Monday, October 18, 2010

Meet the Delegates

We couldn't be prouder to announce that Pure Catskills will sponsor its third Catskills delegation to attend Terra Madre in 2010. The group will head to Turin, Italy this Wednesday to spend five days meeting farmers and food producers from around the world. Over 5,000 delegates will be present from over 100 countries. The event includes workshops, tastings, regional meetings and a marketplace of sustainably produced foods.

Slow Food International organizes the event every two years. Slow Food USA selected our delegation through a competitive application process. Slow Food will provide housing, meals and transportation to the delegates during their time in Italy. Partial funding for travel from New York to Italy have been provided by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection through the Watershed Agricultural Council.

The Catskills region has been represented at this biannual gathering since we sent our first delegation in 2006. A group of farmers, chefs, retailers and advocates have attended each year. The delegates return to their businesses inspired by the experience. Delegates have made real changes in their operations as a result. Some have added new livestock varieties while others have grown their relationship to their neighboring businesses and community members.

In selecting this year's delegation, we called upon the twelve past delegates to nominate and select peers they felt would most benefit from the experience. The group did an excellent job selecting a diverse group from three counties in the region. So let's meet the delegates!

Thornwood Farm eggs at the Larchmont Farmers' Market.

Paula Allen, Thornwood Farm
Sidney Center, Delaware County

Thornwood Farm is a small family run farm that offers all natural pasture-raised eggs, chicken, pork and turkeys for Thanksgiving. All animals are raised antibiotic and hormone free. Paula travels to farmers' markets near and far including those in Franklin, Liberty, Callicoon and three in Westchester County-Armonk, Larchmont and Scarsdale.

Inside the Masonville General Store.

Masonville, Delaware County

The Masonville General Store strives to weave community, environment, and ingenuity together in an ethical and conscious manner. The store offers a fantastic and diverse selection of local and regional products that exemplify quality, health, and sustainability. Kendall educates her customers about the impact their choices make when shopping for food. The shop has been providing a location for rural residents to access healthy, delicious food since 2006.

Sonja handing milking one of her goats.

Callicoon Center, Sullivan County

Apple Pond Farm produces lamb, goats, eggs and wool and dairy products. They are also very active in offering agri-tourism programming and educational workshops to locals and regional visitors alike. Visitors can spend time in the guest house on a farm stay. The farm is a showcase of renewable energy practices including solar, wind and bio-diesel.

Marybeth with her husband Devin and their daughter Madeline. Devin, chef at The Peekamoose, will also attend Terra Madre!

Big Indian, Ulster County

The Peekamoose Restaurant features an ever-changing menu inspired by the farmers and artisans of the Catskill region. Chef Devin Mills, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, hails from some of the finest restaurants in New York City. Marybeth manages the front of the house and so much more! The restaurant has become a gathering place for locals and visitors to taste the best of Catskills farm products.

Mary Tonjes with her husband Tim in their cheese plant on the farm.

Mary Tonjes, Tonjes Farm Dairy
Callicoon, Sullivan County

Mary manages Tonjes Farm along with her husband Tim and numerous family members. The farm is a grass-based dairy specializing in farmstead artisan cheeses, raw milk cheeses including 'Beachwood Blue,' made and aged in their underground cave. Fresh cheeses and bottled milk are made with morning milk: Mozzarella, Ricotta, Fromage Blanc, Yogurt, Kefir, and Buttermilk. Whole milk gently pasteurized. The products are sold at regional farmers' markets and retailers.

Keep an eye out for a wrap up of the experience next month. A special event is also in the works for the delegates to share their experiences (and some delicious food!) with our community in mid-November.


  1. nice report, Challey ... have fun in Italy.


  2. Our trip to catskill was a really informative one, Catskills Tourism helped us to explore various aspects of the place.