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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
October has been designated as Madison County's “open enrollment” period during which properties can be added to an existing agricultural district.
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 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.
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.
Judge upholds eight of 10 town conditions for winery to construct new events building
The Cazenovia Town Planning Board has the legal right to impose nearly all of the conditions it included in its site plan approval for Owera Vineyards’ proposed new event center on its East Lake Road property and, if the owners of Owera find these conditions too onerous, their best recourse may be to relocate their operations to a town parcel more appropriately zoned for the commercial activity in which the winery seeks to engage. This was the opinion of Acting State Supreme Court Justice Dennis K. McDermott in his Aug. 26 decision on Owera’s Article 78 lawsuit against the town of Cazenovia.
If you or someone you know has entered a competition, any competition, at the state fair, send us the result — and a photo if you have one — and we will print it in the Cazenovia Republican.
For the first time since 1978, Lieutenant General Michael Basla, a retired senior cyberspace officer at the Pentagon, has returned to Cazenovia to live — and to start up a new local distillery that will produce whiskey, bourbon, gin and vodka and become a new member of the Cazenovia Beverage Trail. Basla, along with his son-in-law Patrick Ruddy and his son Adam Basla (who currently lives in Germany), has just returned from a trip to Germany to purchase his distillery equipment, and plans to break ground on his new endeavor, Madison County Distillery, by the end of August.
Shoppers at the Cazenovia Farmers Market who enjoy buying organically grown products from James and Ada Yoder’s Local Roots Farm stand now can purchase a wider array of offerings from the Yoder’s recently opened farm market on Fenner Road. The Yoder family, which is participating for its second year at the farmers market, last year specialized in salad greens and eggs. This year, with the opening of their new market at their farm provide a variety of specialty items like granola and pancake mixes, among other products.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Madison County has announced that Open Farm Day will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at 29 farms and three farmers’ markets throughout Madison County. Open Farm Day is a free, family-friendly event that offers the public the opportunity to tour farms, enjoy food tastings, meet animals and learn about local agriculture.