Come preview the upcoming Documentary GMO OMG, watch Seeds of Freedom, and engage in lively dialog (& tastings!) with local farmers from Kitchawan, Hemlock Hill, and Hilltop Hanover. Together, we seek to explore issues related to Genetically Modified Organisms and Growing Organic. Miriam Haas, Founder of Down to Earth Markets, will join us as Sponsor (and avid gardener).
Miriam Haas, Founder, Down to Earth Markets
When Miriam Haas moved to Ossining as a young mother over 20 years ago, reports were coming in about Alar, a chemical sprayed on apple trees to keep the fruit on trees longer and brighter, being harmful to people, especially children.
Being an avid gardener but without apple trees of her own, Miriam’s quest for local sources selling apples free of Alar began, and extended to ot her produce, grown free of other chemical contaminants. Hard to find, this effort led to the formation of “Families for Safe Food” with the mission of “increasing the local availability of organically produced food…” and under that a food co-op.
In August 1991, Miriam conceived of even a better way – & with Ossining Board ‘s approval, started a Farmer’s Market in Downtown Ossining with only 2 Farmers.
In 1992 there were 3, and 10 years later, over a dozen here in Ossining alone, and in addition to Ossining’s – the longest running farmers market in the county – she branched out and, with husband Jon Zeltsman, formed Community Markets* which spans about 20 markets through the Hudson Valley, down and cross county, into the 5 boroughs of NYC.
*Community Markets was rebranded as Down to Earth Markets in 2012, and in so doing, affirms Miriam’s long standing commitment to the source of our food – the earth itself, and her undying quest for the untainted apple.
Trish Vasta, Farmer & Family Friend, Hemlock Hill Farm:
I have been farming on and off most of my life. I have worked at Hemlock Hill Farm since I was young from milking goat and feeding the chickens to selling produce at the Peekskill Farmers market.
My farming experience has taken me to many corners of this planet. In Israel I worked on a sunflower farm and in Thailand planting rice. In 2009 I apprenticed at Seeds at City Urban farm in San Diego. The following year, I apprenticed at Bread and Puppet in Vermont growing food for 60 summer residents.
More recently I have made this my full time job. in the Winter I am in San Diego doing garden education in schools. From Spring until Fall I am at Hemlock Hill Farm managing their produce production.
Hemlock Hill Farm, located at 500 Croton Avenue in Cortandt Manor, is one of the oldest family-owned working farms in the County.
The DeMaria family have worked it for 3/4 of a century – since 1939, in great part because they “believe it is important for people to know where their food comes from and what it takes to produce healthy, natural foods. [They] take great pride in raising all [their] animals hormone and antibiotic free.” Their livestock is all pasture raised, and pigs, grain fed. Their store is open every day of the year so please visit.