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Local Foods

Local FoodsThe trend in local food consumption has been steadily increasing over the past decade. There has been a significant amount of growth in both direct-to-consumer marketing outlets, such as farmers' markets and community supported agriculture, as well as wholesale procurement. Harvest NY Specialists foster this continued growth through innovative programming and targeted business development consultations. With education and outreach on market readiness, good agricultural practices (GAPs) and operation develop, Harvest NY provides support to farmers to understand and implement changes to mitigate the barriers that often stymie the ability of small farms from participating in larger and more diversified markets.

The Harvest NY Farm to Institution Program offers an e-newsletter, Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter. This publication provides updates, resources, and insights for school Food Service Directors, Farm to School Coordinators, farmers and producers, and others working to support Farm to School efforts across New York State.






Farm to School at the Hudson Valley Food Show

Becky O'Connor, WNY Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: April 25, 2022
Farm to School at the Hudson Valley Food Show

Harvest NY Regional Farm to School Coordinators collaborated with the Hudson Valley Food Service Directors Coalition to bring local foods and vendors to a food show for area food service directors.


Selling NY Produce to NY Schools

Last Modified: January 18, 2022
Selling NY Produce to NY Schools

This two-page fact sheet explains how NY produce farmers and distributors can sell their goods to school food authorities. 


30% NY Initiative: Opportunities, Barriers, and Pathways to Success

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Harvest New York

Last Modified: January 10, 2022
30% NY Initiative: Opportunities, Barriers, and Pathways to Success

The 30% NY Initiative: Opportunities, Barriers, and Pathways to Success report is a product of Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY and Cornell Cooperative Extension Allegany County. The report analyzes procurement data from 53 of the 57 school food authorities (SFAs) that qualified for the 30% NY Initiative during the 2019-20 school year. In addition to analyzing procurement data, we surveyed successful SFAs to understand how they altered their diversions and use of entitlement funds in preparation for the 2019-20 school year and barriers to purchasing local food, by commodity group. A combined analysis of the 30% procurement data and the survey results shed light on procurement trends, varying pathways, best practices, and strategic approaches to successfully achieving the 30% NY Initiative.


FAQs Regarding 30% NY Initiative Reimbursement

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 4, 2021
FAQs Regarding 30% NY Initiative Reimbursement

A provision of the No Student Goes Hungry legislation provides School Food Authorities (SFAs) an additional $.19 per lunch served in State reimbursement provided 30% of lunch purchases are NY Food Products. It is known colloquially as the "30% NY Initiative". The additional reimbursement is tied to the SFA, which varies by district. Through the 30% NY Initiative, students gain access to healthy local food, SFAs receive needed additional State reimbursement, and local businesses are supported. To learn more about the opportunity, which entity receives the additional reimbursement, tentative reimbursement rates, and benefits of the program, please refer to the FAQs Regarding 30% NY Initiative Reimbursement factsheet linked below. 


Farm to School Program Spotlight: CCE Niagara

Becky O'Connor, WNY Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: February 12, 2021
Farm to School Program Spotlight: CCE Niagara

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County adapted educational programming to meet the needs of schools and families during COVID-19.


30% NY Documentation Requirement Guides and Recorded Webinars

Becky O'Connor, WNY Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 13, 2020
30% NY Documentation Requirement Guides and Recorded Webinars

Harvest NY, with input from the NY State Department of Education, developed the 30% NY Documentation Requirement Guide and accompanying recorded webinars to prepare School Food Authorities for success in their 30% NY Initiative audits.


Harvest of the Month Marketing Materials

Becky O'Connor, WNY Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 13, 2020
Harvest of the Month Marketing Materials

Harvest of the Month posters, newsletters, and infographics were created to help highlight and promote the consumption of locally-grown, raised, and produced foods foods. You can download, edit, and adapt the Harvest of the Month materials for your district or program's use.


Buffalo Public Schools Launches New Farm to School to You Food Truck

Becky O'Connor, WNY Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 8, 2020
Buffalo Public Schools Launches New Farm to School to You Food Truck

On October 7th, Buffalo Public Schools introduced the newest addition to their nationally-recognized Farm to School program: The Farm to School to You food truck.


NY 30% Initiative Eligible Product Database

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 18, 2020
NY 30% Initiative Eligible Product Database

The Harvest NY Local Foods Team is excited to announce the launch of the long-awaited NY 30% Initiative Eligible Product Database. This database lists all known eligible products as part of the New York 30% Initiative.


Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter

Last Modified: June 9, 2020
Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter

The Harvest NY Farm to School Newsletter provides updates, resources, and insights for school Food Service Directors, Farm to School Coordinators, farmers and producers, and others working to support Farm to School efforts across New York State.


Planning Your Commodity Order Wisely Can Help You Reach the 30% NY Threshold

Becky O'Connor, WNY Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 3, 2020
Planning Your Commodity Order Wisely Can Help You Reach the 30% NY Threshold

Article by Rosemarie Hanson, Trumansburg Central School District Food Service Director, and Gail Brisson, Trumansburg Middle School Librarian; originally submitted to FOCUS Magazine.

If you are trying to increase your purchases of local and NY State foods to achieve the 30%, the first place you should look is your commodity ordering. Read on to learn about how you can balance commodity foods with local foods to reach your NY purchasing goals.


Food-Service Friendly Recipes

Becky O'Connor, WNY Farm to Institution Coordinator
Harvest New York

Last Modified: May 5, 2020
Food-Service Friendly Recipes

To supplement the Harvest of the Month program, Harvest NY has curated a list of popular recipes from school districts. Expand your school lunch menu with one of these yummy recipes!


NYS Produce Auctions Locations and Contact Information

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Team Leader
Harvest New York

Last Modified: September 3, 2019
NYS Produce Auctions Locations and Contact Information

Produce auctions in New York State have been formed so that produce growers have a way of marketing their product to quality minded buyers through open competitive bidding. A map of produce auction locations across the state is provided along with contact information. Auction days and times vary by location and by year. Contact the auction directly for the schedule.


Guide on How To Purchase at New York State Produce Auctions

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Team Leader
Harvest New York

Last Modified: March 9, 2018
Guide on How To Purchase at New York State Produce Auctions

A produce auction is a wholesale market for regionally grown produce. Currently there are eight produce auctions in New York State offering a wide variety of produce at competitive prices. This guide will provide basic instruction on the terminology of the auction, as well as how to purchase produce at these unique markets!


Buffalo Farm-to-School Project

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

Last Modified: July 7, 2016
Buffalo Farm-to-School Project

As part of the Harvest New York Buffalo Farm-to-School (F2S) initiative, 50 or so fourth and fifth grade students from Hillery Park Elementary School visited Burley Berries and East Hill Farms in Warsaw, New York to learn about where their food comes from.


Double Up Food Bucks Western NY Report, 2014-2015

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

Last Modified: April 4, 2016
Double Up Food Bucks Western NY Report, 2014-2015

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) uses existing infrastructure -- farmers markets and EBT - the mechanism SNAP recipients use to receive their benefits -- to improve access to and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income individuals and families and grow the local food economy by supporting purchases from local farmers.

In our 2014 pilot season DUFB was administered at 7 area farmers markets, spanning 3 counties. In 2015, the DUFB program expanded to 15 farmers markets, including a mobile market, spanning five counties.


Double Up Food Bucks 2014 Year End Report

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 19, 2015
Double Up Food Bucks 2014 Year End Report

Piloted in 2014, the Double Up Food Bucks program is viewed as a tremendous success in meeting program goals. Read a brief overview of the program successes realized at participating markets in 2014.


Western NY Food Hub seeks new produce growers to work with!

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 17, 2015
Western NY Food Hub seeks new produce growers to work with!

Eden Valley Growers (EVG) is opening their doors to new produce growers interested in selling through wholesale market channels! Dubbed the Western NY Food Hub, this business diversification will provide qualified growers with immediate access to wholesale markets. Based in Erie County, EVG is a vegetable growing farm cooperative that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Recognizing the increasing demand for locally grown food and the considerable assets the cooperative has, both in terms of infrastructure, sales and marketing, they are eager to provide Western NY farmers with a viable market for their produce.

Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Last Modified: May 8, 2015
Video: New York State Produce Auctions

The number of produce auctions in New York State continues to increase. These auctions are aggregation points that allow local farmers to sell their produce in wholesale lots to buyers from across the region. To document the economic impact of produce auctions on agriculture, local businesses, family farms, and produce buyers, the Cornell Vegetable Program worked with Harvest NY to survey top sellers and buyers.

A new Cornell Vegetable Program video shares general information about produce auctions, how buyers and sellers use the auctions to expand their businesses, and how local communities benefit from them.


What is the Double Up Food Bucks Program in WNY

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

Last Modified: June 19, 2014
What is the Double Up Food Bucks Program in WNY

In partnership with lead agency, Field and Fork Network, Harvest NY has forged a national partnership with Fair Food Network to pilot their highly successful program, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), in Western NY farmers markets. Using philanthropic funds, DUFB matches SNAP purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets up to $20 per visit, to be used on fresh fruit and vegetables grown in NYS.



Upcoming Events

Como Cultivar Hongos Comestibles (How to Grow Edible Mushrooms)

July 16, 2022
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Bronx, NY

This mushroom workshop will be taught in Spanish.

Acomparie a los equipos de Cornell Co-op Extension y New York Restoration Project con las facilitadoras Cecilia, Marina, y Yolanda para aprender tres formas diferentes de cultivar hongos comestibles en su jardin. 
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CRAFT Urban Ag IPM Workshop

July 19, 2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Brooklyn, NY

Experts from the NYS IPM Program will answer questions about beneficial insects and how to attract them to your urban farm or garden. We will also be providing some background on the Conservation Biocontrol project that is now in its second year, introducing our Cornell Cooperative Extension summer interns and providing a brief tour of Oko Farms.
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Announcements

Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners

The production of strawberry plants is challenging due to the rigorous sanitation needs that must be met, especially in field propagation settings, but also in greenhouse settings. To add to that, growers in New York may find it more difficult to obtain their preferred strawberry varieties in the coming years, as fewer nurseries are propagating strawberries. The solution: strawberry plug plants propagated from runners in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse or high tunnel.

Plug production of rarer varieties that do well in New York State will fetch a higher price than dormant bare-root plants due to the higher cost of production and lower availability in the Northeast, especially if plants are available in August.
Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners, written by Anya Osatuke of CCE Harvest NY and Brad Bergefurd of The Ohio State University, only discusses production and marketing potential of plug plants because successful field production of bare-root strawberries is very difficult to achieve without the use of highly restricted soil fumigants. 

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