Producer Profiles Archive

Here are some of the amazing people and places who grow and make our local food.

Gade Farm in Altamont has been a family business since 1878, when Peter Gade emigrated to the United States from Germany. Now, the fourth generation of Gades are farming together, growing 60 acres of corn, tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, beans, nursery plants, and much more on the same land that their grandfather lovingly tended.

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Growing garlic is a serious business at Skymeadow Farm in Cherry Valley, NY, where Rich Guardi grows 6-8,000 pounds of organic garlic every year, working to develop more flavorful and disease-resistant strains of five carefully chosen hardneck varieties. Rich grew up on a dairy farm in Central New York, traveled throughout the U.S., and settled in Aspen, Colorado for twenty years before returning to work his land. 

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Knight Orchards: This true family-owned and-operated business began in 1907 when Clarence and Russell Knight moved their families onto the 80 acre farm in Burnt Hills, NY. They originally started with dairy, although in 1919 they decided to move into fruit. Starting with a large block of apple trees, the brothers added additional varieties of tree fruits in the following years. Once the trees had matured, dairy operations were eventually phased out.

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Bulich Farm: Tucked into the Hudson Valley you’ll find the Bulich third-generation mushroom farm. Known for their shiitake, portobello, crimini and oysters varieties, the small family farm produces over four tons of mushrooms each week. Started in the 1950’s by their Yugoslavian grandfather, the farm was just one of many mushroom producers of the region, known for perfect growing conditions. In the 1980’s, Frank Bulich (second-generation owner) thought it was time to diversify their crop and take out the middlemen, selling directly to small business and individuals. Today third-generation owners Joe and Mike operate the last fully functioning mushroom farm in the whole state, using the same techniques taught to them by their father.

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Davenport Farm: The rich lands that make up Bruce Davenport’s farm in Stone Ridge, NY have been in his family for over four generations. His great-grandfather and grandfather grew tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and cabbage. The advent of refrigeration allowed his father to specialize in sweet corn, the crop that seemed to grow best in the valley. Over 50 acres of their land is dedicated to his family’s delicious, Non-GMO sweet corn. A true family business, members of the Davenport family can be found working every phase of their farm: planting and harvesting, managing greenhouses and selling at the roadside stand.

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When you’re looking to support local producers who believe in humane, sustainable farming practices, you know Honest Weight’s got you covered! This month we’re shining a well-deserved spotlight on Sweet Tree Farm in Carlisle, where Judy Pangman and Frank Johnson produce beef, pork, eggs and maple syrup, all with a commitment to promoting a safe and healthy local food system. Sweet Tree Farm’s animals are pasture raised as close to nature and as stress-free as possible, and of course without antibiotics or hormones. Here, cows are entirely grass-fed, and hogs and laying hens only feed on certified organic grains.

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Since 1993, the Ball Family have owned and operated the fertile lands that make up their home at Schoharie Valley Farms in Schoharie, NY. Rightfully proud of the rich agricultural history of the lands they love, the Ball family is dedicated to growing only top-quality produce and preserving the lands agricultural heritage for generations to come. In its annual growing cycle, the family starts the growing season in spring, reaps summer’s plentiful bounty of tomatoes, tender sweet corn and peppers, and rounds out the year with autumn’s harvest of pumpkins, squash, carrots, potatoes and parsnips.

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Rulison Honey Farm: For 120 years and four generations, Rulison Honey Farms has been keeping bees in New York’s Mohawk and Hudson valleys. Their 1000-plus hives produce a veritable ton of honey and beeswax, and also provide apple pollination for many orchards and gardens throughout the Capital Region. In the past two decades, keeping bees alive has been challenging for beekeepers across the country because of viruses, mites, and many chemical agricultural products. The Rulsions continue to work to keep their bees healthy so that they can supply you with one of nature's best sweeteners: nectar from the flowers.At Honest Weight we carry Rulison Farms’ clover honey, wildflower honey, buckwheat honey, spreadable honey, and honey right in the comb!

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100 Mile Pies: If you stop in at the Co-op on a Friday afternoon, you might be lucky enough to catch Susan Quillio of Spoonful Kitchen and Catering offering samples of her 100 Mile Pies.  These are savory pot pies and hand pies prepared in her kitchen in Easton, New York.  The ingredients are sourced from local farms and regional producers of quality, wholesome foods.  According to Susan, "Buying food regionally creates nutrient rich food, positively affects our economy and reduces our carbon footprint."  The name of her product was inspired by her determination to work, as much as possible, with farmers and other food suppliers who are within a 100 mile radius of her business.Susan has been baking her pies and catering special events since 1998.  She now works year round with a staff of 4; that number increases when catering demands are high.  Currently her offerings are: Spicy Three Sisters Pot Pie, based on the Native American planting of corn, beans and squash; Traditional Vegetable Pot Pie, featuring carrots, potatoes, peas, green & white beans, celeriac, turnips, parsnips and mild herbs; Curried Cauliflower Pie a fragrant hand held pie with seasonings and ingredients reflective of India and the Far East.  The latest creation is Rustic Rhubarb Berry Tart made with bright local fruits tucked in a cornmeal pastry. In addition to Honest Weight Food Co-op, 100 Mile Pies are available at two area stores and at  the Troy and Greenwich Farmers' Markets.  At Honest Weight they are sold frozen in the specialty foods section of the store. Take one home and heat it up. Susan promises it will be as good as fresh baked!

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Gammelgarden Creamery: In 2010, Stina Kutzer and her sister Marta Willett decided to start a business that would allow them to share with their community the kind of fresh dairy products that their families enjoyed.  The result of their planning was the establishment of Gammelgarden, a unique creamery located in Pownal, VT.  The stars of this enterprise are 13 Jersey  cows, six of which are now producing the milk that becomes cultured butter, buttermilk, skyr (an Icelandic yogurt traditionally made with skim milk) and fresh cheese. At Gammelgarden - a Swedish word meaning "old small farm" - the cows are pastured spring, summer and fall on the family's land. They are milked twice a day, two at a time, and then the milk goes through a slow pasteurization process that preserves both taste and nutritional value. Because production is limited to 45 gallons for each individual product, Stina is able to personally oversee all aspects of the system, thus assuring high quality. Currently Gammelgarden products are found in, or are used by, 20 food businesses scattered throughout New York, Vermont and Massachusetts.  In the dairy case at Honest Weight, you will find 16-oz. containers of maple and plain skyr, and 6-oz. containers of bottom-layered Jammin' Skyr with Wild Maine Blueberry, Raspberry Maple or Strawberry Jam.  Buttermilk is also on hand. The Co-op is happy to make these unique, delicious products available and urges shoppers to support this local business.

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Slack Hollow Farm : Located in the town of Argyle in Washington County, NY, Slack Hollow Farm is one of several organic farms that supplies diversified produce to the Honest Weight Food Co-op. It has been in business since 1985 and has had the "NOFA-NY Certified" designation for the past 19 years. This essentially means they use no synthetic pesticides or herbicides on their crops and provide only natural sources of fertility for their soil. This family-run farm is operated by Seth Jacobs and Martha Johnson with help from a crew of dedicated workers. Their stated goals are to grow the tastiest, healthiest produce possible and to be a link in the area food chain by growing and selling their vegetables locally year-round.  In order to realize the latter goal, they built an unheated greenhouse 10 years ago where they have been successfully growing winter spinach and other crops. Recently they added two ground heated hoop-houses in which they are able to produce a greater diversity of greens for the winter market. In addition to the Co-op, products from Slack Hollow Farm can be found at Troy Waterfront  Farmers' Market, Healthy Living Market and Gardenworksthey are also featured in area restaurants and at catered events. Look for the Slack Hollow label when you shop at Honest Weight!



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Klein's Kill Fruit Farms

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In 1921, early in their marriage, Antonio and Jesse Bartolotta purchased the land in Germantown, NY, that would become Klein's Kill Fruit Farms. What began as a 225 acre farm that grew six varieties of apples became, over the course of 25 years, a business covering 600 acres of orchards. After Antonio's death in 1956, Jesse and her six sons carried on the work and saw the farm flourish. Today, 90 years after its foundation, Klein's Kill Fruit Farm Corporation continues to be run by 3 of the Bartolotta sons - Russell, Alfred and Robert - and one of the grandsons, Russell, Jr.

 

Now at Klein's Kill, they grow 19 apples varieties, 3 types of pears, and abundant cherries, peaches and plums. This conventionally grown fruit is currently sold at Honest Weight and is also delivered to businesses in 30 states from New York to California.  The Bartolottas assure their customers that they "rely on the knowledge of experienced horticulturists to implement the best growing practices." 

When you're at Honest Weight, see what is available now from this producer, and as the summer progresses, look for Klein's Kill seasonal fruit.


Nine Pin Cider Works

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Nine Pin Cider Works is a new business, located on Broadway in downtown Albany.  It is the brainchild of Alejandro del Peral, who crafts award-winning hard cider "from farm to glass."
 
The secret of his success has everything to do with process: It begins with acquiring the best local apples to create just the right blend of flavors, including unique apples grown from seed on his family farm.  This combination provides the building block for Nine Pin's crisp and refreshing taste.
 
The apples are pressed at local orchards, then the juice is transported to the cidery in Albany.  There it undergoes the trademark fermenting and aging process.  Once it has been aged to Alejandro's exacting standards, the cider is packaged into kegs and bottles and sent out to the world.  It can be found at Honest Weight in our beer section.


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Organic Valley

Organic Valley had its origin in 1988  in Wisconsin, where a small group of farmers with a shared love of the land and a belief in sustainable agriculture came together to form a cooperative.In time, Organic Valley became the number one source of organic milk in the nation. It now comprises 1,834 farmer-owners located in 32 states and three Canadian provinces.

Organic Valley works with dairy farms in 8 regions across the country, and Honest Weight gets Organic Valley dairy products from farms in the Northeast Region, like Odd Duck Farm. Look for these items in the dairy section of the store and be assured that you will be buying high-quality organic products and supporting regional sustainable agriculture.


Barkeater Chocolates

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Deb and Jim Morris founded Barkeater Chocolates in 2008 in North Creek, New York.

They use the highest quality chocolate with ingredients that are natural, often organic, without any fillers. They began with handmade
truffles, and quickly expanded the lineup to include Grown-Up Peanut Butter Cups and hot cocoa mixes,followed by Barkeater Bars in five
different flavors and a selection of chocolate barks. Whenever possible, Deb and Jim source locally-produced ingredients for their chocolates and have formed a small network of local food producers.

The business has grown steadily over the past 6 years, from offering just a few truffle choices to now producing tens of thousands of
pounds of confections annually. You will find a selection of Barkeater chocolates at the Co-op, and can
also check out www.BarkeaterChocolates.com.


Saratoga Gluten Free Goods

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Saratoga Gluten Free Goods is a specialty wholesale business, owned and operated by MaryAnna O’Donnell, Jeanne Daley and Robert Averill. Its fresh gluten free breads, rolls and desserts are delivered weekly to Honest Weight and many restaurants and retail establishments throughout the region. These products are not only free of gluten and preservatives, but are also made from ingredients that are organic, GMO-free and locally grown.

The business had its start in 2008 at the Gansevoort Farmers’ Market. MaryAnna and Jeanne, whose families deal with gluten intolerance, had created products that were far tastier than the gluten free brands they found in stores. As their business grew, they were joined in 2010 by Robert Averill.If you are gluten sensitive, suffer from celiac disease, or simply want a tasty alternative to wheat products, look for Saratoga Gluten Free Bakery Goods in the bread aisle at Honest Weight


Raven Crest Botanicals

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Susanna Raeven is an herbalist and medicinal herb grower, and operates Raven Crest Botanicals, a small-scale organic herb farm in Berne, New York. Raven Crest Botanicals is an apothecary of hand-crafted tinctures and extracts, all-natural artisan skin products, herbal tea blends. Susanna grows over 100 medicinal and culinary herbs using organic, permacultural, and biodynamic methods. Her hand-harvested herbs are watered with a solar-operated, pond-fed irrigation system, and her seedlings mature in a beautiful earth-sheltered greenhouse, which is also used as a drying house for herbs harvested later in summer.

Susanna first glimpsed the realm of medicinal plants during a trip to the Peruvian Amazon and has not looked back since. Her herb farm has grown with her plant knowledge, and she continuously increases the size of her growing space and the number of herbs she cultivates. She offers herbal CSA shares, leads plant walks, teaches classes in Western herbalism, and offers herbal consultations.

Look for products with the Raven Crest Botanicals label in the wellness department at Honest Weight. For more information about Susanna and her business, visit her website www.ravencrestbotanicals.com and read her blogs on www.motherearthnews.com


Cider Belly Doughnuts

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Cider doughnuts have finally come to Honest Weight! They are the product of Cider Belly Doughnuts, a business owned and operated by Jennifer Novak and her brother Peter, and located at 25 North Pearl St. in Albany. In addition to selling doughnuts at the shop, Cider Belly also offers catering and runs a doughnut delivery service in downtown Albany and the surrounding suburbs. All of the doughnuts (called “Bellys”) contain apple cider, which gives them their unique flavor.

For more information about Cider Belly Doughnuts, visit the website www.ciderbelly.com.


The Piggery

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Heather Sandford and Brad Marshall own and operate The Piggery, a 70 acre farm located in Trumansburg, NY, where they do everything they can to create pork that is good for the people, good for the land and good for the pigs, with a focus on minimizing their carbon footprint. The herd consists of 450 pigs of various heirloom breeds, which are raised on NOFA-certified organic pasture and woodland. They are fed a balanced diet consisting of greens, sunshine and local GMO-free small grains (barley, wheat, triticale, and peas). All of these components work in synergy.
 
According to federal law, Heather and Brad are not allowed to slaughter the pigs on their farm, so the animals are put down at a small USDA slaughterhouse 27 miles from the farm.  They assure their customers that they have witnessed the slaughtering process and are comfortable that the slaughterhouse does a good, humane job.
 
Since The Piggery needs plenty of pork while still wanting to give pigs lots of space to roam, Heather and Brad have partnered with a few other local producers who also pasture their animals and stay away from antibiotics, hormones, confinement facilities, and G.M.O. feed. They are honored to be able to support these small operations while they raise their herds in a sustainable and humane way.
 
Look for pork products from The Piggery in the meat department at the Co-op. For more information about Brad and Heather and their business, visit their website
“Heather Sandford and Brad Marshall own and operate The Piggery, a 70 acre farm located in Trumansburg, NY, where they do everything they can to create pork that is good for the people, good for the land and good for the pigs, with a focus on minimizing their carbon footprint. The herd consists of 450 pigs of various heirloom breeds, which are raised on NOFA-certified organic pasture and woodland. They are fed a balanced diet consisting of greens, sunshine and local GMO-free small grains (barley, wheat, triticale, and peas). All of these components work in synergy.
 
According to federal law, Heather and Brad are not allowed to slaughter the pigs on their farm, so the animals are put down at a small USDA slaughterhouse 27 miles from the farm.  They assure their customers that they have witnessed the slaughtering process and are comfortable that the slaughterhouse does a good, humane job.
 
Since The Piggery needs plenty of pork while still wanting to give pigs lots of space to roam, Heather and Brad have partnered with a few other local producers who also pasture their animals and stay away from antibiotics, hormones, confinement facilities, and G.M.O. feed. They are honored to be able to support these small operations while they raise their herds in a sustainable and humane way.
 
Look for pork products from The Piggery in the meat department at the Co-op. For more information about Brad and Heather and their business, visit their website www.thepiggery.net.


X's to O's

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The only totally vegan bakery in the Capital Region, X’s to O’s  specializes in canoe boats (reminiscent of Twinkies but so much better for you!), brownies, cookies, cakes, and many gluten free treats. At the store in Troy one can also get grab-and-go lunch items, freshly made smoothies and espresso drinks. All products are 100% vegan; that is, they are egg-free, dairy-free, cholesterol free, and contain no trans-fats, high fructose sweeteners or artificial colorings. Sarah says she also strives to use the best organic and local ingredients available. Everything is baked from scratch with love.
 
Baked goods from X's to O's can be found at Honest Weight near the express check-out lane.  Buy yourself a treat and see how good vegan desserts can be!


Asgaard Farm and Dairy

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Formerly the home of renowned artist Rockwell Kent, Asgaard Farm and Dairy is now family owned and operated by David Brunner and Rhonda Butler. Located just outside of the Adirondack village of Ausable Forks, the farm produces meat, poultry, farmstead cheeses and other dairy products, and vegetables. The pigs and poultry are pastured, and the cattle are grass fed. Organic grains are grown as supplemental feed for the animals.

Animal husbandry also includes a herd of 44 milking goats, mostly Alpines with the addition of a few Nubians and Saanens. The herd is rotationally grazed and regularly browses in the woods surrounding the farm. The milk from these goats goes into the making of Farmstead Goat Cheeses: chevre, feta, buche, a soft-ripened cheese named Whiteface Mountain, and Ausable Valley Tomme, a natural rind hard cheese. It also is the key ingredient in the farm's award-winning goat milk caramels and goat milk soap.

Recently a quarter-acre mixed-vegetable garden has been put into cultivation at Asgaard. It  produces over 40 different vegetables and herbs as well as 8 different kinds of tomatoes.  Although the farm is not certified organic, David and Rhonda grow according to the National Organic Standards.

The products of Asgaard Farm and Dairy can be found seasonally at farmers markets in Keene, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake and can be acquired through the farm's CSA. Honest Weight Food Co-op is an area retail store that supports Asgaard Farm and Dairy. Look for look for their label among the specialty cheeses.


Hawthorne Valley Farm

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Hawthorne Valley Farm was born in 1972 when a group of pioneering educators, farmers, and artisans purchased the Curtis Vincent Farm in Harlemville, New York. Their mission was to create a place that offered children from urban centers a hands-on experience of what it means to be stewards of the land.  43 years later, Hawthorne Valley is a vibrant, 400-acre working farm with a variety of diverse enterprises, including a Waldorf school, environmental and social research branches, a place-based learning center, a natural foods store, bakery, creamery and lacto-fermentation cellar.

The farm is certified organic and follows principles of biodynamic agriculture. The concept of biodynamic farming, introduced by philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner, promotes a holistic view of a healthy farm as one with the right balance of plants and animals with sensitivity towards healthy soil life.

At Honest Weight, shoppers will find the Hawthorne Valley label on whole milk yogurt and on "lacto-fermented vegetables. The latter consists of sauerkraut and Kim Chee, products which, if unheated, contain significant amounts of vitamin C, digestive enzymes, and lactobacillus bacteria (similar to the bacteria found in probiotic supplements).

For more information about this farm go to http://hawthornevalleyfarm.org.



Blue Moon Sorbet

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Blue Moon Sorbet was first introduced by John Donaldson and Pamela Frantz as a dessert option in a Vermont fine-dining restaurant. The public response to its rich taste and classic European texture was overwhelmingly positive, and now, ten years later, it is being offered for retail sale Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

These sorbets are made from all natural ingredients, with the freshest, highest-quality fruits being first and foremost. There’s less sugar than in standard sorbets, and no added flavoring or coloring.  The intense flavor and vivid color come from the fruit itself.

Honest Weight has a wide variety of Blue Moon flavors for sale: Mango Passion, Wild Blueberry, Pear Ginger, Blackberry Lime, Red Raspberry, Raspberry Cassis, Peach Melba and Lemon Zest. Any one of these would be a wonderful treat on a hot summer day!


Davenport Farms

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Davenport Farms is a family-owned farm market, greenhouse, and wholesale vegetable farm located in the Roundout Valley community of Stone Ridge, New York. The agricultural history of this land predates the arrival of European settlers, and the current site has been under cultivation since the 1840s. The farm has been in the Davenport family for four generations; a conservation easement now permanently protects the land and assures that it will be in agricultural use in the future.

With the advent of refrigeration, Gordon Davenport was able to specialize in sweet corn, the crop that seemed to grow best in this valley. At one point, he grew over 1,000 acres of corn. Today his sons Bruce and Barth Davenport  oversee the planting of 50 acres of their specialty sweet corn as well as additional acres of broccoli, heirloom and grape tomatoes, cantaloupes, peppers, summer squash, pumpkins, winter squash, kale, spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard and watermelons.  The crops are conventionally grown using non-GMO seeds.

Customers of Honest Weight can look forward to enjoying Davenport sweet corn in July and August. Meanwhile, for more information about this producer, go to www.davenportfarms.com.


Sauerkraut Seth

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As interest in fermented foods has grown, so has Honest Weight's inventory of sauerkraut. Among the offerings in the store's cooler are Sauerkraut Seth's Original Raw, Jalapeño Firekraut, Red Apple Raw and Caraway Juniper Raw. Sauerkraut Seth's products are certified organic, and the vegetables are grown by certified organic farms in Columbia County and Ulster County.  The kraut is unpasteurized and lacto­-fermented. The only ingredients are vegetables, herbs, spices and unrefined sea salt. There is no added water!

Since 1998, the mission of Seth Travins (a.k.a. Sauerkraut Seth) has been to make the best tasting fermented vegetables of the highest quality. He created and developed Hawthorne Valley Farm's line of lacto-fermented vegetables and krauts from 1999 until 2012, and then he started his own business.

Seth's products can be found in many co-ops and retail food stores throughout New York and Massachusetts as well as in Flowerkraut, a shop in Hudson, NY, owned and operated by his wife Mairead Rhona Travins.