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Farmers from a foreign land

Migrant workers fill labor gap on area farms

Marin Saenz is one of 52 migrant laborers on Reeves Farm who works through the H2A visa program, which gives temporary work visas to foreign laborers to perform seasonal farm work. Brian Reeves said the farm has been participating in the program for about nine years.

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Grand Champion at 13

Erin Curtis-Szalach wins top prize at World Dairy Expo

Erin Curtis-Szalach has been busy the past two months. In addition to normal school and family responsibilities, the Cazenovia eighth grader — and the Ayrshire cow she owns and raises, named “Colata” — has won five grand championship awards at three national dairy shows in three states since the end of August. And Curtis-Szalach is only 13 years old.

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Critz Farms celebrating 30 years in business, announces plans to open farm brewery, make beer

Critz Farms is known across Central New York as a premier place to visit to get apples, pumpkins, maple cider and Christmas trees — not to mention the animals to see and pet, the playground for the kids and the food to eat — but what most people may not know is that 2015 is the 30th year of business in Cazenovia for Matt and Juanita Critz. And after 30 years in business the Critzes have no intention to slow down — they have announced that by spring 2016 they plan to start brewing their own beer and selling it under the company name of Critz Farms Brewing and Cider Company.

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Community cider project gets 200 bushels of apples

Harvest Moon Cidery to make 2,000 bottles of cider

When Matt and Juanita Critz, owners of Critz Farm and the Harvest Moon Cidery on Rippleton Road, decided to invite the public to contribute wild apples to help make a new “Community Cider” by Harvest Moon, they were hoping at least a few people might find it interesting and participate. Their goal was to receive at least 50 bushels of apples, which is half of what is necessary to make one batch of hard cider, and if their collection fell a little — or a lot — short, they would just use their own apples to fill in what was needed. On Sunday, Oct.4, the final day of the weeklong community apple collection project they were doing, the Critzes were somewhat surprised to find they did not make their goal – they quadrupled it.

New Woodstock Free Library welcomes special guests on Oct. 10

If you want to meet a real princess, visit the New Woodstock Free Library from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, to meet Madison County Dairy Princess Katelyn Bloss. That same day, at 11:30 a.m., Assemblyman Bill Magee, chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Service Citation from the New York State Agricultural Society, will visit the library’s “Agri-Culture” exhibit which runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 30.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County seeking board members

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County is currently seeking volunteer board members to replace outgoing members. CCE, which prides itself in having a diverse board with members of many skill sets, is especially looking for Madison County residents with some background in agriculture, nutrition, youth development, legal, education or marketing, according to a release from the organization.

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Learn about healthy habits at the Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness Fair

The Greater Manlius Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3rd at the Manlius Village Centre, 1 Arkie Albanese Drive, Manlius.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Experience fall in Central New York by visiting local farms

With fall now upon us, there are countless ways to make the most of it here in Central New York. One of the best ways to enjoy autumn is by visiting one of our many local farms, where you can buy local produce straight from our farmers, go on a hayride, or go apple picking.

Fayetteville Farmers Market expands to include monthly winter market

Will be held the second Thursday of each month at the Shoppes at Towne Center

Residents who like to shop local will get the opportunity to visit more than 20 vendors at the Fayetteville Winter Farmers Market once a month starting in November.

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Wild apples wanted for Critz Farms 'Community Cider'

The wild apple crop this year has been huge in Central New York, and it gave Matt and Juanita Critz, owners of Critz Farm and Harvest Moon Cidery in Cazenovia, an idea: Why not ask community members to bring in their wild apples and use those to make a Cazenovia “community” hard cider? Contributors could help press the apples, receive some free bottles of the finished product and even designate a local charity to receive apportion of the proceeds from bottle sales.

In the Earth: Common Reed — Native or Exotic?

I am grateful to a reader for having brought this matter to my attention. Thank you! The common reed (Phragmites australis) is widespread in our region in wet and swampy areas. I guess I had noticed that it seems particularly prevalent along highways and interstate interchanges, but I always assumed it was a native plant. If that is so, then it must be changing patterns of land use that have led to these massive monocultures across the landscape. Alternately, maybe it is actually an exotic plant imported from elsewhere that is actually a classic invasive plant.

Agricultural district open enrollment in October

October has been designated as Madison County's “open enrollment” period during which properties can be added to an existing agricultural district.

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Morrisville State College Dairy Club to hold Annual Autumn Review Sale

Morrisville State College’s annual Autumn Review Sale will be held Saturday, Sept. 19. The sale, run by the Morrisville State Dairy Club, will start at 11 a.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building on Eaton Street in Morrisville. It will be the largest in the 33-year history of the sale, with 121 lots up for consignment.

Cazenovia Equipment to host John Deere Drive Green Demo Days

Cazenovia Equipment Co., Inc. is hosting its 2015 Drive Green Demo Days event at the dealership on Saturday, Sept. 19. This event will give area residents a chance to check out the latest utility tractors, lawn and garden tractors, loaders, implements and other equipment from John Deere.

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Empire Brewing Company to produce official beer of Madison County HopFest

The Madison County Hop Fest is celebrating its 20th anniversary next week, and Empire Brewing Company, whose owner lives in Cazenovia and who is currently constructing a new farmstead brewery in the village, is making the festival’s official beer.

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