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Thousands turn out for 2014 Madison County Open Farm Day

More than 5,000 people spent the day on the farm last Saturday, July 26, for the seventh annual Madison County Open Farm Day event. Farmers from all corners of the county, offering everything from beef to bison, from honey to mushrooms, from fruits to vegetables and everything in between, opened their farms for the day to allow the general public to come and see exactly where their food comes from and what it takes to make it available.

Town board working on four proposed laws, joint sewer district consolidation agreement

The Cazenovia Town Board last week moved forward on four proposed local laws and the proposed joint sewer district consolidation agreement by holding three public hearings, introducing one new law and setting five more public hearings to occur between now and Sept. 8.

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The Lucas Family has a knack for business

The Lucas name is well known in the Cazenovia area. That’s because the Lucas family has been selling farm equipment since approximately 1891. That certainly says a lot about a business if it’s been successful for more than a century. J.C. Lucas was not only a farm equipment dealer, but also a dairy farmer until the mid 1970s. J.C. Lucas and Sons started out as a McCormick-Deering dealership, eventually becoming International Harvester. In the mid 1950s, Ron and William Lucas took the reins of the business and it grew so much that in 1980 they moved into their current location on Route 20.

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Cazenovia Equipment Company continuing to grow

Cazenovia Equipment Co., Inc. was started in 1961 by the Larry Love family and originally served the farming community in the immediate area. In the early 1970s, Larry’s son-in-law, Bob Frazee, joined the company, and in 2003 Bob’s sons, Mike and Jim, became partners as well. The company’s first expansion took place in the late 1980s and opened the door to offering lawn and garden equipment to their customers. Since that time, the company has continued to grow and currently operates a total of nine stores throughout Central and Northern New York.

Fenner town board clarifies: It opposes Clean Water Act resolution verbiage, not clean water

The Fenner Town Board has received a lot of community feedback and concern during the past month about its June resolution to oppose New York state’s Clean Water Act Resolution, with many residents asking board members why they oppose clean water, Town Supervisor Dave Jones said during the board’s July 10 regular monthly meeting.

Zoning board moves Owera code enforcement appeal hearing to July 28

It will be another three weeks before the town Zoning Board of Appeals considers the appeal of Owera Vineyards over a decision by the town codes enforcement officer denying Owera’s plans for a June 10 event. The delay in the case — originally heard by the board on June 23 — was decided after the CEO’s attorney filed a motion for the ZBA to dismiss the appeal altogether as “untimely,” claiming that Owera had missed the 60-day appeal deadline as required by law.

Fenner town board opposes state Clean Water Act

The Fenner Town Board last week unanimously passed a resolution that opposes New York state’s Clean Water Act Resolution as an unnecessary and burdensome interference of the state on the town.

Sour grapes: Owera Vineyards appeals codes officer decision denying scheduled event to zoning board

After a quiet spring, the controversy between Owera Vineyards and the town of Cazenovia over the winery’s allowed operating procedures has reared up again — this time in the form of an appeal to the town zoning board of appeals over a recent decision by the town codes enforcement officer denying Owera’s plans for a June 10 event. The winery is repeating its previous claim that its three-season events tent is an indoor, not an outdoor, structure as the town claims, and is offering a new argument that its hours of operation as approved under its original site plan approval are not enforceable by the town.

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Looking for a fun summer outing? Try Hannay Miniature Horse Farm

The Cazenovia area has many hidden treasures; one of them is the Hannay Miniature Horse Farm. Established in 2005 by Gene and Mary Smith, the farm cares for, trains, breeds, shows and sells miniature horses — but what the Smiths really enjoy is showing the horses off.

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New Canastota brewery mixes local ingredients with local history

Erie Canal Brewing Company is the only local brewery to use 100 percent Madison County ingredients

In the 19th century, hops were the staple crop of Central New York; and Madison County was actually known as the “Hops Capital of the United States.” Prohibition, plus a killer hops fungus, decimated the county’s agricultural pride — but in recent years beer-making has made a comeback in CNY in general, and in Madison County in particular. Under state law, for a brewery to be deemed made in New York 20 percent of the hops and 20 percent of all other ingredients must be grown or produced within the state. There is a new brewery in Canastota, however, that not only gets most of its ingredients from a farm in Chittenango, but is the only brewery around that boasts a beer made from ingredients 100 percent grown in Madison County — Erie Canal Brewing Company.

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UPDATE: East Road barn destroyed in Monday fire; fire crews called back Tuesday morning for re-ignition of flames

Firefighters from six Madison County fire departments battled a barn fire on East road in Cazenovia on Monday evening. A call came in to the Madison County 911 Center at 4:55 p.m. on June 2 from residence of 3975 East road with word their barn’s roof was on fire, Nick Enders, Chief of the Cazenovia Fire Department said.

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Side Hill Farmers to expand after an explosive first year in Manlius

It’s 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, and Side Hill Farmers Head Butcher Kevin McCann is still cutting pork chops. “I’m a little behind today,” McCann said, as he prepares the meat to be put on the top shelf of the glass display case for the day. “This morning I got caught up doing some research.”

Entries now open for the 175th Madison County Fair

It’s time to make plans to show off your prize winning creations. The Madison County Fair gave away more than $15,000 in prize money last year. Now is the time to make your claim to some cash. Entries are now being accepted, browse the class listings at madisoncountyfairny.com and click on the premium booklet tab to explore the endless possibilities for exhibiting.

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Let them eat bread

Rise bread makers a hit in Cazenovia

Jasmeen Barnes, owner of Rise bread makers, simply cannot keep her bread in stock at the weekly Cazenovia Farmers Market. There have been two markets so far this season, and the shelves of Rise bread were bare within an hour at both. “That’s a pretty cool feeling,” said Barnes — especially since her business idea sprouted last fall, recipes were perfected during the winter, her baking facility was only finalized a few weeks ago and the May 10 farmers market was her first commercial outing.

Town board introduces noise ordinance, special events law

Proposed laws a product of 2013 controversy between Owera Vineyards and East Lake Road neighbors

After months of work, the Cazenovia Town Board last week proposed two new local laws designed to maintain the public health, safety and welfare in the municipality — one to prevent and control excessive noise and one to establish procedures and requirements to hold special events. The impetus to create the two proposed laws arose from the controversy between Owera Vineyards and its East Lake Road neighbors last summer due to the winery’s summer events — about which the neighbors complained of excessive amplified music, among other things, and Owera received violation citations from the town.

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