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Farm distillery tasting room opens in Lebanon

A new whiskey distillery and tasting room has opened its doors to the public in the Madison County town of Lebanon. Old Home Distillers, owned and operated by longtime area residents Gerald and Marlene Carvell, in partnership with their two adult sons Aaron and Adam, is now open for tours, tastings and sales on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

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New greenhouse, florist coming to Nelson

Spruce Ridge Landscape and Design expands business

The four corners of Nelson has become a hub of business activity, with a new coffee roaster, nanobrewery, cigar shop and restaurant either in place or coming in 2016 — and now, just around the corner on Erieville Road, Spruce Ridge Landscape and Design is opening a new garden center and florist in the former Brookside Greenhouse location.

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Empire Farmstead Brewery one step closer to completion

New 60-barrel brewhouse, bottling line delivered to site

The Empire Farmstead Brewery on Rippleton Road moved one step closer to completion this week with the delivery of a brand new, state-of-the-art 60 barrel brewhouse, as well as a brand new bottling line and cutting-edge water treatment facility. The machinery arrived during a three-day delivery process — and in the midst of a snow storm that shut down the Cazenovia school district — and all was installed immediately upon delivery. The new brewery is on schedule for opening to the public in May.

4-H Tractor Safety and Certification Course to be held for teens

Madison County Cornell Cooperative Extension will soon be hosting the 2016 4-H Agriculture & Tractor Safety Certification Program available to 14 and 15 year olds interested in gaining employment on a farm. This seven-session course will cover many components of agriculture safety. With the successful completion of this course 14 and 15 year olds are eligible to be hired on a farm.

Farm transition planning for women to be offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension

Creating a transition plan to make sure a farm continues as a productive business can be challenging. Farm women can learn how to plan a successful farm transition in a five-session course offered by Madison County Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Annie’s Project, “Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning” program, will begin on Thursday, Feb. 4, and will be held at CCE Madison County, 100 Eaton St., Morrisville.

Nearly $600,000 awarded to tourism projects in Madison County

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that $581,535 in economic and community development funding has been awarded to tourism projects in Madison County through Round V of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative and the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI). This funding will be used to help build a hand boat launch for kayaks and canoes at Lakeland Park in Cazenovia, create better access to the National Abolition Hall of Fame’s second floor assembly room in Peterboro, prepare a joint Waterfront Revitalization Plan for the waterfront communities located along the Old Erie Canal and more.

Madison County CCE announces 2016 programs

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County has announced three programs it will offer in 2016, including the reorganizational meeting date for Open Farm Day 2016.

“Horses for the Holidays” donation drive now underway

Skanda Equine has announced the opening of the second annual Horses for the Holidays donation drive. Horses for the Holidays invites the equine community to show its love for horses by donating new and used equine supplies to horses that will need assistance getting safely through the winter.

CCE holds annual meeting, elects new officers

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County held its annual meeting last week, during which the board of directors welcomed four new members, said goodbye to three members, reviewed the past year and looked ahead to projects they have planned for 2016.

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Local businesses, organizations help send trees to military families for the holidays

Critz Farms a collection point for Trees for Troops program

Cazenovia-area businesses, organizations and individuals this week helped a national foundation gather and send more than 100 Christmas trees to the families of military service members throughout the United States. Trees for Troops, a nationwide program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation in conjunction with FedEx Corp., made a stop at Critz Farms in Cazenovia to collect trees donated by Christmas tree growers throughout Central New York.

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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.