It did it. That is, the weather decided that the peak of the heat was Grassroots, and since the middle of July, it has gone down to pre-autumn chilliness, blanket on the bed sleeping with regular rain, and lush greens everywhere. This is the time of the year we all shake our heads and proclaim the drought has never been worse with the signals being our lawns are hay colored and brittle. No way this year. No way indeed.
Our farmers are delighted with their crops coming on twofold...and our apple growers had to nip little fruitlings in the springtime to weed down the plethora of fruit to a manageable level for the trees--but the crop is going to be absolutely bumper this year. What with the last few years of low rain/high heat, this is such a lush treat, I cannot resist talking about it, about the heavy storm clouds we have every day, and the glories at the market from the fields.
Lots has happened. We just came back from a really magical weekend at Great Camp Sagamore--for the benefit weekend. (pictures posted here>>). So many lovely people, a sublime location, and a wedding style party with a great silent auction so you could take home a treat and help raise money for the rennovations that need to occur (helping the amazing state matching grant that was provided). Kitty and Alex accompanied us--and were charming, cute and approachable--making friends, drinking in the scene, smoking cigars, and sweetening the time for me. I am so happy they are such social creatures and have no problem with age and can mix at all points. The weekend was interesting as those who stayed in Camp versus those attending the dinner had two separate experiences that, now that I have been there, I have some ideas around offerings, pushing more community and conversation from Friday night on. I am very high on Sagamore these days and feel that there may be some branding efforts happening in the next few months to overhaul the look and feel along with perhaps a more in-depth look at what it is we do, how we do it and where we want to go. But, we will see.
Speaking of branding, we are turning the corner on packaging label designs for the Piggery. It has been an interesting process to have all of us agreeing on a direction and for me to loosen up a bit and not to be so corporate. I am reveling a bit in display fonts, mixing classics with something a bit showier for the type of meat/sausage/lunchmeat offered along with a lockup of NYPastured Pork, The Piggery and the Piggery Pig. We are narrowing the palette--so its clean, snappy and will pop in the meat case.
I am helping Matt La Roux, a wonderful entrepreneur from the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Matt has been given a grant to buy two meat lockers (one for Ithaca and one for Corning (because, surprisingly, Corning is a "food desert"). The cool hook for these lockers is that one rents space ($3-$5 a month p/p) in the locker for the side of beef, the half pig etc that you can buy via Matt's website (simple, great tool): www.meatsuite.com. Meatsuite.com allows you to plug in your zipcode, identify the type of meat you are interested in buying and connects you with a farmer in your neighborhood. Now, you can buy the meat, and have a place for the meat to be delivered and stored conveniently. GREAT idea. It's been fun getting to know Matt--and helping him get the word out. He is quite good at this --on the radio, in all the local press and (how great is this?) on the NPR food blog , The Salt. Kudos to Matt for all the work he has done. I think he has a runaway success on his hands.
Work is work. I am working away on a few American pictures...and they keep coming. Big Boy was dying to happen, so he did. I think now that I have a good boy, he may be doing some things other than holding burgers on plates. We will see. More pix coming your way.