The 2014 Hurricane season officially begins June 1. This information is just so much trivia to many. However, people in the Ulster County pantry world are a little antsy. It’s understandable. We, those of us who live in this area, haven’t gotten over the last two hurricanes. Mold and rot continue to advance on residential and commercial buildings at a fast clip while funds for repairs and replacements of damaged/destroyed buildings and vehicles have yet to become a reality for many. People left homeless, jobless, and vehicleless feel to their bones that nothing is ever going to be done to repair/replace things damaged and ruined. (Some people include their lives in the “ruined” category.)
There are deniers who won’t wrap their heads around another hurricane. After all, two horrendous weather events, each producing floods of Biblical proportions are enough. Right? Reservoir Food Pantry volunteers know what we’re up against. After all, we were the deniers after Irene and learned our lesson with Sandy. Now we prepare to feed those affected by the next “big one” – whenever it hits.
We’re working feverishly: planning, scheduling, and purchasing food to distribute to people. We’re filling food boxes to distribute. Each contains a three-day supply of canned food for one person. If you contact us and have four people in your household, you’ll receive four boxes.
Packing the food is easy.
Distributing the food is easy.
It’s the getting part that’s hard. For that we need money to buy the food we put in each box.
Can you help?
Please send a check to Reservoir Food Pantry, P.O.Box 245, Boiceville, New York, 12412.
Or get us a gift certificate at the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. Call 845-534-5344 and tell the person who answers the phone that you want to donate money to the Reservoir Food Pantry, agency number 2539f. That call will get us the most food for the money. Food at the Food Bank is only sixteen cents per pound, making a can of soup cost sixteen cents, for example.
If you access the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley throughwww.foodbankofhudsonvalley.org, the donate button looms large on the right side of the first page of the website. You can’t miss it! Again, please specify your donation goes to agency 2539f, reservoir Food Pantry.
And, finally, to personally choose the disaster relief foods you give to the Reservoir Food Pantry, drop them off at the Olive Town offices or at the Community Bank in Boiceville.
However you choose to share, none of your donations will pay for rent or salaries. And, most important, this disaster food will be in the hands of the victims before any other food sent in from outside sources.
Peace and food for all.
Spotlight On Migliorelli Farms…
A Hudson Valley Jewel
by Bonnie Lykes
Do you have a deep appreciation for real food? Can you manifest fresh vegetables, and healthy homespun products that are tempting to the eye and nourishing to your system? Can you apply time tested knowledge and thoughtful stewardship of our earth, to successfully reap it’s nutritious bounty?
If these miracles aren’t happening in your own backyard, don’t worry. Whether or not you grow your own food, all of us in greater Hudson Valley, including local pantries, often have access to abundant, reliable food sources. We are all deeply fortunate to have intelligent and generous farmers in our region. And they are, no doubt, harvesting some of the finest crops in the entire country.
As with anything, growing excellent food begins with the individual, and the personal choices they make throughout the entire process. And when we look around at what’s available at our farm stands and markets, we can see stunning greens and veggies, hardy tubers and legumes of all varieties bursting with color and vitality. We can all see and sense that many of our local farmers “get it.”
Many Hudson Valley producers have been growing food for generations—they “get” local agriculture, food safety, and have a working understanding of how to collaborate with the community around them. So, let’s take a peek at one of Reservoir Food Pantry’s most generous and experienced contributors: Migiorelli Farms.
Over the past year, Migliorelli Farm Stand on Route 28 in Mount Tremper has invited Reservoir Food Pantry to pick up generously donated fruits and vegetables. Kalene Lauther, their long time employee, always graciously greets us with bags of eye-popping, vibrant produce. So, out of curiosity, I asked to meet with MaryAnn Migliorelli-Rosolen to find out how her family got their start farming in New York State.
In 1933, MaryAnn’s father and grandfather began planting crops by horse and plow on a section of land that was part of a Bronx amusement park called “Freedom Land.” During these years, the Migiorellis began doing business with the public by selling fresh vegetables in the local streets. Then in 1970, after years of farming in the city, the family left the Bronx and moved to Red Hook, NY. MaryAnn explained that her brother had his own inspirations in spite of academic achievements; “Kenneth gradated college but he realized farming was in his blood.” He chose to work alongside his father selling vegetables in the Hudson Valley area.
Around this time, Kenneth and his Uncle purchased what they call the “home farm” in Tivoli and to this day, it remains the hub of main production. At this location, Kenneth Migliorelli partially owns and manages 1000 acres—a combination of his, and their uncle’s land. Here, the Migliorellis grow over 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables. Fruit varieties include peaches, nectarines, and plums and over 20 varieties of apples. The apples are grown under a “controlled atmosphere”, where oxygen is depleted with an intake of nitrogen. This enables them to harvest fresh apples weekly and make fresh cider year round, and consequently, fresh cider doughnuts in their donut house! To this day, operating 24/7, the Tivoli farm continues as the central point of harvest for all the Migliorelli farm stands, and for on-going deliveries to several New York farmers markets.
MaryAnn explains the growing methods Kenneth uses at the Tivoli farm; “He follows and uses a great many of the practices, compounds and protectants that organic farmers use, as do a great many farms in Hudson Valley. He is highly conscientious about pest management and also does cover crop rotation.” Apparently, by rotating in a two-year cycle, the production fields are replenished with cover crops that provide organic matter and balanced microbial communities in the soil.
MaryAnn joined the family business about three years ago, having previously worked 30 years with Kraft Corporation research center as a food scientist in Tarrytown, NY. There she studied the effects of temperature on food and packaging. When she retired, she began working with her brother overseeing all their packaged products such as tomato juice, applesauce, and packaged frozen vegetables such as corn, brussels sprouts, and pickles. The Migliorellis have the advantage of using their own farm fresh ingredients as part of the packing process. She regularly goes to Farm-To-Table in Kingston where many farmers go to process and package their specialty goods for retail sale.
Because of MaryAnn’s professional background, she has an acute understanding of what it means to create a food safe product. And although she gained salient skills working for Kraft, she is delighted to have moved on from the corporate culture to work along side her family. She also has two sisters: Joyce, whose in-laws own Quattro Farm in Pleasant Valley and Catherine, an RN, who lends a hand in the home office. MaryAnn relishes her new life; “ I love dealing with the customers. We have regulars who call from the city who beg me to stay open just one more hour so they can come out and pick up their stuff!”
The Migliorellis currently own and run three farm stands. Locations include Rhinebeck, Red Hook, and Mount Tremper, the latter having a large variety of local products. She enjoys networking with other farmers and stocking their goods, such as New York based North Fork Potato Chips from a Long Island potato farm. Although the Reservoir Food Pantry is vegetarian, primarily to bypass meat storage, it bears mentioning that the Mount Tremper stand will now carry grass fed, humanely treated beef and lamb from Missing D’s farm and antibiotic free chicken from Bel Air Farm. Also, Quattro Farm provides pheasant and turkeys for the holidays. In the coming spring and summer seasons, the Mount Tremper location will feature fresh fish from the Hampton Bays in Long Island. Now every Friday there are deliveries of salmon, skate, cod, sole, tuna, clams and oysters. So if you enjoy raw shellfish or firing up the grill as many do, be sure and drop by this Migliorelli stand to enhance your meals with one or two of these tempting, fresh proteins.
MaryAnn’s parents still participate in the business and their home address is very near the Red Hook stand. Benita, their mother, continues to be very active in the store with the customers and employees. Their father, Rocky, continues to plant select vegetables that are a source of family pride and enjoyment. MaryAnn related how their family feels about doing business in this region; “Buying local is important if only for the reason that the carbon footprint is so much less because the food doesn’t have to travel very far. Also, we all enhance the economy in this area by buying local.”
And so, a full circle is in tact for all of us who wish to thrive and share great food. As we continue to support local farms, they in turn, give so generously to local organizations like ours.
MaryAnn cheerfully reminded me that, “The greens from Migiorelli will always be fresher than from any grocery store!” The turn around from point of harvest to farm stand is always less than 24 hours. And, she underscored, they are very pleased to contribute to the community around them. In closing, MaryAnn says her father Rocky has a special translation for their family name. He says the first half “Miglio”— means “the best” and the second half, “relli” means “a little bit better.” The Reservoir Food Pantry, along with so many happy, healthy eaters in our abundantly food-rich region whole-heartedly agree!