Fulfilling the PLAN

Mandy Weinerman

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Did you know….

  1. In the last 25 years New York State has lost one half-million acres of farmland.  
  2. New York State is losing the equivalent of one farm every 3.5 days, threatening our food supply.
  3. Saratoga PLAN (which stands for Preserving Land and Nature) has conserved over 5,300 acres of farms, woods, meadows, and historic places throughout the county by holding 38 conservation easements and owning 27 protected properties, 10 of which contain over 22 miles of trails open to the public year-round.
  4. Saratoga PLAN has helped develop over 200 miles of trails throughout Saratoga County.
  5. And yet, their future goals remain ambitious. The net proceeds from the 14th annual Feast of the Fields will be a major contributor to achieving them.

According to Saratoga PLAN’s website, it is “… a nonprofit land trust that works to preserve the rural character, natural habitats and scenic beauty of Saratoga County so that these irreplaceable assets are accessible to all and survive for future generations.” Visit https://www.saratogaplan.org/

Saratoga PLAN connects people to nature promoting good health and helping communities sustain high quality vibrant place by balancing growth with conservation goals.

Saratoga PLAN created Saratoga County’s Original Farm to Table Event, Feast of the Fields.  On Thursday, September 19, from 5:30-9 pm please consider joining all the like minded land supporters, including myself, at the Saratoga National Golf Course, for its 14th delicious year. 

File Photos from 2017 and 2018 Feast of the Fields

This casual culinary delight, held rain or shine, will sell out, like always.

Why do I say that?

By combining top local chefs, such as Kim Klopstock from Lily and the Rose or Gordon Sacks from 9 Miles East Farm, with the freshest local fruits, vegetables, and meats, all surrounded by Saratoga PLANs preserved land, the result is a culinary explosion. Get your tickets now, while you can, here: https://www.saratogaplan.org/whats-new/upcoming-events/feast-of-the-fields/

We have obtained a big scoop – a mega-taste of your menu at this year’s ‘Feast,’ and the people who are bringing it to you… prepare to salivate!

Chef Thomas Gulbrandsen and crew
  • Assorted crudités and cheese display accompanied by a diverse array of pickles, jams, honey and much more            

Chef Thomas Gulbrandsen, Courtyard Saratoga

  • Siros Terrine of smoked Hudson Valley Fish Farm trout with Swiss chard and caviar dressing, and   
  • Eggplant cannelloni, tangle of braised kale, pine seed butter, rosemary garlic, agrodolce 

– Chef David Britton, Siro’s Restaurant

  • Smoked BBQ oxtail and mushroom sliders

– Chef Dan Spitz, FatNHappy, LLC

  • Wood-fired sourdough pizza made with Farmer Ground Flour, seasonal toppings, including vegetarian options, and
  • Korean pork shoulder, whole-grain rice, 9 Miles East Farm herbs and peppers (gluten-free), and
  • Korean mushrooms, whole-grain rice, 9 Miles East Farm herbs and peppers (vegan, gluten-free)

– Chef Gordon Sacks, 9 Miles East Farm

  • Taco de ribeye y trufas, kohlrabi- huitlachoche gratin, comte cheese, caramelized shallot

– Chef Julian Medina, La Chula Taqueria and Latineri

  • Vegetable surprise! Everything fruits and vegetables, vegan and vegetarian, sweet and savory

– Chef Kim Klopstock, Lily & The Rose

  • Mack Brin Farms Pork Trio: Country Style Liverwurst with Crostini, Whole Grain Mustard, Picked Red Onion, Cornichon, Crisp Pork Belly and Bacon Powder

– Chef Matthew Bolton, SUNY Adirondack Community College Culinary Program

  • SNGC smoked brisket with sweet potato latke and green apple chutney

– Chef Tracy Kwiecien, Prime at Saratoga National

  • Plum ginger crisp with anise shortbread, and  
  • Pumpkin cake, dark chocolate ganache, Swiss meringue cream cheese buttercream

– Alissa Woods, Cakes by Alissa

  • An array of family loved and locally enjoyed pies and baked goods using the fruits from their own orchard!

– Shelley Smith, Smith’s Pies

  • Gluten-free Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake, Vegan Brownies, Olive Chive Biscotti

Pam Imbesi and Felicia Garrison, Two Birds

Featured farmers and vendors, such as Smith’s Pies partnered with King Dairy, will be presenting their perfectly pared flavorful concoctions for party goers to sample. The Feast of the Fields has been a long standing date between me and my youngest inspiring chef and daughter, McKenzie. We have always looked forward to the food, of course, but also the meetings and conversations with the local vendors and farmers, as they stand side-by-side near their stations.

Since my daughter is obviously part mouse, I must give a shout out to what has been her past favorite station of the night: the plentiful cheese table in all its glorious variety! I was told she owes her thanks to Hanehan Family Dairy, Peckhaven and Welcome Stock Farms, and milk producers/owners AgriMark/Cabot, who once again are donating almost 50% of the cheese.

I invite you to take a moment to become familiar with all the farmers and other vendors that will be highlighted at the Feast of the Fields: https://www.saratogaplan.org/blog/farms-of-feast-2018/

In between fresh morsels and cold libations will be a “Fund-a-Need” live Auction led by Tom Stebbens. Visit http://newyorkemcee.com/. The proceeds of this and the silent auction will go to support two major areas:

  1. Stipends for Student Internships – Saratoga PLAN hosts 2-3 upper-level college students or graduate students each year. These students, who are interested in careers in conservation and nonprofit community work, gain real-world experience as Saratoga PLAN staff members serve as mentors. They go on to employment in government agencies, private companies, and nonprofit organizations, many of which collaborate with Saratoga PLAN.
  • Trail Maintenance Resources – Equipment to support the efforts of crew of 10-20 volunteers who help Saratoga PLAN to manage 10 preserves with 22 miles of trails, all open to the public. For the future, this equipment will support the efforts to build two new sites, offering hikers and dog walkers 5 more miles of trails traversing 4 recently-conserved properties.

The live auction item is a big one, as you might expect when you are trying to achieve ambitious fundraising goals, like the ones above. It certainly caught my eye!

OK, enough teasing… behold: Your Summer Sailing Adventure,” in which you and your guests (a party of 2-4 depending on your level of sailing expertise,) will sail from Newport for 3 Days and 2 Nights: Making the voyage memorable is that you will be aboard the 46′ sloop Shakti. You will get to plan the itinerary of your choice for sailing out of Narragansett Bay, heading to destinations of your choosing: such as Block Island, Cuttyhunk, Martha’s Vineyard and in and about the Elizabeth Islands.

Trust me – all the fine points of your passage have been addressed. You’ll be berthed in Shakti’s spacious main cabin, with a private head, all air conditioned for your comfort. All the food and drink on board is provided, with excellent wine selections. And when you reach your ports of call, local restaurants of your choosing for dinner included as well.

Consult your program for all the other details, and there are many, but this voyage of a lifetime has been valued at $4,500 – $5,500!

For those who prefer to enjoy meandering amongst long tables of Silent auction items, here is just a small sample of what to expect:

  • From Peter Brooks’ Christmas tree farm: A fresh cut tree; one-horse open sleigh photo op with hot cider, 
  • A 5 foot long rustic solid Ash sitting bench,
  • A Bianchi Bike,
Elisa Sheehan
  • Kingsugi Eggshells from local artist Elisa Sheehan (she was featured in Martha Stewart Magazine. Her eggs are HOT right now!)
  • 2020 SPAC tickets: (4) to NYC Ballet and (4) to Philadelphia Orchestra.

Though my experience with Saratoga PLAN, I have learned how critical land preservation is to our well being and mental state. I am happy to know that there are organizations such as Saratoga PLAN who are fighting for our environmental future. Your attendance will help to preserve the rural landscape, natural habitats, and breathtaking beauty of Saratoga County.

Posted September 10, 2019

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