Hudson Summer Fest brings community together and helps save local farms

HUDSON — This year’s Hudson Summer Festival partnered with the Farm On Foundation to help local farms and businesses reach out to the community and to fund the foundation’s programs that guide youth toward agriculture.


Several Hudson Valley farmers and businesses were showcased at the festival Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, which featured performances by musicians from around the state.


“This is a great partnership and we are raising money for our youth education programs,” said Tessa Edick, founder of the Farm On Foundation. “We are combining music makers and local farmers to reach out to the community and make them aware of the local farmers.”


The foundation raised $5,000 for its programs aimed at educating youth about farming, with the end game of ensuring that local family farms stay around for a long time.


The food provided at the festival represented the work of several local farms, including Herondale Farm in Ancramdale, Hudson Valley Fresh dairy farm, Pigasso Farms in Copake, Fix Brothers Fruit Farm and Holmquest Farm in Hudson.


Several businesses were also represented, including Harney and Sons Tea House, which has locations in Hudson and Milerton, Irving Farm Coffee House in Millerton and Dutch’s Distillery in Pine Plains.


Irving Farm Coffee House was debuting its cold brew coffee, which is not available at the shop yet.


“I am from Columbus, Ohio, and we don’t have anything like this. The festival is great,” said Jason Coleman, who was representing Irving Farm. “The river view is great and people have been very receptive and polite. It is great to see people running around and doing activities and listening to music.”


The musical acts playing at the festival included The Matchstick Architects, The Fabulous Versatones, Black Mountain Symphony, Too Blue, The Zolla Boys and NRBQ.


Coleman said the company has done events at Basilica Hudson.


“Hudson is a great space for this,” he said. “Business has picked up throughout the day. We would do this festival again.”


Gabriella Latendorf, of Dutch’s Distillery, said the company was also showcasing liquors from Catskill Distilling Company, as well as several other distillers statewide.


“We buy from other distilleries to promote both us and them, and we get a percentage,” Latendorf said.


Latendorf said the festival was not as productive as it could have been because the City Liquor Authority told them they could not provide samples.


“It is hard to sell a bottle without a tasting,” Latendorf said.


She was handing out vouchers so people could go to the distillery for a free tasting even though, as she said, the distillery is not producing at the moment because it is installing new equipment.


“We will be back up and running in January,” Latendorf said.


She will be representing the company at the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds on Sept. 9 and 10.


“The goal of this was to gather the community to bring awareness to farm-fresh foods that feed us,” Edick said. “The community that comes together keeps the money in the community, and that is good for everyone.”