Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WGXC Promotes LOCALS Screening

WGXC Newsroom
WGXC is a community-run media project, re-envisioning radio as an innovative platform for local participation. Our inclusive programming connects diverse voices, and distributes information across the public spectrum in New York's Greene and Columbia counties. WGXC will be a 3,300-watt FM radio station in 2010. WGXC Online Radio is currently on the air at www.WGXC.org. This is the news blog for WGXC, with news items about Greene and Columbia counties in New York State. www.WGXC.org
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Local food movie screens in Chatham
Diane Valden in The Columbia Paper reports Carlo DeVito's new movie "LOCALS: Greenmarkets, Farm Markets and the People Who Grow Your Food" will be screened at The Chatham Real Food Market, 15 Church Street, in Chatham Friday, January 29, at 5:30 p.m. DeVito co-owns the Hudson-Chatham Winery.See WGXC.org for more info about WGXC.
posted by Tom Roe @ 8:11 PM


Now you ca read the whole story yourself!

Local food arrives on big screen
Sunday, 24 January 2010 15:14
The Columbia Paper

GHENT--Carlo DeVito says it's an agricultural story that has never been told, so he tells it in his new 57-minute documentary film called, LOCALS: Greenmarkets, Farm Markets and the People Who Grow Your Food.

The idea to make the film came to Mr. DeVito as he worked at the Hudson Farmers Market under a 10-by-10-foot tent selling wine produced at the Hudson-Chatham Winery, which he co-owns.

“I was amazed by all the different stories I heard. Each person had a little bit of the story to tell,” he said in a recent interview. And as he took photographs of the baskets, bottles, jars and wedges of locally produced food and the farmers who produced it, he says, it came to him that this was a story that needed to be told from the farmers' point of view.

LOCALS begins with a historical account of agriculture in the Hudson Valley, when it was once known as the nation's breadbasket, and fresh farm products made their way down the Hudson from Albany to New York City, 300 years ago.

Still photos of the countryside, farm animals, farm products and farmers' faces are interspersed with thoughtful agriculture-related quotes and filmed interviews with farmers and green and farm market organizers.

In this era, the Union Square Market in New York City was started by its organizers because they knew what a good tomato tasted like and could not find one anywhere in New York City. So they set about trying to convince farmers that there was not only a market for their produce in the city but that they should go there and sell their products directly to city residents.

Today, as when it started, the major draw of the green market is that the food is the freshest and the best tasting plus you get to meet your farmer, says one person interviewed in the film, Mike Hurwitz of the city's Department of Green Markets.

Asked in the film what it's like to make the trip to the Union Square Market, cheese maker Doug Ginn of the Pampered Cow says he has to leave Ghent by 3:30 a.m. to get to Union Square between 6 and 6:30 a.m. There are no words to describe it, he says, “It's a lot like being a roadie for Metallica… It's an 18-hour day.”

Dan Gibson of Grazing Angus Acres in Ghent, a producer of grass-fed Black Angus beef, says that while the trip is time consuming and the animals still have to be tended to when he gets home, he is a believer in direct marketing to the consumer, because when a farmer has to deal with a middle man, “something goes wrong” and someone is looking to take a nickel out of his pocket.

Also appearing in the film are Beth Linsky of Beth's Farm Kitchen in Stuyvesant Falls, who likes the experience of interacting with her customers so she can hear firsthand what they think about her jams and chutneys; the owners and operators of Red Oak Farm, an organic CSA farm in Stuyvesant; and Virginia Ambrose of Scarecrow Farm in Hollowville.

There is nothing slick or high tech about the film, which Mr. DeVito put together over 18 months using a handheld camera, his cell phone and a laptop computer. Besides the voices of the people who speak, the soundtrack is a catchy little tune played on a piano.

Mr. DeVito, 47, is a publishing executive. He's a self-proclaimed “tri-state baby”--born in New Jersey, attended grade school in Connecticut, high school in New Jersey and college in New York.
He and his wife, Dominique, bought the old Ralph Cooley farm off Route 66 in Ghent 4½ years ago. His twin 11-year-old sons, Dylan and Dawson, attend the Chatham Middle School.
In addition to making wine on the property, they also make maple syrup in honor of Mr. Cooley, who started out as a dairyman milking Ayrshires and was a legendary maple syrup maker in his later years.

Mr. DeVito says he believes the local food movement is significant and not just about good local food. He also sees it as supporting a way of life and preserving history.

A showing of the film LOCALS will take place at The Chatham Real Food Market, 15 Church Street, Chatham Friday, January 29, at 5:30 p.m.

To contact Diane Valden email

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Saturday, January 23, 2010


"Local food added to menu of of the silver screen" reads the headline of the article featuring the movie, LOCALS, in the January 21, 2010 issue of The Columbia Paper. In the article, Diane Valden writes, Still photos of the countryside, farm animals, farm products and farmers' faces are interspersed with thoughtful agricultural-related quotes and filmed interviews with farmers and green and farm market organizers."

Ms. Valden quotes several people who appear in the film, including Doug Ginn of Twin Maple Farm/Pampered Cow, Dan Gibson of Grazin' Angus Acres, Beth Linsky of Beth's Farm Kitchen, as well as folks from ORed Oak Farm and Scarecrow Farm.

"There is nothigng slick or high tech about the film, which Mr. DeVito put together over 18 months using a handheld camera, his cell phone and a laptop computer. Besides the voices of the poeple who speak, the soundtrack is a catchy little tune played on a piano."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Milton Meisner, 88, of Claverack, Among Founders of Hudson Farmer's Market

By the time I had met Milton, he was already an older gentleman. And he was already well established in his place at the Hudson Farmer's Market. But he always had a friendly smile, and a cup of coffee at the ready. He and I often talked of grape growing, and the heartbreak involved in growing them in such hostile environs.

As the local food movement gains more and more momentum, it is so important to pay respect and honor to those who helped pave the road before us, and acknowledge the great debt of gratitude we owe them.

Thank you, Milt.

Carlo DeVito

Milton Meisner
Register Star
Thursday, January 14, 2010 2:14 AM EST
Milton Meisner, 88, of Claverack, passed away Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.Born November 15, 1921 in Hudson, he was the son of the late Hyman and Rose (Antislovsky) Meisner.Milton was a graduate of Hudson High School. He managed and worked the family farm for most of his life. He was a partner with his brother, David, of the Kaiser and Frazer Car Dealership in Chatham.

He was a real estate broker for over 40 years and owned and operated his own business, Milton Meisner Realty, Inc. in Greenport for over 25 years with his wife, Rosalyn.Mr. Meisner was a member of the Dairy League Cooperative, Inc., the National Organic Farmers Associations of New York, the Cornell Cooperative Extension, member and past trustee of the Board of Directors of Agway, and a founding member of the Hudson Farmers Market.

Milton was a life member and past trustee of Congregation Anshe Emeth and a member of B'Nai Brith.He was a member of the Columbia County Board of Realtors, a member of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Claverack Lions, a past board member of the Mental Health Association of Columbia and Greene Counties, a Claverack Town Councilman, a Democratic Party Committeeman, a member of the Hudson Opera House, and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

Milton was the beloved husband of 55 years of Rosalyn (Rackmilowitz) Meisner; devoted father of Melinda Jones of Mechanicville, Hedda (Randy) Rosen of Stillwater, and Rita (Christy) Tiano of Claverack; beloved grandfather of Jennifer Jones of Mechanicville, Christopher Ball of Stillwater, and Christy and Drew Tiano, both of Claverack; loving brother of David Meisner of Greenport, and special uncle of many nieces and nephews.He was predeceaced by his sister, Sarah Ackerman and his brother, Abraham Meisner.Services will be conducted at 11m Friday at the Bates & Anderson - Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home, 110 Green St., Hudson.

Burial will be in Cedar Park Cemetery.Contributions may be made to WAMC, 318 Central Avenue, Albany, 12206, or to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD, 21741.

Friday, January 8, 2010


On Friday, January 29th, the Chatham Real Food Market A Local Co-Op will have a full length screening of Locals: Greenmarkets, Farm Markets and the People Who Grow Your Food. Real Food is the site of the Chatham Farmers Market when it is in season.

The Chatham Real Food Market Co-op is a community-owned outlet for the products of our local farms and kitchens.

The Co-op provides education about Columbia County agriculture, and promotes a more localized food system.

Our objective is to strengthen our rural community, develop our food security, and help build a healthy local economy in our county. The initiation of the Real Food Co-op was a project of Community Agriculture of Columbia County, an educational non-profit organization dedicated to relocalizing our food system.

Beside the screening of the film, there will also be a Q & A period with filmmaker Carlo DeVito about the local food movement in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
January 29th 5:30PM
Chatham Farmers' Market
Chatham Real Food Market Co-op
Location: 15 Church St. (Route 203)
Times of Operation: Fridays, 4 PM - 7 PM
Season: June through August

E-mail: http://www.realfoodnetwork@taconic.net/


The Greenmarket movement is an urban movement. Basically, it's a farmer's market that takes place in the city. However, Greenmarkets are the Kleenex or Xerox of the farm market world. Greenmarkets is a brand name in the farm market world. The most famous Greenmarket in North America is the Union Square Greenmarket which was started back in the 1970s.

There are more than 42 official Greenmarkets, run by the New York City and the agricultural folks, which coordinate he Greenmarkets in New York City.

By contrast, while New York State Ag and Markets folks monitor and work with the NYC folks regarding Greenmarkets, the state Ag and Markets department folks administer the rest of the markets in the state, which are called Farm Markets.

The actual local markets are run by local volunteers, who attend annual conventions to pick up the most recent and best practices and trends and marketing ideas.


I first started going to the Union Square Greenmarket back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I fell in love with farm markets back then. But I did not begin to understand their value until I had to start working a farm market myself. And the first market I worked was the Hudson Farm Market in Hudson, New York in 2008.

Working a farmers market is not easy. You have to get up early, like farmers do, and get into your spot, and set up your stand, come rain, shine, summer sun or fall cold. It's not easy. But there are real benefits. I met many of my fellow farmers and began to understand the value of the farm market, not only as it applied to getting fresh, local food, but the implications of local food economies. The slow food movement. The understanding of how local farming influences local cuisine. How keeping land in agricultural use is important to boh the folks who live in the argicultural communities, but also what value that has for suburban and urban dwellers.

And of course, it also about building community. I really got to meet a lot of great people and was thrilled most mornings to be at the market. Me and my kids looked forward to breakfast at the farmers market, which usually consisted of farm fresh whole milk in glass bottles, and frsh baked breads, cakes and pies baked by local artisans. It was incredible. I learned about cheesemaking, fruit farming, beef and poultry farming. And I got a real understanding about what the differences are between mega-farms, and local, especially organic, locally produced products.

There's lots of good people at the market.

City of Hudson Farmers' Market Mission Statement:
The purpose of the farmers' market is to provide city and county residents and visitors with convenient access to high quality locally grown, farm fresh produce sold directly by local farmers, and to provide locals farmers with a direct outlet for their farm produce in the city.

HFM's "About Us":
The Hudson Farmers' Market was started many years ago by Milt Meisner and Norman Posner. We continue to strive to support their founding vision and provide Hudson with fresh local product from family farms, being sold by farmers directly to their ever loyal customers.

Since Milt's "retirement" we have continued to grow and offer a wider variety of products (cheese & Mushrooms NEW last year with Muesli cereal and grain products and more coming this year) and more vendors (we are up to 21) each year. Milt is very proud! Come by on Saturday morning and you can buy a cup of "Market Coffee" from Milt at his coffee stand and he will be happy to tell you the full story!!

Come be a part of what makes Columbia County great - Agriculture at its best! Support our local family farms and you will be doing your part to keep your County green and growing...See you at the market!