A Photo Diary of Heritage Radio Network's Catskills Field Day
By: Rachael Markow
As a community of food lovers, is it much of a surprise that our first annual Catskills Field Day was held in a town historically famous for its butter?
Today, Bovina, New York is still a town centered around agriculture, an idyllic escape 3 hours from New York City. Cows graze in fields set against the Catskill Mountains and farmstands are sprinkled alongside the roads in this Upstate New York town. It was the perfect place for HRN's First Annual Catskills Field Day of feasting, fun, learning, and adventure.
Two separate events kicked off the August 27th weekend: Mushroom foraging with Catskill Fungi and a Hog Butchery Demonstration at Brushland Eating House. Both had an incredible breakfast from Bread Alone Bakery.
At the Mushroom Foraging Walk, Erwin Karl led attendees on a 2-hour hands-on mushroom lesson where they learned about edible mushrooms, their medicinal properties, cultivation, and the underground mycelium network which binds the forest together.
As some attendees foraged for mushrooms, others watched a hog butchery demonstration at Brushland Eating House. The team learned how to break down a side of pork, and about the different pork cuts like belly, loin cuts, and steaks. The pork was then prepared for that evening's dinner.
After mushroom foraging and butchery demos, it was time for picnicking, podcasting, and putt-putt at Putt Putt Van Winkle.
Heritage Radio Network Executive Director Caity Moseman Wadler sat down with Erwin to learn more about Catskill Fungi and CycleX, and Flour Ambassador Amy Halloran interviewed Dr. Sarah Litvin of Kingston's Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History about its Historic Bakery Museum. The storied Rip Van Winkle (aka Putt Putt Van Winkle's Scott Hill) also joined the podcast pop-up.
The Smoke Joint's BBQ plate was the perfect picnic lunch in between rounds of mini-golf at Putt Putt Van Winkle's enchanting course. Magpies on Pink Street provided Brambleberry Lemonade and fabulous pies to snack on during the afternoon or to take home.
When guests weren't listening to interviews, feasting, and mini-golfing, they were raising money for HRN by playing ring toss, entering a raffle, and bidding on auctions.
A cocktail hour and dinner at Brushland Eating House awaited after a wonderfully busy day.
Chef Sohail Zandi and his team prepared a sumptuous multi-course meal including house-cured charcuterie, bread and spreads, farm-fresh salads, pasta, porchetta made with the freshly cut pork from that morning, and a Catskills melon for dessert.
Drinks lined the bar and guests sipped on a wide array of local wines, ciders, beers, and spirits.
The weekend's festivities were not over after Saturday's dinner. Catskills Field Day continued on into Sunday morning. Flour Ambassador Amy Halloran and her team prepared a marvelous, fresh-flour pancake breakfast on the grills at Putt Putt Van Winkle. Bovina locals, out-of-towners, families, and dogs of all sizes all gathered for pancakes with all the toppings, freshly-made yogurt, fruit, and granola.
Part of Heritage Radio Network's mission is to cultivate a radically better world through transformative exchanges about food. Our first annual Catskills Field Day was a joyful embodiment of that and we can't wait to see you at the next event.
Listen to all of our interviews at Catskills Field Day via HRN On Tour:
Heritage Radio Network On Tour: Episode 426: Mushroom Foraging with Catskill Fungi: HRN's Executive Director Caity Moseman Wadler sits down with Erwin to continue exploring the world of mushrooms. They discuss some of the treasures that the foragers found that morning while walking the property of CycleX Farm in Andes, NY, before tackling a number of related topics including how to become involved with foraging, mushroom cultivation, and the work of Catskill Fungi.
Heritage Radio Network On Tour: Episode 427: Highlighting the Reher Center of Kingston, NY: Flour Ambassador Amy Halloran sits down to interview Sarah Litvin, Ph.D., the Executive Director of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History. Sarah shares some highlights of the Reher Center's work in Kingston, NY, including past and upcoming exhibits. Before they get to the present, they also cover the past, as the Reher Center building served as a prominent Jewish Bakery for nearly a century. Kingston residents of the surrounding Rondout neighborhood, mostly working class and immigrants, came to Reher’s for bread, canned goods, and gossip. Today, the site is as a museum and cultural center that preserves and honors the legacy of Reher's Bakery and amplifies immigrant stories of the Hudson Valley, past and present. The Reher Center's mission is to foster belonging by engaging all people through culture, community, work, and bread.
Heritage Radio Network On Tour: Episode 428: Story Time with Rip Van Winkle: In this magical moment, Amy Halloran somehow finds her way into the dreams of Rip Van Winkle himself. Amy presents Mr. Van Winkle with some of the stories that have been written about him. Rip takes the opportunity to fact-check some of those stories and share how some boozy bowlers got him in deep trouble. Will Rip succeed in waking up? It's a story so powerful it could rip the scales right off of a fish!
Without our partners, sponsors, and donors, the weekend would not have been possible. We are deeply grateful to all who participated and made the weekend a wonderful success.
Photo credits: HRN Staff