Get your Farm On!- Local food festival hits Empire Farm

Posted: Sunday, September 28, 2014 12:30 am
By Katie Kocijanski Columbia-Greene Media


COPAKE— Saturday’s warm fall weather set the tone for the Hudson Valley Food Lovers Festival, hosted by Farm On! Foundation. The event took place at Empire Farm, just south of the hamlet of Copake, which is the foundation’s new home.


“Thousands of people came out to support the new farm. We had a lot of community members and weekenders come out. The kids loved the animals, face painting and horse demos,” said Tessa Edick, Friends of the Farmer Festival founder.


One of the highlights of the festival was the ribbon-cutting of the Hudson Valley Victory Garden. Edick explained the victory garden is going to be an educational tool to teach local students about where their food comes from and the business behind farming.


World-renowned chef and Tedx Hudson honoree Alice Waters cut the ribbon with members of the Farm On! board present. Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106, was a part of the ribbon cutting, along with Edick and Columbia County Chamber President David Colby.


“Happy farming,” said Waters as the ribbon was cut.


Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-102, was also in attendance, but arrived after the ribbon cutting.


Edick was pleased with how many families came out to the event. Radio Disney was on hand to provide some of the music for the day. Children could be seen dancing and getting their faces painted.


Different vendors were located throughout the grounds of Empire Farm. Ronnybrook Farm Dairy of Ancramdale was on hand. The dairy farm was letting the crowd sample their milks and yogurts. Owner Ronny Osofsky said he was happy to come out to support Farm On!.


Chaseholm Farm Creamery of Pine Plains attracted many people with their homemade cheeses. Raena Shaffer works at the creamery and described two of the cheeses the farm creates with raw milk, alpage and tonme cheeses.


“Tons of people stopped by. It’s so nice to see a family-friendly event. No one is in a rush today,” said Shaffer.


Visitors enjoyed the homemade marinara sauce of Ooma Tesoros. Michael Tesoros was serving the sauce with bread. He and his family had come from Windsor, Mass. for the festival. The sauce was his grandmother’s recipe. Ooma was the name Tesoros called his grandmother when he was young. He was supposed to call her “nona”, the Italian word for grandmother.


“It’s critical to support sustainable farming now and local business. That’s why we came,” said Tesoros.


Attendees were able to purchase food throughout the day at the “5-Mile Farm Fresh Grill.” All of the food was sourced from local farms. All meat cooked with came from within a five-mile radius of Empire Farm.


The farms included Herondale Farm of Ancramdale, Pigasso Farms of Copake, Sir William Farm of Craryville and Westendlock Farm of Hillsdale. All of the meat is locally grass-fed.


For more information on the Farm On! Foundation visit their website




To reach reporter Katie Kocijanski, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2495, or email


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