Summary 2016


In scholarships for Ag-Academy Students

6th Annual Hootenanny! with Gotham Bar and Grill + Host Chef Alfred Portale


2016 HOOT was EPIC! 520 guests, 100 family farmers, 14 students, 12 vendors and volunteers galore made the 6th Annual Hootenanny with Gotham Bar and Grill Host Chef Alfred Portale a delicious success! The farm-chic feel and engaging students made the HOOT super fun! Complete with live music, small bites and beverages from local NYS producers of specialty products, beer, wine, spirits and Hudson Valley Seafood Oysters from Dave Miss schucking in the antique boat for guests made us all wish the mid summer eve would never end…. Founder Tessa Edick showed gratitude for the rain – much needed during the drought – to benefit our guests of honor – New York State Family Farmers! New York Times Best Selling Author Larry Olmsted of Real Food, Fake Food shared his insight and expertise exposing the truth in food with a book excerpt, talk and signing with Oblong Books about how important a connection to the source of food and farming is to your health. A family style meal of local spit roasted chicken and pork, farm fresh salads, just picked corn and Bread Alone, Jacuterie and Hudson Valley cheese course selections were the highlight of the event as we raised funds, awareness for the FarmOn! Foundation meaningful work and shook the hands that fed us with gratitude. Dessert, fresh fruit, farm-to-shaker cocktails and dancing under the stars made the bonfire and after party in the barn a true celebration of local food, community and commerce until the wee hours of the morning! FarmOn! until next year….





We came.
We crunched.
We lifted up local agriculture with over 2 Million Bites.

A heartfelt thank you to all of our Big Apple Crunchers to raise awareness to eat local and support the family farm! With your help we broke the 2015 record of 1 million participants with over 2 million Crunchers this year!!


YOU ALL ROCK! You helped us promote local eating across the state and supported many local apple growers in doing so, and that’s something to be proud of!


With thousands of participants including New York State Commissioners and offices, private and public schools, Cornell Cooperative Extension, hospitals, state offices, SUNY campuses/administration and businesses joining throughout the state that means two milli plus apples were purchased, helping our New York Farmers promote and grow their farm businesses.

This is such a great accomplishment in just ONE DAY. Think of what we could do for all of our local farmers if we sourced all of our food directly from them, creating a healthier more sustainable way of life.

Thank you for sharing your Crunch experience on social media! We LOVED all of your photos and videos of your apple crunch celebration.


Be sure to save the date for our BIG APPLE CRUNCH 2017 on Thursday, October 19th.


If you ate today, thank a farmer. FarmOn!




The Big Apple Crunch originated in New York City in 2012. It was created by nonprofit GrowNYC in partnership with the NYC Office of Food Policy as NYC’s way of celebrating National Food Day. In its first year, approximately 400,000 New Yorkers bit into a locally grown New York State apple at the same time! In 2013, the Big Apple Crunch in New York City set a world record with 1,000,000 people participating. Since then, the activity has spread across the country, and thousands of locations have participated in October Apple Crunches in celebration of National Food Day.


In 2014, FarmOn! Foundation set the goal at breaking the record of 1,000,000 crunchers, donating 10 MILLION local apples to schools state wide and asking New Yorkers all across the state to take a bite out of an apple in a coordinated “Crunch” bite. In 2015 on October 20th as part of one of many FarmOn! “Farm to School” month programs FarmOn! Big Apple Crunch will break a 2,000,000 crunch goal to Eat Local NY in partnership with GrowNYC and Union Square Greenmarket with support from LaForce PR NYC.


The ultimate goal of the Apple Crunch is to raise awareness and promote the importance of supporting our local New York farmers, promote locally grown produce, economic development and healthy food choices.


Join the hundreds of thousands of students at schools and college campuses across New York State that will crunch into an apple at lunch time, and the hundreds of thousands individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, state agencies, farmers markets, corporate cafeterias, and retail establishments. Help us make this the biggest Big Apple Crunch yet!


Have questions? Email info@







With gratitude for our donors, supporters and community, we opened Empire Farm Teaching Kitchen to the Community for hot tea from Harney & Sons, fresh coffee from Irving Farm Roastery, homemade breads and baked goods from Bartlett House and gifts galore from local makers just in time for holiday gift giving. Complete with a vintage tag sale, decorated boxwood mini trees, swag and pine bundles – the community toured the farmhouse, signed up for cooking classes and chatted about how they might help! We look forward to seeing you at the 2nd annual pop up shop at Empire Farm December 2017!





GIVING IS EASY – Please use the remittance envelope enclosed for ideas about ways you can help… or make a gift online with the DONATE NOW button. Or simply call us 518.329.FARM and we will take payment by phone.


INSPIRING 2016 ACCOMPLISHMENTS of the FarmOn! Foundation


      • FARM ON! at EMPIRE FARM community center and Ag-Academy opens year two!


      • AG-ACADEMY GRADUATED 8 STUDENTS: Provided $3500 cash scholarships to each, 12 college credits, room/board, cooking and job placement for youth age 17-22 to learn the business of food by doing in a NYC chef custom growing educational program at Empire Farm for Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ABC Kitchen, Gotham Bar and Grill, April Bloomfield, Fish & Game and Terrance Brennan
      • SUMMER CAMP FarmOn! 20 Students visited farms & companies daily for a 5-day program to learn the business of food as teams to create a profitable solution in agriculture and pitch the concept to a “shark tank” building confidence and talking money.
      • MILK MONEY SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM FUNDED 12 school districts and provided local Hudson Valley Fresh milk cow to kid in 36 hours for 35,000+ kids daily.


      • BUILT SCHOOL GARDENS to SLAM DUNK YOUR VEGGIES with the NBA at Poughkeepsie and Millbrook Central School Districts


      • FarmOn! BIG APPLE “CRUNCH” TWO MILLION folks statewide took the bite with a FarmOn! Pledge to Eat Local NY. Led together with NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo Administration, we gave away TWO MILLION APPLES grown on family farms