Battenkill Valley Blog

August 2009 Archives

September 12-13, 10am-4pm, rain or shine.  This is a great way to discover the world of farmstead and artisan cheesemaking...and it's free!  It's a drive yourself tour of the actual farms and cheesemaking facilities that are creating a resurgence in the traditional craft of small-scale cheesemaking.  The varieties will surprise you,  the fresh flavors will delight you, and the beauty of the drive through the Washington County countryside will invigorate you!  For a tour map and further information, visit
Author Jon Katz will read from his new book The Soul of a Dog on Saturday, September 5 at 2:00 pm at Gardenworks.  Katz, accompanied by his dogs Izzy and Lenore, (shown here) will talk about his life on Bedlam Farm in Hebron and his adventures with his now famous dogs.

Labor Day weekend is also the opening of a new art show at Gardenworks, Art & Soul, a group show featuring the work of Katz and his artist-friends.  The Gardenworks Barn Gallery is open September 4-September 7. Hours are Friday, Saturday and Monday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm; and Sunday from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.  Art & Soul highlights the richness of country life and the exceptional work of these local artists.  
Katz, a writer and media critic, has authored sixteen books and written for Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post.  Since moving to the Salem area, Katz's books The Dogs of Bedlam Farms, A Dog Year, and Running to the Mountain have earned him many faithful readers who appreciate the humor and wisdom in his stories about life in Washington County.  The Soul of a Dog is his sixteenth book. Gardenworks carries copies of many of his other books about life in Washington County. 

If you've been looking for an opportunity to visit the amazing Gardenworks Farm, here is your chance!  Just follow the signs from the traffic light in Salem on Rt. 22 for the short side trip.
Tickets are already on sale and going fast for Salem's second annual HarvestFest, Saturday September 12 at Salem Art Works. It's a celebration of the end of the growing season that's an eye-popping mix of local food, music, arts and crafts and activities for the entire family.  It begins with a marketplace at 10am, continues with a "Farm to Fork" dinner at 6pm and concludes with a music festival.
No doubt you've heard the Fair is going on.  This is not just another fair.  This is a REAL fair, where kids sleep alongside their show animals in the barns all week long, waiting for their chance to show off their prizes.  Where the 4-H'ers demonstrate the homespun skills they've been learning - and thus carry on our rich national heritage.  Where impossibly overpowered trucks and tractors (and draft horses!) pull ridiculously heavy weights.  It's a big, loud, amazing competition you might be surprised to find yourself becoming intensely involved in. Just don't stand in front of the bleachers!  And the food!  The baked potatoes...the corn...the barbequed chicken...the pecan pie...everything tastes better at the fair.  They've got a lot of musical acts for you and a midway with rides and funhouses for the kids.  It's a terrific day that really is fun for the whole family, but it  only runs through this week, so don't miss it!  
cemeterysign.jpgActually...more than any other in New York State.

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This magical, mystical route between Cambridge and Arlington, Vermont features surprises around every corner.  You just gotta know where to look...
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The exotic sounds of world music will form the backdrop for the simple freshness of locally-grown produce, cakes, pies, bread and more this Saturday in Salem.
Bear Closeup3.jpgYou may have traveled this route a dozen times on your way over to the Vermont ski areas, but in the Summer months Route 313 divulges some of her hidden secrets...

NewsChannel 13's Benita Zahn stretches her artistic  muscles in  "They're Playing Our Song" over the next two weekends at Fort Salem Theater!
There are free chef-prepared samples of farm fresh food, free recipe card packets and a lot of history and information in this popular series.  Mark your calendar for August 8! 

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Al Budde

40 minutes East of Saratoga and a world away; the Battenkill Valley is a Cornucopia of Cool. No Interstates. No noise. No hurry. Called "The Tuscany of New York", the region abounds in farm-crafted cheeses, creameries, heirloom vegetables and specialty meats you can buy right off the farm. Art galleries that will amaze you. Scenery that will inspire you. And through it all runs the Battenkill River, an astonishingly clear and gentle water playground that also happens to be the toughest trout fishery in the U.S.A Like touring? There's a reason the largest pro-am bike race in America happens here. And don't get me started on the Revolutionary war history, or the “you won't believe what I found: antiques and shops.

AL BUDDE has a lot of interests in fly fishing, playwriting, canoeing (and tubing), history, shopping, dining, friendships and he counts himself among the fortunate few who have found a place where all of those things collide: The Battenkill Valley. He knows (almost) everyone here, and will be your personal guide to all of those hidden places, activities, sights and scenery it would take you years to discover on your own. Discover the Battenkill Valley. Have fun. Make new discoveries. Renew your soul. And start here!


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