit Minkus Family Farms, a family run onion farm. It was a beautiful day, the scenery on the way and at the farm was breathtaking, and most importantly, I learned so much about successful onion farming!
The reason we were invited to Minkus Family Farms is that they’re participating in this cool new New York State program that certifies new York farmers who use eco-friendly and food-safe practices. It’s called Empire State NY Grown & Certified. This is a voluntary program that New York farmers who use eco-friendly and food-safe practices can apply to. Of course I, along with the other bloggers, was invited to help spread the word about how important shopping local is. It’s great for local economies, better for the environment (shorter distances for produce to travel and greater accountability), and the produce is fresher. If you live in New York, you’ll start seeing the NY Certified label on fresh produce at grocery stores and farmer’s markets beginning in Spring 2017.
We missed harvest time, which is in August, so we didn’t get to pick any onions, but they were around us everywhere in huge numbers! They store onions in this ginormous temperature and humidity controlled warehouse. It keeps them fresh for months. I’ve never seen so many onions!