Cortland County is known for its rich agriculture. The event Cortland Harvest: a Taste of Fall, sought to bring local farmers and producers together with local brews from Cortland Beer Company and NYS wine from the Finger Lakes Tasting Room for one evening.
This unique food pairing came together with local music from Molly & the Badly Bent Bluegrass Boys, Local Farmers Union, and Chris Merkley. The event was a sell out before the doors opened this past Saturday. When I arrived at Cortland Beer Company for the event just after 7 p.m. it was full of people tasting from all the different menu options. Tasting tables were placed around the room and samples were given to whomever wanted one. Each table featured a sign noting where the vegetables, fruit, or meat was from, all local. Main Street Farms, Food & Ferments, Cobblestone Valley Farm, Minglewood Mushrooms, Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill, Kate’s Baked, and Two Kids Goat Farm all came together under organizer and Chef Kate Icenogle.
Chris Merkley organized marketing and promotion as well as the music for the evening. The menu items stayed true to the fall harvest theme with hearty flavors like butternut squash, apple rosettes, pork & goat meatballs, and hot-mulled apple cider. There were some items that stood out like the chicken and waffles with the waffles made fresh to order or the shitake mushroom and goat cheese tarts. There was so much variety and all from Cortland County.
The music played on throughout the night and there was space near the stage for people to dance while the rest of the room could still talk amongst themselves or from what I saw a lot of great interaction with the farmers and producers there serving the food items. The local food movement or locavores were at Cortland Harvest in droves.
Cortland Harvest accomplished what I believed it set out to do; it connected local food producers from Cortland County to its local food consumers. Add in local beer and NYS wine with local musicians and it is a great recipe for success.
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