2 ecolocalliving.

ecolocalliving.com 3
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ecolocalliving.com 5
7 News and Views
8 The Wellness Doc
9 Money Matters
10 Ask the Energy Expert
12 The Joy of Functional Living
13 The GREEN Designer
42 Eco-LOCAL Events
18-19 Lakeside Farm -
A Local Tradition
20-21 Local Economic Outlook -
It’s Going to the Dogs
23-24 Fallon Wellness -
A New Prescription
for Health
16-17 Selling the
An interview with
Jane Sanzen and
Deborah Andersson of
Select Sotheby's Realty
22-23 Altamont Vineyard Winery
Carrying on the
Old World Traditions
40-41 R&G Cheese -
The BIG Cheese
in a Small Town
The Harvest Season brings on many sights, tastes and experiences
for everyone. No place has brought more memories and flavors of
the harvest past and present to more people than Lakeside Farm in
Ballston Lake. The iconic barn on the dramatic curve where Round
Lake Road becomes Schauber Road has been the place to find the
tastes of the season - apples, apple cider and apple cider donuts, for
three generations. Dick Pearce has been the inspiration and
perspiration for Lakside Farm for it's entire existence. His gentle
character and boudless enthuusiasm has been the driving force
behind the cider stand turned Farmers Market/Restaurant/Country
Store phenomenon that it is today. In a world of constant change,
Lakeside Farm defies the odds by doing the same thing year in and
year out. And it's working like a charm, because despite the national
recesion aflicting many businesses, Lakeside Farm continues to draw
a crowd every day. Good old fashioned service, value and
consistency are the hallmarks of success at this cherished
community institution. There is no recession for those who can
deliver on these principles. They work wherever they are practiced,
at any time in the past, present and future. Thanks to Dick Pearce and
Lakeside Farm, we have a shining example of how to do business the
right way. Their commitment to local farms, local community, and
local land stewardship makes them our eco-localizer for the this 2010
Harvest Season!
On the Cover
6 ecolocalliving.com
Letter from the Publisher
The long, hot Summer of 2010 has come to a close, and while the
heat was uncomfortable for most humans, the vegetable
kingdom seemed to to like it just fine. The dreaded blight of
2009 was nowhere in sight, and anybody growing tomatoes this
year has been supplied with a bumper crop. Along with green
beans, and squash, and peppers, corn and you name it, 2010 has
been a fantastic year for growing local. The one bit of bad news
was that the warm spring got the apple blossoms started too
early, and a cold snap in May killed a lot of the potential apple
crop. There will still be plenty of apples to enjoy this autumn
season, just not the typical bounty that we are used to here in
upstate NY. All the more reason to get out early and stock up on
your favorite variety of apples.
Fall is a great time to get out to the countryside of the upper
Hudson Valley. The autumn colors seem to be much more alive
out on the back roads; this is also where you'll find the gems of agri-tourism - farms where you can
interact with the the sights, sounds and smells. Of course, the pick-you-own apple orchards are
perhaps the most direct contact with the farmers' land and craft - you have an opportunity to be a
farm hand, although it may only be for the time it takes to pick a supply for your own family. And
the fastest growing segment of agri-tourism is the corn maze. Fortunately, because of the farming
country being so close to our population centers, there is a good chance that there is a corn maze
attraction near you. We've got a special agri-tourism page in this issue, so be sure to get out to one
of the featured farms and go get lost for the day. Don't worry, if you truly get lost, all the farms have
scouts that will retreive the hopelessly lost!
One dimension of the harvest season that may be unfamiliar to most people in this region is the
grape harvest. New York is a top grape and wine producer, but the Capital Region and upper
Hudson Valley are not exactly "on the map" if you are looking for vineyards and wineries. But thanks
to the efforts of a few intrepid souls, our region is beginning to see the emergence of viniculture-
the craft of growing grapes for wine. The DiCresenzo family of Altamont are forging ahead with
their plans to put the region onto the wine map of New York State. Taking cues from the tenacious
Larry Grossi before them, the DiCresenzo's are proving that colder climates can produce fine wines.
Find their story inside, and add them to your destination list this fall.
Not all the great finds of the season are out in the country...tucked into a back room of the Harmony
House Marketplace in downtown Cohoes you'll find the Big Cheese - Sean O'Conner of R & G
Cheese Co., making his soon to be famous chevre and mozzarella. Already making waves in "foodie"
circles, R& G was a featured cheese on the prestigious cheese boards of the recent US Open. The
Harmony House Marketplace is is reinventing itself again, and the O'Conner's cheese making skill
will be in full view from the new bakeshop and cafe. Thanks to the gals at the Harmony House,
downtown Cohoes is going through somewhat of a revival. It's worth checking out!
I am very excited that you are reading this copy of eco-LOCAL Living! It means that you are one
more person who is getting the message that the local-living economy is here, and you are helping
to make it the driving force of our prosperity in the future. Our goal is to connect you to the people
and the places of this new local economy. We've added more column contributors, and continue
to bring you interesting local people who are leading the sustainable lifestyles movement by their
example. This magazine is free, only because it has been paid for by the advertisers within. If you
enjoy reading eco-LOCAL and want to see it continue, it is vital that you reach out and do business
with these people. Your interaction with them will make your life better... I guarantee it! Together,
we will be the change that we want to see in the world... thank you!
- David DeLozier, Publisher
Every effort has been made to avoid errors and misspellings; however, if you see an error, please accept
our apologies. We welcome your ideas, articles, and feedback so that we can give you the best service
possible. eco-LOCAL Living does not guarantee nor warrantee any products, services of any advertisers,
nor will we be party to any legal or civil claims or promises. We expect advertisers to honor any claims
or promises. We reserve the right to revise, edit and/or reject any and all advertising with or without
cause. Liability is limited to the cost of the ad space in which it first appeared for printing errors of the
publisher's responsibility or if the publisher fails to print an ad or article for any reason. We reserve the
right to edit articles if needed for content, clarity and relevance. Unless otherwise noted, we use the
Creative Commons License (in place of standard copyright), which allows anyone to freely copy,
distribute, and transmit all content, although it must be attributed in the manner specified by the author
or licensor, and no one may use it for commercial purposes, or alter, transform, or build upon it.
David Delozier 518-858-6866
Centerline Design 518-883-3872
Tom Stock - stockstudiosphotography.com,
David Delozier, Deborah Austin
Heather Bohm-Tallman
Harry Moran, Rodney Wiltshire,
Amy Stock, Tracy Frisch, Sara Ellis,
Stacey Morris, Joe Constantine, Jr.,
Dermot Jinks, Mary Beth McCue
Eco-LOCAL Living is the free bi-monthly
magazine for people choosing to lead
sustainable, intentional lifestyles in New York's
Upper Hudson Valley. Eco-LOCAL can be found
throughout the region at independent retailers,
shops, restaurants and other high traffic
locales (visit www.ecolocalliving.com
to find a location near you). If you would like
to receive a subscription for convenience, send
$24 along with your name and address to:
eco-LOCAL Media 38 Tamarack Trail
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
If you would like updates and information
by email, please sign up at our website.
We seek to transform this special region of
upstate New York into a local living economy
of vibrant towns, productive farmlands and
healthy open space. By reading eco-LOCAL,
you become part of our cause. But more is
needed - we need you to take an active role,
by engaging in the commerce that will create
the living economy of our future This magazine
is brought to you solely by the advertisers
found within. Please tell them you appreciate
their support of eco-LOCAL Living.
We are all in this together, and
we must support each other.
Thank you!
ecolocalliving.com 7
News and Views
Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Go-Green,
sustainable energy, climate change,
global warming; these are all terms
that each of us have heard almost
daily in our personal lives. They are
not just the latest buzz words or
phrases, but they are all part of a
larger movement that affects us all
one way or another. We all have an
opportunity to take part in this
movement; it may be just as simple as
turning off a light when you leave the
room, changing over to electronic
billing instead of paper, or buying
from your local farm stand instead of
heading miles further to the grocery
store. Jerry Macica, of Schuyler Farms
Corn Maze, points out “Going Green”
has become a lifestyle for more and
more people and Mother Nature
surely appreciates it. But he is also
quick to point out for the skeptics
that there are personal benefits to
“going green”. Reduced energy bills,
healthier food choices, improved
health, or even having extra change
in your pocket.
When Schuyler Farms began
considering the theme for their
family’s 9th annual corn maze the
clear choice was to “Go Green”. Ken
Macica of Schuyler Farms said that
sustainable energy is something that
is important to both the community
and to America’s farms. Tom Macica
added that ‘Going Green’ is just part
of the social fabric of today’s society
and it is a movement that can only
help ensure a healthy future for his
kids and for future generations. The
three Macica brothers felt that the
family farm could use their 7-acre
corn maze to promote the ideas of
‘Going Green’ and sustainable
energy. The maze design features the
universally recognized recycling
triangle, wind mills, the sun, and yes
they even carved corn into the corn
The Macica brothers intend on using
this years annual fall festival at
Schuyler Farms to help promote
‘Going Green’. This will include
promotional material for school kids,
sponsorships from environmentally
friendly businesses and of course their
giant maize maze. Jerry Macica added
that “we are extremely excited about
becoming a ‘green’ leader in our
community and showing everyone
that being green can be fun!”
If you would like more information on
Schuyler Farms visit them online at
www.schuylerfarms.com or call 518-
Because never, ever, has saying, or
hearing NO elicited a good feeling.
Take 5 minutes, right now, to relive the
last 5 no’s you heard – or even go back
to how it felt to hear NO as a child,
and what do you answer with?
To now. Go meet your friend. Have
lunch with your Dad. Watch your kids
play. Go to the Show. Take a bike ride.
Play with your dog. Go to the park.
PEE! Take a nap! Do something
you’ve never done. Something you’re
afraid to do. Show up at the party
ALONE! Accept a last minute
invitation. Let yourself feel
exhilaration, anticipation, excitement!
FEEL. How do you FEEL?
Just say it all, out loud, and see... no.
FEEL how you feel. NO, I can’t go. I’m
too busy. Maybe tomorrow,. Work is
just so crazy. The house is a mess. I
am so behind. After the holidays.
When I retire. Seriously, the work is
never going to be done. The house will
never stay clean. The projects will
continue to line up. When will we
realize that life truly is the journey?
There is no final destination. There is
only now. Right this minute. All of
today. We are trading everything we
do, in a day, for a day of our lives. Did
we consciously chose, or mindlessly
follow, or worse, just react?
Saying yes feels great. It means
something. It gives us a direction.
Something to look forward to…a
chance to treat ourselves; to pay
attention to the things, to the PEOPLE
in our lives that truly deserve our
attention. To do something, to be with
someone, to go somewhere. SAYING
reminds us that we have the freedom
to choose. And we do – everyday. We
chose consciously, or we chose by our
lack of attention, our indecision or our
inaction. But make no mistake, we are
choosing each and every day, how we
spend our time, where we put our
attention, how we expend our energy.
We can mindlessly, out of habit,
continue with our rationalization of
waiting. Or, we can do what feels
good - Why? Because when we feel
good, we feel relaxed. We feel
So start today. Saying YES!
Kathleen is the Owner of Virgil’s House, 86
Henry Street in Saratoga Springs.
By Kathleen Quartararo
Schuylerville corn maze uses 7-acre canvas to raise environmental awareness
Stop in to Virgil’s House and say YES!
To getting one free drink, when you buy one at the regular price!
8 ecolocalliving.com
We are all working hard to preserve
and protect the planet we live in.
We must live ‘greener’ lives to
offset indiscretions taken with the
environment in the past. But do
you have the same ‘green’
consciousness with one of the most
important environments under your
control – your body.
At first glance it might seem silly to
think green when talking about the
human body. But like the Earth,
there is a balance of important
systems, process and chemical
reactions that comprise the human
experience – it has it’s own ecology.
The human body – like the Earth –
is greatly influenced by chemicals.
The balance of biochemistry is
influenced by the air we breath, the
foods we eat, the liquids we drink,
and the medications we take. It is interesting
how we grasp the concern for fluorocarbons in
the environment and the ‘big business’
influences that created the problem but miss
concerns for widespread use of high fructose
corn syrup in our foods and the same ‘big
business’ influences. (see Wikipedia.com high
fructose corn syrup).
The need for restraint in the use of plastic, paper
and fossil fuels is important for our future. This
comes from understanding the relationship of
these products with water, air, soil, plants and
the animals of our world. Using a similar
process of logic, I understand the relationship of
the body to sugar, trans fats, foods that are more
preservative than food (see ingredients on a bag
of Doritos) and medications that aim more at
comfort than creating health. (health being the
improved function of the organ)Unfortunately,
as with our planet, the agenda of comfort and
profitability still move many to continue to
pollute – both the planet and their bodies.
As an example look at what many consider the
safest of all pharmaceutical products -
acetylsalicylic acid, which you know better as
aspirin. Do you know what aspirin does in the
body? It decreases the production of a hormone
called prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is created by
the body NATURALLY and is involved in a variety
of functions in the body - including the
expression of pain, raising the body
temperature, decreasing blood platelet
coagulation, and reabsorbing hydrochloric acid
(created by the body to break down protein in
the stomach) in the stomach. When you take
aspirin you limit the amounts of this hormone
and restrict those functions.
Most of us have heard someone say “I take
aspirin daily to keep my blood thin.” The
antiplatelet effect of aspirin on
blood clotting does keep blood
viscosity low. (which is why you
can’t take aspirin before scheduled
surgery) Of course, the same sources
that recommend this usage list risk
factors supporting daily aspirin use
as – family history of heart disease,
past heart problems, elevated
cholesterol, lack of exercise and/or
poor eating.
What occurs to me is that, perhaps,
most of these heart problems we
suffer are related to unhealthy
lifestyle choices as opposed to
organic and/or genetic predisposition
for heart disease. Maybe not. But
does it make sense to you that
Americans need to take 80 billion
aspirins each year! These people
are repeatedly interfering with a
natural inclination to produce
prostaglandin in response to things like
headache pain from to much coffee/sugar and
to little sleep, or a healthy-immune-
response-generated fever, or maybe the need
for the blood to coagulate because a blood
vessel was damaged? I realize that there is a
time for everything – including the use of
aspirin – but the biochemistry changed and
the enormous volume of aspirins ingested
causes me to question.
I may be going out on limb here, but I think the
popularity of taking aspirin may have
something to do with the fact that aspirin is a
billion dollar industry. It is more about address
of an effect (pain) than resolution of cause (in
most cases, lifestyle choices). But then that
would be akin to creating and using a chemical
for the primary purpose of making money by
putting the comfort of an individual over health.
Now where have I heard that before.
By Dr. Dermot Connole Jinks, DC
The Wellness Doc
Green Inside
ecolocalliving.com 9
With Autumn's arrival and the days begin to
grow shorter, many of us start to think about
the approach of another winter heating season
and of our energy sources in general. The BP
disaster in the Gulf has once again heightened
our awareness of the high cost of our addiction
to fossil fuels and has prompted many of us to
reexamine our options. With this in mind, I'd
like to take a look at the state of solar energy
which, along with wind power, is one of the
two truly renewable and clean energy sources
currently available on a significant scale. In
addition to looking at the general state of and
outlook for the industry, I'm going to share
some thoughts on how the current landscape
may affect consumers and shareholders of solar
As anyone who has owned stocks of solar
companies over the last few years is well
aware, these have been trying times which
have tested the patience and resolve of solar
investors. As much of the stock market
recovered sharply following the financial
meltdown of 2008, shares of most solar
companies have languished. In “2011: The
Return of the Solar Shakeout”, Shyam Mehta
points out that with Spain's rapid retreat from
its position as a leading buyer of photovoltaic
(PV) panels, coupled with the damage to the
credit system stemming from the global
financial crisis, many observers were expecting
a painful consolidation in the industry. This
thesis was based on the expectation of demand
being stagnant, manufacturing capacity
continuing its long-term growth pattern and PV
panels becoming a commodity which would
mainly be sold by the lowest cost providers.
Well, for a number of reasons, the predicted
doomsday scenario for solar manufacturers and
shareholders didn't materialize, though things
have certainly been far from rosy. What is
noteworthy going forward though is that some
observers such as Mehta expect that 2011 will
be the year in which we finally see this major
shakeout (consolidation to be more politically
correct) in the solar arena. The argument is that
it will be much tougher sledding for the higher
cost producers who have thus far greatly
benefited from the policies of countries such as
Spain and Germany who have kept a floor
under prices by implementing government
“feed-in tariffs”. These tariffs ensured
guaranteed rates for solar power, locked in by
long-term contracts, which were much higher
than the rates for conventional power. With
Spain having dramatically reduced these
incentives and effectively out of the game for
now, and Germany announcing severe cuts to
these tariffs due to its recent austerity
measures, there may be no one to prop up
these high cost manufacturers, and the severe,
prolonged shakeout that was originally
predicted for last year may begin to manifest
itself in early 2011. Needless to say this would
be a very difficult environment for solar
companies and their shareholders.
So what to make of all this gloomy sounding
news? While investors in solar companies may
indeed be facing a difficult period over the next
year or two, this shakeout would be a sign of a
maturing industry and would actually be very
healthy for the long-term. The companies who
survive this turmoil will be stronger and well
positioned for future growth. In addition to this
being very healthy for the industry, it would
likely be great news for consumers in the near
term as fierce price competition would likely
drive prices down and solar would become
affordable for many more people.
Investors in solar and shares of other
renewable energy companies should have at
least a 5 to 7 year time horizon and understand
the volatility and risks associated with these
investments. Since price fluctuations can be
dizzying at times, systematic investing over a
period of time (“dollar cost averaging”) can be
an effective way to dampen the effects of this
volatility and reduce the significance of the
timing of an investment. Investing in mutual
funds or exchange traded funds (ETF's)
focusing on renewable energy provides instant
diversification, professional management and
somewhat greater price stability but these
shares historically have still been quite volatile.
For those with long enough time frames and a
high tolerance for risk, solar shares still offer
great potential over the long haul and offer a
means to support a technology which remains
a key element of our clean energy future.
Harry Moran helps socially conscious investors define
and achieve their highest goals by aligning their money
with their values. A 24-year veteran of the financial
services profession, Mr. Moran has held the Certified
Financial Planner
designation since 1991. He is a
network member of First Affirmative Financial Network,
a national professional organization dedicated to
meeting the needs of the socially conscious investing
community. Mr. Moran can be reached directly at
Cornerstone Financial Advisors at 518-877-8800.
Mention of specific securities, funds, or companies
should not be considered an offer or a recommendation
to buy or sell the security, fund, or company. To determine
the suitability of any particular investment, please
consult with your investment adviser. Remember, past
performance is no guarantee of future results and no
investment strategy can assure success. The opinions
expressed are those of the author and may change
without notice. Harry Moran is a registered
representative offering securities through Cadaret, Grant
& Co., Inc., member FINRA SIPC. Cadaret, Grant is not
affiliated with Cornerstone or First Affirmative.
By Harry Moran, CFP
Money Matters
Solar Investing: Sunny Skies Ahead?
10 ecolocalliving.com
Over the years, many of my customers have asked me, “What the best way
for my home to go Green and save Green at the same time?” Well,
depending on your perspective, there are many “right” answers to that, but
in my world, the customer usually expresses this question in another way,
“What's the best bang for my buck?” The answer has been, and always will
be found in living sustainably.
The first tenet to Sustainable Living is to Reduce (or refuse) consumption. In our
home's Energy portfolio, that means lowering your demand for resources, and
for most of us, our home's comfort level is the biggest driver of those demands.
In the summer months, many of us try to beat the heat with Air Conditioners,
and in the Winter Months, we are heating our homes with all sorts of
methods. Those of us who choose to use less (Fans instead of AC's, wear
sweaters indoor in the winter) do so at the expense of the creature comforts
that we have grown accustomed to feeling entitled to (for better or worse).
The vast majority of us, who do heat and cool conventionally, do so very
inefficiently. Mostly, this is because even though we may be using new
and improved technology in our furnaces and AC units (that make them
more energy efficient), our home's shell or envelope (as it's called in our
line of business) is so leaky, that your equipment is literally heating and
cooling the outdoors. Believe it or not, most of us do not live in Energy
Star rated homes that have been constructed in the past 5 years. With that
said, most of the following discussion will be very relevant to existing
homes ten years and older.
Well, that said, I think most of you are probably aware of what comes next:
how to seal the envelope. Your home's envelope is composed with four
major types of weak spots: your roof, your basement, your walls, and your
doors and windows; each of which present their own type of problem and
solution. Let's start with the “easiest” first.
Doors and Windows; if your doors and windows leak like a sieve, then it's
time to remedy that situation. Sometimes, this situation can be very obvious,
and you can literally see the gaps (broken glass) or feel the rushing air
passing by. If you need a more expert opinion on the integrity of your
envelope, then a professionally conducted analysis can be performed with a
“Blower Door Test” which will identify all the leaky spots in your home and
quantify the loss for you.
But before you rush out to purchase a whole home's worth of replacement
windows and new doors, you do have significantly more affordable options.
First off, if the doors and windows do mechanically function (open, close, and
lock) as they are intended, then you absolutely have no reason to replace
them (unless you like spending lots of money), and even if some are broken,
you can have them repaired locally for less than you would spend on
replacement anyway. Now, if you are satisfied with the mechanical integrity
of your home's existing windows and doors, then you can seal any of gaps
on the sills and edges and with a light application of insulation, calk,
weather-strips, felt, or a combination of these items (all of which should cost
you less than $50 for your entire home). Now, if that's all you do, you have
just taken a huge step in sealing your home up , arguably for pennies.
After you have sealed the miniscule gaps, you can then install a removable
product called an Advanced Energy Panel. Manufactured locally by Window
Term, these devices are reusable, clear barriers that are custom-made for
each (and every shaped) window and installed inside your home, adding
insulation to your existing windows. The total insulation that these panels
achieve is greater than that of standard new or replacement windows - and
for a significantly lower cost. In addition to insulating your home from heat
transfer, they also aid in sound insulation as well, so you will notice a
“quieter” home.
Now that we've tackled the doors and windows, it's time to get to the main
membrane of your home's envelope, your basement, walls, and attic. These
are the spots in your home where a continuous flow of heat penetrates in
and out throughout the day all year long.
Your basement (or crawlspace) foundation walls are in constant contact
with the earth, and are usually around 50 degrees. Now, the space above the
frost line where your home's sill plate is can be exposed to wintertime
temperatures well below freezing. So, in the winter, your home's basement
basically becomes a heat sink for any heat radiated in your basement from
your furnace, water heater, and plumbing or ductwork that is carrying the
heat to its destinations. Imagine for a moment, in the dead of winter, it is -
20 below with the wind-chill factor, and your furnace is firing away to keep
your home comfy and cozy. That furnace has to work that much harder to
overcome the environment that it is operating in, your ICE COLD basement.
Your main floor's walls also present a point of penetration where heat loss
and gain occur, though not as dramatically as the basement and attic. This
is mainly due to the fact that your walls have 3 to 4 different types of
membranes on the walls interior and exterior. Finally, heat rises, so much of
the heat that enters the walls will elevate to the attic space before it leaves
your shell.
Your attic may represent the largest culprit in this heat transfer battle; it is
a two time loser. Most people have zero insulation on their roof structure
(between the rafters) and only some inadequate insulation on their attic
floor. What happens here in the winter is that most of the heat that is
generated in your home rises to the top of your house due to convection and
begins to transfer through your attic to the outside environment. So in the
winter, your attic acts as a heat sink in a similar manner to your basement.
In the summertime, the sun's powerful radiation penetrates your roofing
materials and heats your attic (temperatures up to 160 degrees F). This
heating of your attic actually represents 95% of all of your summertime
heating gain. So, while you are trying to keep your home's living space
cool in the summer months, your attic is actually acting like a pressure
cooker and “boiling” the contents of your home all the while you're
fighting to keep it cool. This is even more difficult for those homes with
central air ducts that run through the attic, all of that cool air is being
By Rodney Wiltshire, Engineer/President l Empire Solar Store
Ask the Energy Expert
Sealing the Home Envelope
ecolocalliving.com 11
heated through your attic before it even gets to
do its job.
OK, now that you've gotten the really bad news,
what do you do? Well you insulate those areas
properly, and understanding how heat is
transferred is the first step. Heat always moves
from warm to cool, and there are three ways in
which heat is transferred from warm spaces to
cold spaces:
Conductive: the transfer of heat flowing through
a solid or fluid material.
Convective: the transfer of heat which involves
the physical movement of air when it is warmed.
Radiant: the movement of invisible heat rays
from a warm surface to a cooler surface through a
Radiant Heat Transfer is responsible for 75% of all
Heat Transfer, so if you only deal with conductive
and convective, you are really not dealing with
much. You MUST handle radiant heat transfer.
But before you run out to the local big box store
and buy the “pink stuff” let's get back to the
original question and the best “Bang for your
Buck” issue. You have options, and some of which
I bet you didn't know about.
The “pink stuff” or fiberglass insulation is, quite
honestly, a very inefficient way of resisting heat
transfer, and that's all it does, resist. In addition to
its poor performance quality, it is not really fun to
work with or touch and it can be easily
compromised by water damage or compression to
do mishandling.
Cellulose or blown-in insulation is slightly more
effective than fiberglass, but also more
expensive, and again it has its place (blowing
into an existing wall structure), but also its
limitations similar to fiberglass but also that it
settles, is messy, can't be easily removed, and
can attract rodents and pests.
Rigid Polyisocyanurate Foam-board insulation
with a radiant barrier provides a better
insulator than the above two as it begins to
address all 3 types of heat transfer, but it is a
very expensive product for the amount of R-
Value you get, plus the installation effort or
costs associated drive the total cost of this
type of insulation up considerably.
Polyisocyanurate Spray foam insulation also
addresses all 3 types of heat transfer very well,
is very flexible in its installation, but it is the
most expensive product installed. In addition to
its expense, it is a permanent installation
(removal is a bear), it can be messy, and may
contain volatile off-gassing compounds (VOCs)
that may not be environmentally friendly. One
more thing about these foam insulators is that
they are not fireproof, so in the event of a fire in
your home, they will burn.
Insulated Reflective Foil represents the best of all
worlds, and ultimately the best bang for your buck.
When installed correctly, this type of bubble
insulation material accomplishes what all of the
above fail to do, and at the most affordable price.
Cost wise, Insulated Reflective Foil is as inexpensive
as fiberglass (and that is installed) yet as effective
as Spray foam. However, it's the associated
attributes, which make this a slam dunk.
Foil insulation reflects 97% of radiant heat making
your home or building more energy efficient •
Unaffected by humidity or moisture • Class 1 /
Class A fire rating (passes the newest fire test in
the industry, ASTM E84-2009) • Non-toxic / non-
carcinogenic • Environmentally safe • Fiber free
• Durable and lightweight • Maintenance free •
Lowers heating and cooling costs • Easy
The product is most commonly installed in the
following scenarios: Attic Installation, Wall
Installation and Basement Installation.
This reflective product works primarily by
blocking 97% of radiant heat therefore lowering
the “Effective Radiation” emissions from a heat
source is it the sun's rays penetrating your home
or your furnace's heat leaving your home. What
that leads to is an increased “Effective
Insulation” value. In addition, this product acts
as a vapor barrier, and prevents convective heat
transfer as well as isolates moisture. Finally, the
bubble air insulation aids in resisting conductive
heat transfer. All combined, this lightweight,
flexible, durable product can get your home's
envelope sealed in the best and most affordable
way possible.
See these products demonstrated and described at
http://youtu.be/aMuhhnu6igc Empire Solar Store is
located at 6 Brunswick Road (Route 2), Troy NY. Call 518-
687-0135 or go online to www.empiresolarstore.com.
12 ecolocalliving.com
Question - Editor David Delozier: “We expect
that food from factory farms can be safe if we
just have proper inspections (FDA, etc).
Congress may legislate more rules and
regulations, but the problem cannot be solved
this way. The problem is not with the
inspections’; it is that factory farming is toxic on
every level. So as a question...With the latest
recall on eggs and past memory of major recalls
on meats and even spinach, it's obvious that our
national food system is not producing safe food.
What are the options for a family looking for
clean healthy food today?
Answer - MBM: Do not rely on our “National
Food System” 100% of the time for safe and
frankly healthy & nutritious foods. There is
virtually minimal effective levels and quality of
nutrients in the soil of these foods to provide the
body with what it needs. People have been
forced into standardized, unnatural diets, and
aggressive, chemical-based agriculture is
ravaging ecosystems from the Great Plains to
the Kalahari. Food has been stripped of its
meaning, reduced to a mere commodity, and
some would go as far to say its mass production
is contributing to injustice all over the world. The
problem hits at many levels beyond this article.
Fear not, the consumer trend IS out of the
grocery stores and into the local community
markets and farms, and “home growing/farms”.
The organic/sustainable industry is said to be
THE fasting growing industry, and thus a more
cost effective organic industry is emerging. I
believe this is our answer and we need to
continue to provide access to all.
Factory farming, that which is subsidized by our
government; can be very toxic, because many
corners are cut, safety measures are “forgotten”
in many cases, and poorly conducted inspections
– if they are completed- can all contribute to a
toxic system. In many settings animals are
squeezed into very uncomfortable, sometimes
“abusive” unhealthy and unsanitary conditions.
This is all done in favor of our greedy US
government and CORPORATIONS that run these
farms. There are better methods; they choose not
to use them. Farmers around the world are
pressured into mortgaging their farms to
purchase genetically modified seeds, pesticides,
and fertilizer from American companies like
Monsanto. It all leads back to money. This
translates to devastation of lives on the part of
the animals, the plant life and to the US citizens.
And the #2 point of my response is this is all a
large contribution to creating a very unhealthy US
culture, poor health, economic disaster in health
care and beyond , etc. I think poor health affects
everything. Do you see the full circle here? The
system that created all this is not the system
fixing it, and in many ways this is a good thing.
We need to continue to take things into our own
hands –collectively if you will. We don’t have to
be the “victims” of anyone’s’ experiment –
especially our governments. We do not have to
eat the foods (which are barely food) that are
killing our nation and we do not have to abide
by the incomplete advice given in the most
broken health care system in the world - ours.
This is the “other side of the coin” in the food
business – health care. One is actually feeding
the other. People are getting progressively sicker
from unhealthy and unsafe foods. The US Food
System is maintaining business for the US Health
Care System.
Dirty foods- from dirty environments can easily
lead to a dirty body – which leads to chronic
conditions. We are seeing this is the overwhelming
amounts of auto-immune conditions such as with
allergies. Conventional medicine seems to know
little about resolving chronic conditions such as
fatigue (and the unique sources of it) ,
cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression,
autism, and the list goes on. BUT, these ARE being
resolved on a regular basis in the practice of
functional medicine and nutrition. In addition,
toss in toxic heavy metals such as lead from diesel
fuel, mercury from pesticides and wastes, high
levels of stress, and pharmaceuticals.
Over time these contribute to much of the
chronic health conditions we see today. Chronic
health conditions always leads back to 2 causes:
Toxicity &/or stress. We are living longer yes,
BUT on average, we are chronically sicker during
these later years. Cleaning up your diet will help
clean up your body. Toss in specific nutrients to
re-grow the systems in your body that are down,
eliminate the toxins, and you’ll be feeling and
looking years younger.
I believe the end goal is in the process of being
achieved: a world in which communities are
entitled to food sovereignty; allowed to choose
not only what they want to grow and eat, but
also how they produce and distribute it. We are
seeing this here in our own local communities as
well as throughout the world. By choosing to eat
sustainable foods and using a more sustainable
health care practitioner as a compliment to
conventional health care, one will surely, in the
long run, save time, money and energy, and of
course health – which is the reason why the
others are “SAVED”.
By Mary Beth McCue, RD, LDN, CDN
The Joy(s) of Functional Living
Food Safety, Functional Medicine
and our Health
ecolocalliving.com 13
There are few manufacturers of wood flooring
that are as dedicated and eco-friendly as
EcoTimber. This company was founded on the
premise that the best way to preserve the
world's forests is to build markets for wood
and bamboo products sourced from superior
models of forest management.
What we appreciate about their products is
that they are FSC certified - all the wood come
from forests that are certified well-managed
according to the rules of the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC). The suppliers of
EcoTimber adhere to forestry practices that
guarantee a perpetual yield of high-quality
timber while maintaining or restoring healthy,
self-regenerating forest ecosystems.
The other quality of their wood products is
that no urea-formaldehyde is used, and
therefore EcoTimber floors do not off-gas
toxic VOC's (volatile organic compounds),
which are known to vaporize in the air and
can have short- and long-term adverse health
They came up with a innovative woven Poplar
floor made of 100% FSC-recycled scrap from
the furniture manufacturing and pulp
industries. It is woven, which consists of
veneer wood scraps compressed and woven
together using a heat reactive glue. This
process creates similar characteristics to
hardwood but a harder and more stable floor
- 3000 per janka scale (white oak is 1360).
Woven poplar floors can be installed over
hydronic radiant heat systems, and can be
sanded and refinished.
“The Woven Recycled Poplar flooring
represents a revolution in the flooring
industry”, says Doug Foucault, Vice President
of Product Development for EcoTimber, “it's
comprised of 100% post industrial scraps of
poplar from the furniture industry that is
combined with a proprietary process of resin
infusion and high compression. This makes it
not only the most environmentally friendly
floor on the market but also extremely durable
and extraordinarily beautiful.”
The good news is that this beautiful Poplar
wood floor comes in 4 colors, and is available
at a discounted price through October.
Karen Totino & Sophie Castro own Green
Conscience Home & Garden, 33 Church Street in
Saratoga Springs. Green Conscience is the local
EcoTimber dealer and a retail showroom that offers a
variety of organic, eco-friendly lawn, garden and
home improvement products. Call 518-306-5196 or
email: Karen@green-conscience.com
By Sophie Castro & Karen Totino
The Green Designer
Woven Recycled Poplar: A beautiful
and unique eco-friendly floor
14 ecolocalliving.com
utumn is a great time of year to enjoy the great
agricultural assets of the Upper Hudson Valley. We
are blessed to have bountiful Apple Orchards
nearby, many who invite you to pick your own. The
crop is a little short this year, due to a late frost, so
if you plan to go, go early in the season. And of course, who can resist
the ultimate treat, Cider Donuts? Another way to get up close and
personal to our nearby farms is to go get lost in one of the many corn
mazes in the region. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. This activity is
truly fun for the whole family, and local maze operators have got out
to help you get lost with this years labyrinths. Schuyler Farms on
Route 29 in Schuylerville is featuring a Go-Green Maze this year, to
help you remember the three R’s – Reduce, reuse and Recycle. The
corn maze, which is open through the end of October, has expanded
to include gemstone and fossil mining, a petting zoo, miniature golf,
hayrides, pumpkin patches and much more. Look for their Haunted
Maze in late October. It’s an experience that will literally freak you
Liberty Ridge Farm, just outside of Stillwater in the town of
Schagticoke is always a hot spot for fall activities. The centerpiece of
Liberty Ridge Farm is the Fall Festival. The Harvest Season kicks off on
September 18th and runs through November 11th 2010. It includes
the Capital Region's largest corn maz , Brad's Barnyard Adventure
and lots of family fun on the farm. You can venture by day or night
through the 12-acre labyrinth of 13 foot high cornstalks, try all the
activities in Brad's Barnyard, feed the farm animals, take a scenic
trolley ride along the banks of the Hoosic River, and pick pumpkins.
Dine in the Quincy Room or out on the sprawling deck overlooking
the farm. There's always fresh cider donuts from the farm kitchen.
Ellms Family Farm in the quaint hamlet of Charlton has been expanding
their operation every year. In addition to the corn
maze, ride the "MooMooChooChoo" to the pick
you own pumpkin patches or jump on the Jumping
Pillow - an Ellms Family Farm favorite! Take a
leisurely break and have fun on our scenic trolley
ride, or just sit and relax in the comfort of the
inviting farm market setting. The Halloween
hayrides are fun for everyone, and awesome apple
cider donuts create memories and family
traditions when you visit Ellms Family Farm.
No matter which way you go, there is something
great to discover out on the country roads of the
region. Don’t forget to pick up the last of the
local produce while out and about. It’s a great
time to process the harvest and stock up your
pantry for the long winter ahead.
ecolocalliving.com 15
Beginning with its establishment in 1744, the
Sotheby's Auction House earned a reputation in
the valuation of fine possessions. Continuing
this fine tradition in exceptional real estate and
professional seller services, brokerages within
the Sotheby's International Realty network
represent many of the world's finest houses and
estates. Sotheby's has relationships with a
national and worldwide community of expert
real estate professionals. Sotheby's Select of
Saratoga sells a lifestyle…Jane and Deborah
specialize in offering properties with a green
lifestyle; their goal is to help the discriminating
buyer to make the right decision when seeking
a low-impact home. Jane and Deborah have
earned their Green Realtor designation; the one
designation approved by the National
Association of Realtors. By doing so they are
members of the Green Resource Council -
providing them with the growing body of
information regarding sustainable building
practices, materials, design considerations,
statistics, and ongoing education.
Eco-LOCAL Living: The term “green building”
is being thrown around a lot these days. What
exactly is a “Green Building”?
Jane and Deborah: Simply put, green building
is about building it right the first time; making it
durable, long lasting, low maintenance, energy
efficient, and healthy for the environment as
well as the people who populate it.
ELL: There's a belief that green homes cost
more. Why is that, and what are the benefits to
the homeowner by “going green”?
J&D: Green building is a whole system
approach which reduces environmental impact
and improves the health and safety of the
occupants. It provides features that ensure a
healthy environment-such as the use of fewer
materials which could undermine our health -
like the use of low VOC paints, or wood and
stone flooring- or the addition of a Heat
Recovery system (HRV) which distributes fresh
air in and expels stale moist air out. A Green
Home should be durable and designed with
efficient systems like energy star appliances and
very efficient heating system, cellulose
insulation, or simply the proper siting of the
house to take fullest advantage of the sun's
light and heat. Greater conservation is achieved
by the use of recycled products such as fiber
cement board which is made from recycled
concrete. These types of features provide health,
value and conservation benefits to the owner.
ELL: So a green home has a lower operating
cost in the long term. With energy costs
continually going up, that's a huge advantage!
Are there other advantages?
J&D: The lifestyle advantages of living in a
green home include healthy indoor
environment, and value in long term durability
Interview by David DeLozier Photos supplied by Select Sotheby's Realty
Living in the Future - Today!
Green Homes
An interview with Jane Sanzen and Deborah Andersson of Select Sotheby's Realty,
representing the unique homes at Louden Ridge, built by Capital Construction.
16 ecolocalliving.com
ecolocalliving.com 17
and energy efficiency. The homes of Louden
Ridge are also extraordinarily beautiful which
clearly provide more subtle advantages.
ELL: With those benefits, I'd say that everyone
should own a “green” home. Do you see the
demand increasing for this type of
J&D: Green is officially "mainstream"-
according to the Green Resource Council, 69%
of the population is seeking green products and
76% perceive that green products are of a
higher quality. Buyers are evermore concerned
with energy efficiency, energy independence,
and environmental issues facing the planet.
They wish to have their homes be a reflection of
their values. Also the benefits of living in a
healthy environment are of growing interest,
especially to young families.
ELL: Sotheby's has teamed up with one of the
area's leading green builders, Capital
Construction, to market their unique homes at
Louden Ridge in Wilton. What makes this
relationship unique?
J&D: There is an ever increasing interest in
sustainable building principles and energy
conservation as well as health benefits of green
home environments. Sotheby's representation
of the environmentally responsible homes of
Louden Ridge in Saratoga Springs is an example
of their commitment to this emerging market.
ELL: So, for those people who are seeking out
these unique homes - do they need to find a
special real estate agent to help in their search?
J&D: Agents with a green designation are
uniquely qualified to address this fast growing
real estate market -They can provide
knowledge, leadership, and understanding of
Green real estate principles. The National
Association of Realtors Green Designation sets
us apart, and indicates to the consumer that we
are committed to the growing and positive
force behind the Green Building movement. An
agent with a Green Designation can tell the
story of our product that helps to protect our
world- communicate an understanding of green
building practices, and make the connection
between green building and value/benefits &
ELL: What's your prognosis for the future - will
most homes in the future be built with green
technologies, or will this remain a specialty
J&D: Sotheby's and Capital Construction and
the future: Select Sotheby's International Realty
represents unique and distinctive properties in
the upstate region at large. We are so proud to
offer the brilliantly designed homes of Louden
Ridge and provide our customers the possibility
of an exceptional lifestyle with these properties.
We feel that our commitment to the highest
quality of service, marketing, and relationships
is the perfect match for the fabulous work of
Frank Laskey of Capital Construction. We
anticipate more demand for high quality Green
Homes in the future. There is certainly a greatly
increasing interest in conservation, and a
greater commitment to protecting the
environment and preserving natural resources
for future generations. The future is what
"green homes" are really all about.
For more information about the homes at
Louden Ridge, call Jane (pictured below) at
526-6056 or Deborah at 496-0237 (bottom
left), or go online to sothebysrealty.com.
“Ooh I love their apple pie!”
“They make the best fresh cider!”
“You have to try their breakfast - it's great.”
Mention the name Lakeside Farms to someone in
Saratoga County and these are the kind of
responses you're likely to get. Started in 1948,
Lakeside Farms has been a mainstay in the
Saratoga and Schenectady region for fresh apple
cider, vegetables, baked goods, or a fresh
homemade breakfast or lunch.
Rob Pearce and his brother, both from
Schenectady, started this fourth-generation family
business as “a means to make a little extra money
on the side” said Dick Pearce (Rob's son). The
brothers bought the Ballston Lake farm for its old
barn and cider press, with the intention of making
and selling fresh cider.
After a year in business, Rob Pearce, who held a
full time job with General Electric, offered the
business to his son Dick Pearce. Dick Pearce said
yes, and has been running the Lakeside since he
was a junior in High School, and taken it through
its various transitions and expansions.
Said Pearce, “My father offered me the place to
run. I decided I was up for the challenge, and I've
been doing this ever since.” That's of course with
a break while he served in the Army. After which
he returned and continued to operate the farm
with his mother Agnes, until the early 1970's when
she passed away.
A true family business, Pearce's wife, children and
grandchildren all work at the Farm. His two sons
and daughter work closely with him, and some of
the work, like operating the 120-ton cider press, is
done predominantly by family.
As Dick and his mother Agnes focused on making
and selling filtered, preserved cider - the business
took off. As their cider business grew, so did the
demands. In 1958, Pearce opened a small retail
store on the premise. In 1961, they renovated an
old carriage barn on the property, naming it the
Lakeside Cider Mill & Farm store, the store's
current location. They sold fresh vegetables and
apple cider. Two years later they added pies,
salads and sandwiches. In 1971 customer
demand warranted the construction of an apple
barn - to better serve their customers by offering a
larger space for selling apples and cider.
In the early 1980's Dick began growing his own
vegetables on the property, including corn, squash,
pumpkins, beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. In
response to the popularity of their home-baked
pies and made-to-order sandwiches, in 1990
Pearce also started serving homemade country
breakfasts. Their business did so well, by the late
1990's he added on a larger indoor dining area.
By Amy L. Stock l Contributing Writer Photos by Tom Stock, stockstudios.com
A Local Tradition
Lakeside Farms
18 ecolocalliving.com
Dick Pearce pictured with his sons Jeff (left) and Rich (right).
ecolocalliving.com 19
Today, the Lakeside serves breakfast, lunch and
select dinner dishes on Friday and Saturdays
(dinners from mid-June to end of August.)
A keen businessman, Pearce is retired now, but
you wouldn't know it. He still works every day on
the Farm. On any given day you might find him
making cider, running deliveries or cooking up
chicken or steak for one of their famous chicken
roasts or for a special event.
The centerpiece of the business continues to be
their fresh apple cider and apples, grown
throughout the region, and sold for retail. Built
in the late 1880's, Pearce continues to use the
120 ton screw driven press to make their fresh
cider. Impressive in size and look, the press takes
up much of the barn where it is housed.
Manually operated, the process for making cider
with an old cider press is very labor intensive,
commented Pearce.
History aside - a walk through the Lakeside Store
tells the story of why this place is so popular with
the locals. In addition to their cider, Lakeside
Farms tops the charts in terms of fresh and local
vegetables and products. The list is almost
endless: fresh fruits and vegetables from local
farmers and the Menands Farmer's Market,
homemade pastries and pie including the
childhood favorite “whoopie pie”, local honey,
Adirondack Maple Syrup, fresh mozzarella,
cooking items, arts and craft items, and a vintage
candy section.
They also carry a number of other locally-made
food products including milk from Battenkill
Valley Creamery, fresh eggs from Thomas' Poultry
in Schuylerville, and meats and sausages from
Oscar's Smokehouse in Warrensburg, NY.
The success of Lakeside Farms is clearly due to
Pearce's adaptability and willingness to try
something new. As business changed so did
Lakeside Farm.
Said Pearce,“You can never be complacent in
business. Our business changed as times
changed.” In the early 1970's, Lakeside Farm
reduced their wholesale cider production when
customer preference and regulations required
increased pasteurization. Their cider is run
through an ultraviolet machine which kills any
“bad” bacteria. According to Pearce, to produce
at the level needed for wholesale would have
required a significant investment. So now they
make enough to sell at their farm store and a few
other locations.
Pearce also added on a greenhouse to the 25-acre
property, where they grow and sell flowers and
other plants in the spring. He's raising pigs in the
back, some which end up as dinner at one of their
pig roasts. In 1998 he got the idea to build a
pavilion which people could rent for events. A
great success, the pavilion is regularly rented for
wedding receptions, reunions, and family parties.
They also host some of their own events including
barn dances, big band dances, Polish dances, and
chicken and pig roasts.
Pearce still lives in the original farmhouse on the
property - where he raised his family. Over the
50+ years of operation Pearce has built a new
storefront, a greenhouse, pavilion and four
outbuildings to house the cider mill, cider making
equipment, and a large walk-in cooler, along with
other amenities.
A visit to Lakeside Farms, a few miles west of
Round Lake village (exit 11) on Round Lake Road
(turns into Schauber Rd) is a must. Stop in any
day during the summer and you're sure to find a
parking lot full of cars and lots of customers
milling around the veggie stand out front,
checking out the newly-arrived apples in the
apple bins, or inside enjoying a hearty meal.
Lakeside Farm operates seasonally, from mid-
April through December, so be sure to time your
visit accordingly. For more information go to
www.lakesidefarmscidermill.com or call 518-399-
8359. Open 7 days a week, 7:30 am - 6:00 pm.
Amy L. Stock is a freelance writer and environmental
educator living and working in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Donna Peck
Lorraine and Dick Pearce Lorraine and Dick Pearce
20 ecolocalliving.com
It's no secret that the Pet Industry is not
suffering the current economic slump. But what
does that mean for a local company in that very
business? Success? Expansion? Philanthropy?
Turns out, a chance for all three…
There is no question that Amy and Keith
Augustine, of “Lazy Dog Cookie Company” have
always strived to make high quality, healthy dog
treats and their updated products prove just
that. Five years ago they changed recipes to a
Wheat and Corn-Free base. Two years ago they
made the Organic switch. Now they are leading
the industry with an all natural healthy yogurt
and carob coating that use dye from beets,
cabbage and carrots. The end result is a treat
that everyone can feel confident sharing with
their dog. Undoubtedly, this is a huge reason for
Amy and Keith's continued success in an
industry inundated with bakers. They ended
2009 with a 29% increase in sales over 2008.
“As we grow, the company will continue to
evolve and products will change,” Keith said. “If
that is happening we are doing something
There is not much time for laziness at Lazy Dog
judging from the hustle and bustle at their
newest location. They recently moved
operations to an impressive 13,000 Square Foot
facility. The structure, a fully renovated 1840's
Post and Beam Barn, is located on Ford St in
Ballston Spa, NY. This is a three fold increase in
space from their previous expansion into 4,000
Square Feet in 2008. They are working out the
kinks of a complicated move, but could not be
happier with their decision. Keith said “I feel like
we are taking part in preserving the local history
by being here.” The renovation began at a time
when condemning it was eminent and
demolition looked like its future. Jim Dalpe, the
building's owner, recycled every piece of
material he could salvage from the existing
structure. In the 1800s it housed a bag making
facility and was home to the first modern day
paper bag.
The entire first floor is dedicated to baking,
decorating, boxing, packing and shipping - all
the grunt work of a bakery. Upstairs is what sold
the move for the Augustines and when you walk
up the stairs you get it. It screams possibility -
Lazy Dog has always donated and sponsored for
other events, but this added space gives them
the opportunity to organize and host their own
philanthropic events. Their family of four
adopted dogs, Hazel (Sausage), Hoagie
(Steuben), Lucy (Juicy Lucy) and Jimmy
(Meatball) keep their passion for rescue strong.
“So many dogs need homes, so many groups
need help. It all should go hand in hand. Our
hearts are in it for the animals. We love being in
By Sarah Ellis l Contributing Writer Photos by Heather Bohm-Tallman
It's going to the Dogs!
Local Economic Outlook...
ecolocalliving.com 21
a business that surrounds us with them. How
could we not want to do all we can for them?”
Amy said. “It just makes sense.” They hope to
throw events every 2 months of varying sizes
and rotate the beneficiaries. “Maybe one or two
big ones each year,” Keith added. Lazy Dog has
designed the second floor to have a “Retail
Space” that will be open during functions to
assist in the fundraising. They are considering
this idea for other local companies, as well.
Keith explained, “The idea is for sale proceeds to
go to benefit the organizations. The store will
not be a year round thing. We'll let the full-time
retailers take care of that side.” Lazy Dog
Cookies can be found at many local, family
owned businesses including Dawgdom,
Benson's Pet Centers, Four Seasons Health Food
Store, Pampered Pooch and Putnam Market.
Their first event is planned for October 28th at
6:30 with a fitting Halloween Theme. It is sure
to be a success with live music and 50 South's
delicious food! Costumes are optional, but you'll
regret leaving them home when you see some of
the Prize Baskets for Best Costume, Look Alikes,
and more! Heather Bohm-Tallman Photography
will be there taking shots in the well known
“HBT Doggie Booth,” where dogs and people
can cut loose and show their silly side. Proceeds
will go to Mohawk & Hudson River Humane
Society, where their adoptee, Juicy Lucy, came
from. “We want people to appreciate what a
great experience adoption can be. Mohawk
Hudson was wonderful. Lucy was a bit of a
challenge at first, but she is amazing now. I wish
people could understand you have to give them
a chance. Don't give up on them so fast.
Sometimes it just takes time,” Amy said. The
event will be $10 per person.
Details on the event will be available soon at
Sara Ellis is the owner of Dawgdom, where dogs rule!
Dawgdom is located at 441A Broadway, in Saratoga
Amy and Keith Augustine
Think of wine growing regions, and the great
vineyards of France and Italy come to mind.
Here in the US, California is a favorite
viniculture region, producing the spicy
Zinfandels and Syrah, and buttery Chardonnays.
Closer to home, New York's Finger Lakes,
Hudson Valley and Long Island regions are
gaining in popularity and reputation. Once you
get north of Catskill, however, the colder
climate of the north pretty much means that
growing grapes is a foolish proposition. Defying
the odds, the DiCresenzo family of Altamont is
proving the naysayers wrong, by not only
growing grapes at their 1000 foot elevation
vineyard, but by producing some very good
wine as well!
It all started back in 1981 when the previous
owner of the hillside property, Larry Grossi,
decided to retire from his career as a diesel
mechanic. Like many first generation Italian
immigrants, Grossi felt the call to return to the
land and rekindle his family tradition of wine
making back in the old country. Grossi first
became inspired when he stumbled upon the
unique property, its sun-drenched slopes and
views of the Helderberg Escarpment reminding
him of landscape of his youth, growing up in the
Lazio province of Italy (this region has a
vinicultural history that dates back to the tales
of Homer's Odyssey…referred to in the sirens'
song episode).
In defiance of the “experts,” Grossi began
cultivating the grape vines on the property in
1981. He began experimenting with different
types of grapes, to see which varieties might
handle the climate and topography. Located
near the crest of a ridge and blessed with a
southern facing downhill slope, the land began
to yield some surprising results. Hybrid grape
varieties that were developed by the University
of Minnesota and Cornell University were able
to survive the bitter cold winters. The high
elevation shielded the vines from the killing
frosts that engulfed the valley below.
Grossi was inspired by the results, and Larry's
Vineyard and Farm Winery was born. Grossi
began making a name in New York wine circles,
not only for growing grapes in an area not
know for viniculture, but also because his wine
tasted good! Those who stumbled upon the
hidden gem in the shadow of the Helderbergs
were treated to the fine wines that Grossi hand
crafted, and charmed by his grace and
demeanor. Grossi would proudly show off his
awards, proving that his little piece of paradise
could indeed produce quality wine.
Unfortunately, just as he was building a
following, Grossi succumbed to lung cancer and
died in 2001.
A few years later, Lou DiCresenzo came upon
the property in his search for his own piece of
land to spend his days in retirement from the
construction trade. The grape vines had called
him there, says DiCresenzo. “I had heard about
the property 'through the grapevine' and had to
check it out,” he recalled. The vineyard had
been idle since Grossi's passing, and had grown
wild and wooly. Undaunted by the state of the
vines, DiCresenzo saw the potential; like Grossi
before him, the pull of the old world traditions
were calling him back home to the land. The
property was not even listed for sale, but
Decresenzo was determined to acquire it. The
Grossi family was reluctant to give up their
father's pride and joy, but when they met
DiCresenzo, they saw in this man the spirit of
their father…the same broken English; the
same cigarette smoking behavior; the same
Italian heritage - and, with a unique twist of
fate: DiCresenzo had also originated from the
Lazio province of Italy. What would be the
chance of two native sons of Lazio ending up on
the same property, called to do the same thing -
wine making? Was it mere coincidence? No, it
was serendipity - a destiny manifest! For the
Grossi family, it became clear - this was the guy
who would carry on the legacy of what their
father had started. After some long
negotiations, the Grossi family finally sold the
property to the DiCresenzo family.
There is no doubt that the spirit of Larry Grossi
is watching over this land. DiCresenzo
mentioned that he often talks to Larry when
working in the vineyard. “Every once in awhile,
I get the feeling of a presence of someone next
to me,” he explained. “One day I was trying to
put an attachment onto the tractor; I tried and I
tried, but I just couldn't do it. I was getting
mad, because I couldn't get the thing onto the
tractor, so suddenly I turned around and I said
Story and photos by David Delozier
Carrying on the Old World Tradition
Altamont Vineyard Winery
22 ecolocalliving.com
Mike and Lou DiCresenzo
ecolocalliving.com 23
'Hey, instead of you just standing around here
watching me, why don't you get your hands
dirty again and give me a hand with this?' I
stepped aside, smoked a half of a cigarette,
threw the cigarette down and went to push the
thing in, and then…Fwump! The thing went
right in,” DiCresenzo exclaimed with a smile.
Now called The Altamont Vineyard Winery, Lou
DiCresenzo is joined by his son Mike and
partner Deborah Crawford, who handles all the
legal and compliance issues. Old world ways,
new world wines is how they describe their
product. The 'old world ways' refers to their
growing all the grapes on site, with nothing
brought in from elsewhere, and the dedication
and passion to producing the best grapes that
this land can produce. 'New world wines' refers
to the application of hybrid technologies to
producing grapes that can thrive in this climate.
The vineyard currently has 15 acres in active
cultivation. There are 23 different grape
varieties in the vineyard, which all require a
different kind of care. The wines produced from
such a diverse vineyard are exciting and
different. There is a white wine resembling a
Riesling called Edelweiss, which Grossi also
made and is still very popular; St. Pepin, a cold-
hearty grape variety developed at the University
of Minnesota by Elmer Swenson; a Cabernet-
style red called Passione; a blend of DeChaunac
and St. Croix; a Burgundy-style red called Leon
Millot; plus two sweet wines, Elefante and
Spider's Rose; two types of Cayuga White, one
of which is oak aged, and Patience, a blend of
white wine grapes featuring citrus and
herbaceous tones. In a good year, they typically
produce 3000-4000 gallons of juice that will
become wine. With this summer's long stretch
of hot and dry weather, they expect 2010 to be
an exceptional vintage.
At the prime age of 32 years old, Mike could be
working in a much more lucrative career in the
business world, and bringing in a lot more
money. Choosing farming, with its weather
inconsistencies, battles with insects, and long
days with out immediate financial gratification,
is risky, and some would even say, crazy. But like
his father, the call to work the land, to produce
something, is strong. “When I was a kid, I
always had crazy ideas,” said Mike. He
continued, “I was always dreaming, and
knowing deep down that I that I wanted to
create a product. And what better product to
create than wine? How many 28 year olds (his
age when they began the project) get an
opportunity to take the bull by the horns and
ride it?” he exclaimed.
The father-and-son team does all the day to day
chores of the vineyard. It takes a certain type of
person to take on the challenges of producing
wine. Despite the romance of being a vintner,
often times, the work is gritty, dirty and
repetitive. “Only about one half of one percent
of the population have the gut to do this,” said
Mike. “You've got to do the work everyday that
needs to get done. You've got to get outside and
do it out there (pointing to the vineyard); you've
got to do it in the winery - if it takes two hours
to clean something before and two hours after,
you gotta do it, because if you don't do it then
everything gets backed up,” he explained.
“You've got to get up every day and do the
same thing again and again; plus having to
worry if the hails might be coming, or if the
rains will be plentiful at the right time, and the
days will be bright and sunny between the rains.
It's the unabated determination to tend the
vines every day, knowing that if we keep at it,
and with a good amount of luck, then it will all
be worth it in the end - when the customer
tastes our wine and smiles. That is our reward
for all the hard work.”
At the end of the day, Altamont Vineyard Winery
is really all about family, and the faith that the
land can provide for those who work it and care
for it. It's about the heritage of the past,
keeping traditions alive, and passing the torch
to the next generation. And of course, carrying
on the Italian-American tradition of
independence - getting up, putting in the work,
and earning it…everyday!
The Altamont Vineyard Winery is located at 3001 Furbeck
Road near the hamlet Altamont, in Albany County. Call
355-8100 for information and directions. They are open
for wine tastings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays noon
to 5 pm or by appointment. You may also find them at
area Farmers Markets: Saturdays at the Capital District
Farmers Market in Menands and on Hamburg Street in
Rotterdam, and Union Street in Schenectady. Tues and
Thurs at the Altamont Train station from 3-6pm, and the
Empire State Plaza on Wednesday mornings 10-2, and
Wednesday nights 4-7 at the Canal Street Market on Rt
20 in Duanesburg, where the wines are paired with the
dinner that is served for the farmers. Also available at
select retailers in the Capital Region. If you can't find it
at your favorite wine store, ask them to carry it.
As soon as you walk into Fallon Wellness Center,
you know it's not your average pharmacy.
Instead of the chain store aisles of candy, back-
to-school items, and over-the-counter remedies
promising symptom relief for hemorrhoids and
post-nasal drip, the room is filled with
nutritional supplements, enzymes, and other
natural-type products. Off to the side, a glass
window allows a view into the sterile
compounding room, where pharmacists actually
fabricate medicines, filling capsules and
preparing other prescriptions to order for
humans and pets.
These obvious differences reflect the
philosophical divide between this Latham
business and conventional drug stores. But just
looking, you miss an even deeper and more
radical break with the medical status quo.
Pharmacist and co-owner Peter Fallon has been
introducing lay people and health practitioners
to functional medicine, with formal
consultations to help people overcome chronic
and seemingly intractable conditions.
Functional medicine treats the body and mind
as an integrated whole. It looks for core
imbalances and underlying deficits in the body's
functioning and guides people in taking action
to correct them. If nutrients or hormone are
lacking, they must be replaced.
Where harm comes from lifestyle choices - from
smoking to stress, he works with clients to help
them eliminate destructive patterns. He might
recommend modalities like yoga, meditation,
acupuncture, or psychotherapy or even simple
practices like chewing one's food and drinking
enough water.
Peter draws a clear distinction between what
Fallon Wellness offers and the advice you might
get in a health food store to take such and such
supplement for the liver, for instance. It's not
about taking a pill to get rid of a malady, he
explains. "We're trying to move them away
from that mentality."
"In the future we're looking for you to eat right,
poop right, sleep right, have good relationships,
and exercise." Since the goal is to bring patients
back to normality, this approach has "a built-in
obsolescence," he says.
Over the past four and a half decades, the
Fallons' willingness, time and time again, to
carve out their own special niche in response to
challenging market conditions has made for a
remarkably resilient business.
From the early 1950s, Peter's father and uncle
owned the Troy Drug Company, "a huge,
extremely high-volume" business. But by the
70s, chain pharmacies were squeezing out
privately owned drug stores. In 1974, under
intense pressure, the Fallons sold out to Rite
Aid. The week of their buy-out, several other
substantial independent pharmacies also closed
their doors in Troy, Peter said.
A couple years later Peter's dad opened the first
Fallon Pharmacy inside the Latham Medical
Group. A small clinical pharmacy in a medical
building couldn't have been more different than
his earlier high-volume enterprise.
In 1985 Peter returned to the area to purchase
the business from his father, who was ready to
retire. (He admits he almost ended up in
oceanography but pharmacy school was "the
path of least resistance.") Peter had been
managing three pharmacies in California and
was getting discouraged about his profession.
"Nobody was getting better." Take diabetes.
"They were just controlling blood sugar with
drugs," he says. He took over the family
business at a time when health insurance plans
were imposing new restrictions on payments. So
from the beginning, both because of his
personal inclinations and the tightening market
environment, he "gravitated to natural
medicine and compounding."
Within a few years he had a contract to run
Bellevue Hospital's pharmacy and then around
1993 he opened up a third pharmacy in a
Clifton Park medical building. Eventually
Bellevue bought him out, keeping on a Fallon
employee to manage its pharmacy. Peter also
sold his Latham Medical prescription business
to Hannaford.
By Tracy Frisch l Contributing Writer Photos by David DeLozier
A New Prescription for Health
Fallon Wellness Center
24 ecolocalliving.com
Mike Lenz and Peter Fallon
ecolocalliving.com 25
At the Clifton Park store, Peter built in a
portable compounding room to increase the
business's focus on this rather unique service.
When he made pharmacist George Doherty his
partner, he eliminated his only serious
competition. Doherty had developed a thriving
compounding business at an unlikely venue, a
local branch of the Eckerd chain. After he joined
Fallon, most of his customers followed him.
In 2002 for greater space and a more central
location, Fallon moved to its present site - a
Bavarian-style building that formerly housed a
high adventure ski shop -- on Troy Schenectady
Road a few miles west of the Northway.
The most recent development came this
summer when Fallon Wellness entered a
partnership with pharmacist Mike Lenz of
Menges & Curtis drug store in Saratoga Springs
and so gained another outpost. Mike initiated
the business relationship because he wanted to
"get out of the rat race" of selling drugs, Peter
told me. He was already doing some
compounding, and now is attending courses in
functional medicine.
The community in and around Saratoga has
embraced the new business arrangement.
Within two months of joining with Fallon,
Menges' sales of compounded medicines
doubled, while nutriceutical sales quadrupled.
Since moving to its present Latham location,
Fallon Wellness has experienced about 25
percent growth annually making it a much
larger enterprise than it seems.
Fallon's compounding service lies at the heart of
this impressive growth. (Compounding is a
billion dollar sector nationwide.) While word of
mouth brings in new customers, Peter says
strategic marketing accounts most of the
growth. Promotion extends throughout New
York and into the neighboring states to the east,
and for two years Fallon has even employed a
field rep to call on particular physicians and
Targeted outreach to retina specialists is an
example of how Fallon has built up its medical
clientele. The cancer drug Avastin reduces
angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels,
which in this case feed tumors. The same drug
has become the standard of practice for wet
macular degeneration, a disease in which a
similar proliferation of new blood supplies
impedes vision. But the cancer drug maker does
not serve these eye patients. Fallon buys the
active ingredient from the manufacturer and
compounds the drug for delivery to the eye.
Avastin is an example of the value of
compounding. Drugs not available from the
factory in a form or dosage required may be
compounded. In another scenario, a
pharmaceutical corporation stops making a
consumer-ready product because it doesn't
generate sky-high profits, despite a continuing
demand for the product. If the active ingredient
is still made, pharmacies can compound it for
patient use.
Having had my thyroid gland removed due to a
suspected malignancy, my personal situation led
me to Fallon's compounding pharmacy for a
recently prescribed second form of thyroid
hormone (T3). Almost all thyroid deficient
patients only take a single form of thyroid,
levothyroxine (T4, often known by the brand
name Synthroid). As my health care practitioner
adjusts my dosage, Fallon makes up T3 capsules
in whatever strength ordered.
Peter clarified that a compounding pharmacy
would be violating patent laws by making a
drug in the same dosage as is factory-produced.
However, if a patient is allergic to fillers in a
commercial drug product, such a pharmacy can
fill a prescription for the drug compounded with
non-allergenic ingredients.
Fallon was one of the first 50 compounding
pharmacies in the U.S. to get accredited by a
new independent non-governmental board
called the Pharmacy Compounding
Accreditation Board. The process is designed to
ensure patient safety.
Accredited pharmacies have to institute various
policies and procedures to meet quality
requirements and they are inspected for
compliance. They also must provide continuing
staff education. Peter estimates it costs his
business $100,000 a year to maintain
accreditation. Peter predicts that liability issues
will eventually force all pharmacies that do any
compounding to become accredited.
Fallon is accredited for making the highest-risk
injectables. Whether they go in an IV, the
bladder, or the eye, these must be sterile.
Precautions guarantee manufacturing-quality
purity. Employees wear a "bunny suit," the
room is precisely temperature-controlled, and
work surfaces are swabbed and samples
incubated to detect any pathogens. Fallon also
sends out products for independent testing.
Big Pharma considers compounding a threat to
their monopoly control, and according to Peter,
"They have FDA's ear." Despite that industry's
complaints, compounding pharmacies have a
much better safety record than pharmaceutical
factories, he said.
26 ecolocalliving.com
Peter defines functional medicine as
"personalized, natural medicine for health and
wellness." In his consultations he uses a 17-
page questionnaire to gather information on all
the core functional systems. Going back to birth
or even in utero, it covers every aspect of a
person's health status and history from diet to
psychosocial dimensions. "We also look for
antecedents, like genetics," he says.
Peter shared an example from the previous day.
He had consulted with a woman who felt that
she had been overmedicated with prescription
drugs for many years. It started when she had a
baby and ended up getting prescribed drugs to
treat post partum depression. A drop in
hormone levels following childbirth can
precipitate this form of depression. Peter
suggested temporary hormonal replacement
with bio-identical hormones as a possible
remedy for her condition.
Recalling the numerous medications taken by
this client, Peter remarked that a lot of
prescription drugs cause side effects, which in
turn create a need for additional drugs. He also
noted that pharmacy schools are teaching
students about the importance of minimizing
the numbers of drugs a given patient receives,
due to the epidemic of drug-induced illnesses
and harmful interactions between drugs.
Whereas modern medicine treats symptoms
piecemeal, "the problem has to be with
imbalances of the core functional systems."
Thus, the functional medicine practitioner looks
at how different bodily systems are working and
what insults could affect their functions.
However, if an organ has been damaged or
removed or a person has cancer, bringing these
systems back to homeostasis becomes much
more difficult.
• The detox and metabolic system: Living near a
toxic waste dump, being exposed to lead paint
from an old house, or having mercury dental
fillings could overwhelm your body's detox
mechanisms with heavy metals or other toxic
substances. Hepatitis C or a kidney disorder
would compromise organs involved in
• The neuro-endocrine-immunological system
encompasses the nervous system, hormonal
system, and immune functions. Few of us are
aware that the gut and liver produce more
neurotransmitters than our brains do.
• The digestive and absorption system extends
from the mouth to the anus. "You get the most
bang for your buck when you correct it," Peter
He likens the intestinal tract to skin, but it's a
barrier inside your body rather than to the world
outside. As with skin, an intact gut serves as a
protective barrier. Taking lots of antibiotics, not
being breastfed, or having an infection will
create problems with the structural integrity of
the digestive tract.
In Peter's experience, people with lupus,
arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders tend
also to have a digestive problem such as
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's disease, or an
ulcer. He attributes this to leaky gut, or in
scientific lingo "permeable membrane."
Other functional systems include structural,
comprising the skeleton, muscles, and skin,
psycho-spiritual, inflammatory, and redox,
which pertains to how energy is utilized at the
cellular level.
Grounded in biology and biochemistry,
functional medicine has an objective basis.
"There are lab tests for measuring all of this,"
says Peter, giving examples like blood chemistry
analysis at the cellular level and extrapolating
the presence of certain bacteria by detection of
their toxic byproducts. But conventional
physicians aren't familiar with many of these
assessment methods, and insurance often
doesn't pay for them.
Peter does work with doctors and he says he's
gotten "a pretty positive name in the area." A
lot of his clients are medical practitioners of all
types. For instance, an immunologist came to
him for his wife's immune disorder.
In treating patients, he says physicians have to
stay within the confines of standard medical
practice. But "when it comes to their own
families," they are willing to look beyond to
what's effective.
In contrast to his early experience as a
pharmacist in California, Peter is excited by the
success he finds with functional medicine.
"Ninety percent of the patients will come back
the following month feeling 50 percent better."
He also perceives a shift away from western
medicine in progress, even among mainstream
medical practitioners. "When I go to a
functional medicine conference, I see one or two
hundred new physicians learning it at a crack,"
he says.
Despite the boom in interest, there's something
besides the medical-industrial-pharmaceutical-
insurance establishment that's blocking
acceptance of functional medicine. Since this
approach involves the mind and body and
favors the client's active participation,
sometimes you have to start with "baby steps."
Peter has learned the necessity of meeting the
person where he or she is. For instance, if
someone isn't sleeping and can't get out of bed,
he'll look for the simplest intervention that can
start the ball rolling toward the desired
Peter's pharmacist daughter, Erika Fallon, shares
her father's excitement about functional
medicine. Long-term she will be part of the
company project to expand regionally through
partnerships with other independent
At present she is taking over educational
lecturing for the Wellness Center. Along with
functional medicine physicians, she will be
presenting a community lecture series in
Saratoga Springs. The first lecture takes place on
October 13 at 7 PM. These informational
programs for the public and practitioners will be
held at Barre Strength Studio, 468 Broadway,
second floor. Contact 518/583-0361 or
ccrane@cranegroup.com or visit
ecolocalliving.com 27
Saratoga Nutrition
Functional Medicine and Nutrition
Historic Roosevelt Baths and Spa
Saratoga Springs, NY
When you Support your
Body, You Support your Life
-Treatment of the Individual-
Lifestyle Breakthroughs/Integrative Health Coaching
Personalized Nutrition /Professional Grade Supplements
Functional Medicine Testing & Physicians
Workshops, Lectures and more
Mary Beth McCue R.D., L.D.N., C.D.N.,
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Here's what people are saying…
28 ecolocalliving.com
462 Route 29 West, Saratoga, NY 12866 • 518-584-WINE (9463)
Hours: Mon-Thurs & Sat 11am-7pm • Fri 11am-9pm • Sun 11am-5pm
We offer a growing selection of LOCAL specialty foods,
Plus, we are available for private parties and your special events!
Gift certificates and gift baskets, wine accessories and gifts for the wine lover.
Select from 15
hand-crafted wines,
including all natural
Melomel – made with
local honey
Call for details
and weekly events!
Salem Harvest Festival
10AM - 9PM
Salem Art Works - Carey Lane Salem, NY
In conjuction with the Washington County Cheese Tour,
the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the
third annual Harvest Fest. Lunch - Foods from local
vendors & civic organizations 10 am -5:30 pm Dinner &
Barn Dance - Local Farm to Fork dinner 6:00 - 9:00 pm
$20 a ticket; under 10 yrs $6.00 Music by Al & Kathy Bain,
Family fun petting zoo, bouncy house, face painting & fun
for all. Silent Auction to benefit local families in need.3rd
annual Salem HarvestFest. www.salemnychamber.com
Washington County's
"The Cheese Tour"
10AM - 4PM
Washington County, NY
Annual drive-yourself tour of local cheesemakers'
facilities throughout Washington County. Call us at 518-
746-2560 or www.washingtoncountycheese.org
Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival
10AM - 5PM
Washington County Fairgrounds, Rte. 29,
Greenwich, NY
Info at 518-692-2464 or markwashfair@aol.com
Cost: Adults $5; Under 14 Free; Free Parking
2nd Annual
Cambridge Valley Apple Festival
Village of Cambridge, NY
Apple pie bake-off, pie-eating contest, children's events
and music. Additional information can be found at
Greenwich Halloween Parade
Main St., Greenwich, NY
Parade, sponsored by the Greenwich Chamber of
Commerce, forms at 1pm at 10 Main St., ends at 184
Main St. for judging. Cost: FREE. Call (518) 692-7979 or
visit www.greenwichchamber.org/events.asp for more
The state to the east of Washington County,
NY and the NY County to our North are well
known as destinations during fall foliage, but
Washington County - not so much. Join me as
I take you on a vibrant ride through
Washington County, NY. I promise you will be
glad you did.
Your experience in Washington County will be
laced with agriculture, recreation and
relaxation. Washington County colors are
highlighted with rich history, beautiful
waterways and well maintained roads just
waiting for your arrival by vehicle or cycle. You
may choose to base your foliage frolic through
Washington County on crossing our five
covered bridges, casting a line and catching a
fish whose colors rival the trees reflected in
the water it calls home, or taking home
natures colorful bounty of the harvest.
Washington County is an agricultural based community with rolling hills growing sweet corn,
wheat, alfalfa and soy beans; cows, alpacas, llamas and farm animals grazing; orchards hanging
with sweet, juicy apples, pears, peaches and plums; bushes with bright red raspberries; fields with
pumpkins and squash and colorful mums. Stop at a Farmers' Market, roadside stand or U-pick for
a wholesome and delicious treat. Washington County is home to more artisan and farmstead cheese
makers than any other location in the North East.
Have a boat? Cruise along the Champlain Canal stopping in Fort Edward, Fort Ann and Whitehall
before entering Lake Champlain. Hike one of the trails that are located in Fort Ann, Dresden and
Putnam - rewarding your ascent with a breathtaking view of Lake George. The Battenkill State Forest
hike rewards you with views of the Battenkill Valley and our neighbor to the east. Washington
County parks at Huletts Landing and Lake Lauderdale are excellent destinations offering affordable
family fun destinations. Both parks feature pavilions, barbeque pits, walk in coolers that can be
rented for weddings, corporate outings or gathering. Huletts Landing is located off Route 6B in the
Town of Dresden on Lake George. Lake Lauderdale is off Route 22 in the Town of Jackson.
Washington Counties colorful past is preserved in our towns and villages - follow the same route
as Colonel Baum from Hudson Falls to Wallomsac, visit a cemetery with 117 resting Revolutionary
War Soldiers, the last Civil War Enlistment Center, birthplace of the United States Navy, Heart of the
U.S. Rangers, Susan B. Anthony's home, Underground Railroad, or a Tiffany Church.
Washington County hills are alive - not only with natures beasts, but with the sounds of award
winning theater, music and dance. As day turns into night reward yourself with a magical
performance. Our centers are located in an old church - Fort Salem Theater, Opera House - Hubbard
Hall, along the canal - The Bridge Theater or in a Barn - The Little Theater on the Farm. Take a seat and
allow our performing arts centers to enchant you as much as the day time colors of our turning trees.
Each Village and Hamlet has its own story to tell - don't miss the unique architecture backdrop of
the turning leaves. Queen Anne, Gothic, East Lake, Colonial and Bungalow styles all call Washington
County home. Fall Festivals, Classic Car Shows and family fun events can be found most weekends
in Washington County. Come for a visit, You will be glad you did!
Turn Over a New Leaf...
Visit the Colors of Washington County
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By Christine Hoffer Photos by Deborah Austin
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Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival
The second annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival will be held at the Washington County
Fairgrounds on September 25 and 26, 2010. More than 120 regional fiber vendors from New York
and New England will be participating. Festival Hours are 10am-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Washington County Fair and local artisans determined a need for a fiber festival in the Southern
Adirondack region that would feature small, independent fiber artisans. The 2009 event proved to
be well attended and successful. Vendors have been invited to participate based on the quality of
their fiber and fiber related products. Every aspect of fiber will be represented from fleece to
finished goods. In addition, there will be handcrafted spinning wheels, drop spindles, knitting
needles, soaps, baskets, and bags. A special effort has been made to attract the roving and yarns
of artisan hand dyers in a wide range of beautiful and unique colorways. This year we have a new
event, Battenkill Fibers Carding and Spinning Mill is sponsoring the 2010 Wool Show and Sale.
Fleece will be on display, judged for quality, and available for sale. In addition Battenkill Fibers
Carding and Spinning Mill will be available to pick up and drop off fleece for processing. Please
contact the Fair if you would like to enter the 2010 Wool Show and Sale.
Supplementing the offerings of the farm based fiber producers will be booths from several local
yarn stores including Common Thread of Saratoga and Yarn Angel of Glens Falls. These shops will
provide patterns, books, and tools in addition to some of their own local fibers.
Demonstrations include sheep shearing, weaving, felting, spinning, Kool-Aid dyeing, and Rug
Hooking. Fiber animals including a variety of sheep breeds, alpaca, llama, cashmere goats and
angora rabbits will be exhibited by their owners. Musical entertainment, Puddles the Clown, and
an assortment of Festival foods will round out the day.
The Washington County Fairgrounds are located on Route 29 in Greenwich, New York. Vendors will
be located indoors so weather should not deter people from enjoying the festival. Admission is $5
for Adults, children under 14 are free. There is lots of free parking. For the safety of the animals,
vendors, and festival participants, we ask that you leave your pets at home. $1.00 off coupons are
available at Common Thread in Saratoga, Trumpet Hill in Colonie, Beau-Knits in Cohoes, Yarn Angel
in Glens Falls, The Washington County Fair Office and online at www.washingtoncountyfair.com,
where you can also find a complete vendor list, directions and other additional information.
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Custom Built Timber Frame Home
In The Beautiful Mountains of
Washington County, New York
20 minutes to Saratoga Springs, NY,
30 minutes to Manchester, Vermont,
just 40 minutes to Malta, NY, hours to
NYC and Montreal. 5200 square foot
home including a lifetime structural
warranty from Vermont Timber Frames.
Four bedrooms, 3 1/2 Baths, Gourmet
Kitchen, Media Room, Spa with lap
pool, 3 Fireplaces, Cherry Floors,
generator, Central Vac, Security System
and breathtaking panoramic views.
New Barn 56 x 34, custom waterfall
flows to 3 ponds and 45 acres with
additional acreage available.
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Rensselaer County - Did You Know?
Many historical figures called Rensselaer County home. Educator Emma Willard, Financier Russell
Sage, and others have all left lasting academic and philanthropic legacies. Samuel B. Wilson,
known as "Uncle Sam" is buried at Troy's beautiful Oakwood Cemetery and is memorialized with
a 15-foot high aluminum statue in downtown Troy. In 1864, Kate Mullany and Ester Keegan
established the nation's first female labor union, "The Collar Laundry." Visitors can still view Ms.
Mullany's house, which is a historical landmark.
The patriotic "Yankee Doodle," a wartime marching song, is said to have been composed at the
Van Rensselaer Manor House, Fort Crailo, in the City of Rensselaer, where today a museum
commemorates the legend.
The American classic, "Twas the Night Before Christmas," was penned in 1823 by Clement Clarke
Moore and published in the Troy Sentinel. A plaque located on historic River Street in the antiques
district, marks the site of the former newspaper building.
It was in the Village of Hoosick Falls that an art collector named Louis Caldor discovered an
appealing display of primitive and colorful art at the local drugstore. The artist was an untrained
woman in her 70s. Since then, Grandma Moses' works have gone on to immortalize the everyday
rural life of Rensselaer County and are sought-after by art collectors.
There are more than 55 waterfalls in Rensselaer County, adding to the beauty of the area and its
quality of life. Historically, these waterfalls powered everything from grist mills to iron works,
providing a natural source of energy that assisted the region in becoming am important leader in
the industrial revolution. Today, the waterfalls boost the area's attraction for tourists.
Rensselaer County has more authentic Tiffany brand
windows per square mile than anywhere else. Some of the
finest examples are installed at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in
Troy, built in 1826 and remodeled by the Tiffany Glass and
Decoration Co. in the 1890s. The church's windows attract
enthusiasts from all over the globe. Pictured right is The
Tiffany Window Dome in The Sage College Bush Memorial
Building in downtown Troy - courtesy of Renssealer County
Chamber of Commerce.
Troy Waterfron Farmers Market 9AM -1PM
Riverfront Park, Front Street,Troy, through the last weekend in
October before we go in for the winter. Join them every
Saturday, where more than 50 local farmers, specialty foods
producers, bakers and artisans provide the Capital Region's
freshest local meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables, naturally
raised meat and poultry, artisan breads, cheeses, baked
goods, New York State wine, handmade soaps, pottery, crafts
and much more! When you shop at the market you are
buying directly from the producer, so you know it will be fresh
and of the highest quality. Many of their producers foods are
certified organic, pesticide free and naturally raised. Plus,
when you shop at the market your dollars contribute directly
to our local economy! Local community groups, kids events
and music at every market. www.troymarket.org.
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Uncle Sam Parade - 1PM
The parade starts at 1pm, RAIN or shine. The parade will
step off from 125th Street and Fifth Avenue and ends at
106th street. The parade will feature a march from local
schools, organizations and some military outfits.
Immediately following the parade a celebration at the
Knickerbacker Park on 103rd Street and 8th Avenue will
feature fun and entertainment for the family (rides for kids,
chicken barbaque, our Elvis impersonator - Don Romines,
and the Duanesburg sky divers). Fireworks Show-
Following the Uncle Sam Celebration a fireworks show will
be displayed at the Knickerbacker Park. Fireworks provided
by Alonzo's Fireworks. For more information regarding the
parade and celebration conact John Rustin, President of
Uncle Sam Birthday Parade, at (518) 235-0615 or visit
Star Watch at Grafton Lakes State Park
7:30pm at Grafton Lakes State Park Main Lot. Enjoy a
guided tour of the night sky with Albany Area
Astronomers Association. Telescopes provided. Rain
date: Saturday, 9/18. For additional information, please
call 518) 279-1155 or visit www.nysparks.com/parks.
New England Muster Association
Fireman’s Competition
Stephentown Fire Hall, Grange Road, Stephentown.
Hosted by the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department.
Water Polo competition at 6pm Saturday night. Sunday, a
Parade starts at 11am followed by the Historical Society
Chicken BBQ from Noon-2pm. The NEMA Fireman’s
Muster Competition resumes at 1pm. All events are at the
Stephentown Fire Hall. Giffy’s BBQ ($10, advance tickets
recommended. You can purchase tickets for the BBQ from
the Stephentown Historical Society, Madden's Garage,
Stephentown Library and the Berry Patch Farm.
Downtown Troy's Troy Night Out
The monthly arts and cultural event that takes place the
last Friday of EVERY month in downtown Troy from 5-9
PM. The event regularly draws over 1,000 people onto the
streets of Troy, and attendees are able to enjoy over 30 art
events, 15 music venues, and over 20 fine restaurants as
well as unique boutiques of all varieties. Free parking is
available on-street and in several city garages.
International Festival
Ethnic Food Festival,11am-7pm, Troy's Little Itay Market
Place, (on Hill Street, between Washington Street and
Liberty Street). Entertainment, Childrens' events and
cultural events. Rain or Shine! www.littleitalytroy.org.
Fall Outdoor Fun Day
The day’s events include the Barge Chaser Canoe and
Kayak Race, a treasure hunt, bike ride and kayak demo,
and much more. Enjoy this beautiful time of year in the
outdoors by adventuring in Grafton Lakes State Park
for the day. For outdoor enthusiasts and families, the
park is offering a host of activities from 11am-2pm. A
family nature journaling program, kayak demos
provided by Battenkill Valley Outdoors, and a treasure
hunt using map and compass will be fun for the whole
family. Volunteers from the Friends of Grafton Lakes
State Park will also lead hikes and a mountain bike
ride. Live music and light refreshments will be available.
For additional information, please call Liz at 279-1155.
Troy Chowderfest
Downtown Troy. Enjoy the chowder competition amongst
Troy's restaurants.
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In the world of cheese making, Sean O’Connor
is relatively new to the game. He may not have
decades of experience (yet) to his name, but the
Troy resident makes up for it in his love of the
O’Connor spent seven years working at various
creameries throughout the region before
opening R&G Cheese, his own cheese-making
operation in the Harmony House complex on
Remsen Street last year.
In a short time, his distribution has skyrocketed
from Remsen Street and local farmers markets
to gourmet shops in New York City and a recent
nod of approval on the Food Network.
In September, O’Connor’s Eclipse, his signature
ash-ripened goat cheese was among the small
selection of New York state cheeses to be served
at the U.S. Open festivities in Queens.
“They tried a number of Hudson Valley area
cheeses and really liked Eclipse,” he said.
“Eclipse was also featured on The Food
Network’s “Alex’s Day Off,” which was a
wonderful surprise.” In the episode, chef Alex
Guaranaschelli visited a Brooklyn gourmet
shop, zeroed in on an ashy pyramid of Eclipse,
and then went home to make a meal out of it.
O’Connor credits Pampered Cow Distributors in
Ghent for R&G’s growing statewide reputation.
It was while the Troy native was living in
California several years ago that he decided he
wanted a food-related career. O’Connor went to
culinary school and later moved back east with
wife Aimee and sons Ryan, 8 and Gavin, 5.
“I always wanted to work in the food world, but
I knew it wouldn’t be in restaurants,” he
recalled. “When I said to my wife I might want
to try cheese-making, almost immediately, I
noticed an ad in the paper for a cheese-making
assistant at the Chatham Sheepherding
It was at the Chatham Sheepherding Company
where O’Connor perfected the art of making
chevres and soft-ripened cheeses before moving
on to other area companies, including Cappiello,
where he became versed in the mozzarella-
making process.
When the time felt right to open his own
creamery, O’Connor said he chose downtown
Cohoes because of the city’s unmistakable up-
and-coming vibe.
“I always pictured myself in a downtown
location. I’m not a farmer, so it didn’t make
sense to be making cheese somewhere on a
farm; I wanted a cheese shop where I made
cheese on site,” he said. “What I’m doing now
is pretty much what I pictured myself doing…
and I think it’s neat to be doing it in Cohoes,
which is revitalizing and attracting small
business people like myself.”
In 2009, O’Connor officially opened for
business, naming the creamery after sons Ryan
and Gavin.
O’Connor said that in formulating the layout of
his creamery, he took a page from Chatham
Sheepherding and put in a plate glass window
near his work station so patrons of the nearby
tapas bar at Harmony House Marketplace can
watch the process.
Aside from Eclipse, R&G also makes 14 types of
cheese: a variety of other goat cheeses
(including the popular maple-chipotle);
Mozzarellas (fresh, smoked, and braided with
sun-dried tomatoes); Brie; Ricotta; Greek
yogurt; and a soon-to-be-released line of aged
“For our cow’s milk cheeses we made a
conscious decision to not explore cheddar,
because a lot of people already do it,” said
O’Connor. “My expertise lies in mozzarella and
goat cheeses.”
One of R&G’s newer cheeses is Trojan Blue, a
blue Italian table cheese that he says has a
Provolone-like taste and isn’t crumbly like
traditional blue cheese.
“It’s the kind of cheese you slice and enjoy with
a glass of wine,” O’Connor explained.
R&G gets its milk from two Ballston Spa farms:
By Stacey Morris l Contributing Writer Photos by David Delozier
Big Cheese in a Small Town
R&G Cheese
Sean O'Conner
ecolocalliving.com 41
Lady Lilac Goat Farm and cow’s milk from
Willow Marsh Farm.
He said that so far, the Eclipse ash-ripened
cheese is the most popular of R&G cheeses,
adding that the use of ash enhances flavor and
visual appeal of the cheese.
Ash is a traditional way to prepare some goat
cheeses because it adds a very nice look… a
definite black outlining of the cheese,”
explained O’Connor. “In a practical sense ash
protects cheese and changes the pH, effecting
the rate of ripening of white mold.”
Gustav Ericson, manager of the cheese
department at Honest Weight Food Coop in
Albany, said R&G’s Chipotle-Maple is a
customer favorite.
“Customers love that it’s startling in its initial
salvo of chipotle but hence mellowed by the
creamy cheese and the underlying hint of
maple,” he said. “And the "Eclipse" is one
beautiful little example of the cheese maker's
art: small "Crotin"- style cheese with a film of
ash underlying the outer layer of white mold.
It's stark white and charred black aesthetic is
gracing the cheese boards of many of our
customers these days.”
But Ericson says the O’Connor’s magic making
doesn’t end with cheese.
“He makes the best goat milk yogurt I know
of,” said Ericson. “In fact, he makes the only
strawberry yogurt I’ve ever liked. So many
flavored products taste like cheap strawberry
ice cream… R&G’s is amazing in its flavor and
authenticity… creamy but not cloyingly rich.”
O’Connor said one goal has always been to
keep his prices competitive. For cheese he sells
through Harmony House and at Farmers
Markets, prices begin at $4.50 for a four-ounce
pyramid and $4.50 for an 8-ounce ball of fresh
mozzarella. Prices vary at gourmet shops.
R&G Cheese is available at Honest Weight Food
Coop, 484 Central Ave. in Albany and at the
following farmers markets: Delmar; Colonie
Crossings; Kinderhook; Great Barrington, Mass.;
Menands; and Schenectady. O’Connor credits
the help of his mother, Lynne Dallas, who is
often found at the area markets working the
R&G booth, for his creamery being such a far-
flung presence at farmers markets in the Capital
For information on purchasing R&G cheese
retail or to order cheese platters, call Harmony
House at (518) 238-2232. For wholesale orders
and information e-mail Sean O’Connor at
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Farm to Table Dining Experience
On September 25th, The Glens Falls Hospital Foundation is holding a Farm to
Table fundraiser to benefit their local health centers. The event will feature local
chefs, using the best local products, as they along with nutritionists teach us
about the importance and benefits of eating and shopping locally. Enjoy
cocktails, farm fresh food prepared by local chefs, demonstrations & musical
entertainment in a picturesque setting on a fall evening... A benefit event for
the Family Health Centers at Glens Falls Hospital. Tickets may be purchased
online at www.farmtotabletickets.org. Cost is $65 per person. For additional
information, please call 926-5960.
$25 on the 25th Campaign
The New York Press Association (NYPA) launched $25 on the 25th to promote
local shopping by urging New Yorkers to spend $25 on September 25th with a
Main Street business. The concept is simple, shopping Main Street makes things
better at home, where the heart is. Supporting our local businesses maintains a
healthy village, and local economy. Local businesses will be encouraged to offer
specials on that day to tie in to the state wide effort to Buy Local. The Village of
Cambridge and the Cambridge Valley Chamber of Commerce are encouraging all
local residents and businesses to take part in the $25 on the 25th. Keeping our
spending local also increases the sales tax dollars that stay here, to support our
community. Please visit our web site or Facebook page for more information,
www.cambridgenychamber.com or e-mail cambridgechamber@gmail.com.
Green Buildings Open House
Get a behind-the-scenes look at sustainable technologies and renewable energy
solutions, and see how they're saving your neighbors lots of green!
The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's annual Green Buildings Open
House, the largest sustainable energy event in the Northeast, will be taking place
on October 2, 2010 from 10 AM to 4 PM. On this day, homes, businesses, and
schools invite the public inside to investigate the renewable technologies and
green building features being employed on site. Last year, more than 16,000
people toured some 500 sites from Maine to Pennsylvania, and this year's event
is expected to be even bigger!
Homes in the Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa and Capital areas, among others,
will be part of this year's Green Buildings Open House (GBOH). Visit
www.nesea.org/openhouse/listings/ and search the NESEA GBOH database to
get a list of locations in our area (and to learn more).
At host sites, visitors can talk with home and business owners, ask questions, and
see how their renewable energy technologies actually work. GBOH also connects
building owners and managers with professionals who can provide them with
sustainable energy services or energy efficiency retrofits.
“As an organization, NESEA is committed to any and all measures which increase
the adoption of clean energy solutions and improved energy efficiency,” says
Jennifer Marrapese JD MA, Executive Director of NESEA. “Nothing breeds
success like success. When people see for themselves how families and
businesses in their own communities are saving energy - and money! -
sustainable technologies and strategies become much more accessible. And that,
ultimately, is our goal.”
Marrapese added, “There is also something very powerful about homeowners
talking directly to other homeowners, as opposed to professionals working in the
field. Peer to peer recommendations have galvanized participants over the years,
this is where real change happens.”
At GBOH sites, you will see homes or businesses that feature any or all of the
following: energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable materials, lLearn ways
to reduce your eco-footprint, reduce embedded energy, conserve water, and
ensure that buildings are healthy environments and talk to home or building
owners on-site, who can help answer your questions about installation, costs,
and benefits. Visit www.nesea.org/greenbuildings/aboutgboh/ for more
information about Green Buildings Open House.
Who Owns the Weather?
You are invited to attend an informational program - “Who Owns the Weather?”
presented by The Bonnefire Coalition on October 28th at 7PM at the Saratoga
Public Library in the Sussman Room.
Solar Radiation Management (SRM) is one of the geo-engineering techniques
which is being considered by the US Congress and the UK Parliament. SRM
proposes to mitigate “global warming” by dispersing a global, atmospheric haze
of reflective particles such as sulfur dioxide, aluminum oxide, and designer nano-
particles. This haze can reflect the Sun's heat away from Earth. The Bonnefire
Coalition asserts that SRM is already implemented in the form of Persistent Jet
Contrails (PJCs). Since November, 2009, testimony regarding SRM and other geo-
engineering techniques has been given before the US House of Representatives
Committee on Science & Technology. Scientists state that Solar Radiation
Management will lessen the amount of direct sunlight reaching the Earth.
It is important to remember that direct sunlight is fundamental to life processes
on the planet. Photosynthesis relies on direct sunlight. Phytoplankton, which are
basic to the oceanic food-web, rely on direct sunlight. Loss of direct sunlight also
contributes to Vitamin-D deficiency, depression, Ricketts, an increase in fungi and
molds, and pulmonary illness - to name a few. The solar energy industry, fueled
by the Sun, is also compromised.
Before discussion of techniques such as SRM became public The Bonnefire
Coalition was researching Persistent Jet Contrails - NASA's term for what are
commonly called “chemtrails”. The Bonnefire Coalition stays away from this term
because those who use it are too often dismissed as conspiracy theorists. Using
NASA's own term, Persistent Jet Contrails, helps legitimize concerns as PJCs are
laid down, daily and globally, in Xs, grids, and parallel lines. In recent months
they have begun to appear in other forms as well. As these “contrails” plume
they form cirrus-like artificial clouds which then combine, over hours, to haze the
Sky and dim the Sun. NASA is concerned that PJCs hold heat against the Earth
and block sunlight. And yet NASA has raised no objections to Solar Radiation
Management which produces the same effects. For more information and
interviews call 518-854-7764 or email bonne_fire@yahoo.com. The Bonnefire
Coalition's website is accessible at www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org.
EcoLocal Events
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