12. April 2017 · Comments Off on About Our Cow’s Milk · Categories: Dairy, Standards · Tags: ,


Hudson Valley Fresh Milk

Hudson Valley Fresh believes that a varied diet makes for happier cows and better tasting milk. HVF cows are fed a combination of alfalfa, oats, barley, soybeans, corn silage and lots and lots of hay on their 10 family owned dairy farms. HVF is proud to have never used artificial hormones, and vows that they never will. Hudson Valley Fresh processes all of their milk at Boice Dairy in Kingston, NY. Their milk is the only milk processed there, so they ensure that it does not co-mingle with milk from other farms. HVF milk is pasteurized for only 20 seconds at 166 degrees. HVF milk is certified Kosher. It typically arrives on store shelves within 36 hours after leaving the farm.

Maple Hill Creamery

Maple Hill Creamery Milk is 100% grass fed and organic. With over 100 family owned farms in New York State, MHC is now one of the fastest-growing dairy brands in the natural channel. Their cows spend most of their time outside grazing on grass in pastures as weather permits. Farmers store hay (dried grass) for winter feed. Calves are never fed supplemental grain, soy, or corn, but enjoy a diet of mother’s milk (direct from their mother or from the milktank, depending on the farm) until they start to graze for themselves.

Natural By Nature

Natural By Nature milk is organic; cows are grass fed and pastured as weather permits. Their diet also includes some grain and hay, especially during the winter time. NBN milk comes is both glass and paper containers. NBN milk in glass is not homogenized, products in paper are homogenized. NBN milk is pasteurized using the High Temperature Short Time (HTST) process where milk is heated to 165 degrees for about 20 seconds. NBN’s farmers do not use pesticides or herbicides on their farms. Cows are not given antibiotics or synthetic hormones. NBN family owned arms are located in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Organic Valley

A co-operative of family farmers since 1988, Organic Valley sets a high standard for their farming practices— standards that served as the framework for the USDA’s organic rules. OV animals live in clean, comfortable, low-stress housing. They also spend plenty of time outdoors grazing in pastures. Organic Valley never uses antibiotics, instead opting for holistic organic remedies. OV offsets the electricity they consume through renewable energy production. They also use biodiesel made from sunflowers that they grow on their own farms and use in their trucks and tractors.

Ronnybrook Farm Dairy

Ronnybrook Farm milk of Ancramdale, NY is pasteurized but not homogenized, so the cream floats to the top. Ronnybrook avoids the use of antibiotics as well as the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Cows have daily access to pasture and outdoor exercise. When housed, cows stay in comfort stalls with individual mattresses. Ronnybrook milk is tested by state certified and licensed staff for antibiotics and other impurities to insure that all products and as wholesome and healthy as possible. Ronnybrook milk comes in glass jars which can be returned to the co-op for a bottle deposit refund.

12. March 2017 · Comments Off on WE LOVE LOCAL: Bjorn Qorn · Categories: local food · Tags:

Hands down, one of our most popular items at HFFC is Bjorn Qorn, a popcorn treat seasoned with nutritional yeast, made right here in Ulster County. Not only is Bjorn Qorn super local, it’s popped by harnessing the power of the sun! We love that! Bjorn Qorn is owned and operated by two guys named Bjorn and Jamie, former college roommates who turned turned their favorite dorm room snack into a successful business. We recently spoke with Bjorn to find out a little bit more about his and Jamie’s delicious and nutritious ‘qorn.’

First things first, how did the guys come up with the recipe? “Well, my dad is a corn farmer,” Bjorn tells us, “so the recipe is a combination of how my family made popcorn, and how my childhood neighbors flavored popcorn. They introduced us to nutritional yeast as seasoning. The rest is history.” Indeed. In college, Bjorn’s popcorn recipe became a hit among his fellow students at Bard College. Jamie dubbed the treat Bjorn Qorn, and that set the wheels in motion. 

“After college, Jamie and I went our separate ways,” Bjorn says. “I always knew that I wanted to start this popcorn business, but it wasn’t until about 10 years later when Jamie and I reconnected that it got off the ground. It’s great to have a business partner. Being able to share responsibilities helps to make things work. In 2012 we officially started Bjorn Qorn.”

Bjorn Qorn popcorn is currently popped directly by the heat of the sun using enormous mirrored reflectors to collect the sun’s rays and focus them on their kettles. Bjorn and Jamie keep their kettles on Kelder’s farm in Accord, NY. They use a mix of kernels grown at Kelder’s and kernels grown back in Minnesota on Bjorn’s dad’s farm. “We’re not certified organic, but we use the best growing practices we can. We use organic fertilizer, we’re non-gmo, and we don’t spray or use any types of herbicide.”

We had to know, now that Bjorn Qorn has taken off, what are the fellas plans to expand the company? “Well,” Bjorn tells us, “we’re transitioning into a new space! The red barn on Queens Highway just down the road from Kelder’s. We’ll be using all solar electric to power our poppers and our business; and we’re going to hire a staff! We’ve been doing everything ourselves up to now, so we’re pretty excited about assembling a team.” And any new flavors??? “Well, the demand is high for the classic Bjorn Qorn, but we will be able to have test kitchens in our new space, so we’re considering it. We’ve been thinking of salty and spicy flavors for a while now, so you’ll just have to wait and see!”

Thanks so much to Bjorn for taking the time to talk to us. High Falls Food Co-op is beyond pleased to be able to carry Bjorn and Jamie’s exceptional snack. If you haven’t tried it, you simply must. Bjorn Qorn is truly a jewel of the Rondout Valley.    



12. March 2017 · Comments Off on BRIDGE PROGRESS REPORT Wednesday, March 8, 2017 · Categories: local news · Tags:

BRIDGE PROGRESS REPORT from Wednesday, March 8, 2017

“Bridge work is coming along nicely. Workers are attaching the “wings” to the outer framework where concrete was poured two weeks ago on the east side. In the photos below, you will see wing forms and canvas hoods over the east side poured concrete, with a heating plant visible that is keeping the concrete at a constant temperature required for curing properly.
On the west side, the four foot deep base of concrete forms went up, and concrete has been poured, as pictured below. Now the framework is going up for pouring into the outer wall. You can see the base form and covered concrete in the two pictures below. Next steps will mirror what was done on the east side.
While all this is going on, constant measuring and testing of standards is being applied by a firm whose responsibility is to assure that all concrete cures correctly, and even down to the strength specifications for rebar buried deep within the concrete.”





All text and photos via High Falls Conservancy

12. March 2017 · Comments Off on Fresh Meat Guide: Regional and Local Providers  · Categories: Meat and Cheese · Tags: ,


We at High Falls Food Co-op take sourcing seriously. We want to make sure our members and shoppers are being offered the best, healthiest, and most sustainable foods available. We strive to make sure that you are fully informed an empowered when shopping with us. The following is a list of our regional and local fresh meat providers. “Fresh meat” meaning meat that is not frozen, and found in our meat and cheese case.

Yellow Bell Farm
Red Hook, NY

Yellow Bell Poultry Farm chickens are 100% free of all drugs and additives, and hand prepared one at a time with attention to detail. On the farm the birds are cage free with ample room to roam both in a barn and outside. Owned and operated by a third generation poultry farmer, Yellow Bell Farm’s product travels just 23 miles to get to HFFC.

Campanelli Farm
Kenzoa Lake, NY

Located 53 miles west of High Falls, this regional poultry farm raises antibiotic free, hormone free, and steroid free poultry. Chickens roam in open air barns in a humane and healthy environment. The co-op also carries Campanelli eggs, and seasonally, turkeys during the holidays.

Hidden Camp Farm
Canajoharie, NY

Hidden Camp Farm provides the co-op with chickens and eggs of a very high quality. USDA organic, soy free, and pastured on 140 acres of lush rolling farmland in quiet upstate New York, 101 miles from HFFC.

Bilinski Sausage Co.
Cohoes, NY

Billinski chickens are raised humanely, are free range, and spend much of their time outdoors in an unfenced pasture where they can forage and roam, coming into the barn at night. Chickens are fed GMO-free and antibiotic-free feed. They grow at natural rates, allowing them to lead happy, healthy lifestyles. Sausage from Billinksi’s travels 75 miles from Cahoes to HFFC.

The Piggery
Ithaca, NY

The Piggery works with small, sustainable farms in Trumansburg, Enfield, and Eaton, New York. These farms humanely raise their pork and turkey, which are processed by The Piggery at their family owned butcher shop which is 160 miles from High Falls Food Co-op.

Larchmont Charcuterie
Processed in Larchmont, NY

Larchmont Charcuterie source their pork and beef from small farms which use organic practices in Pennsylvania. Their organic duck comes from Long Island, NY. Larchmont Charcuterie uses natural, vegetable-extracted ingredients in their curing process, ensuring full flavor and long-lasting stability.  Their products contain no added nitrates, sodium phosphate, or sodium erythorbate. Products travel approximately 95 miles on their journey from Larchmont, NY to High Falls Food Co-op.

Mountain Products Smokehouse
Processed in LaGrangeville, NY

Mountain Products Smokehouse source all of their pork, beef, and turkey meat from small Amish farms in Pennsylvania. They uses Bell and Evans chickens, which are all natural and humanely raised. Mountain Products Smokehouse is approximately 35 miles from HFFC.

Hardwick Beef
Northeast Regional

Hardwick Beef partners with more than 75 small family farms across the Northeast to raise cattle with old-fashioned grass-fed and grass-finished methods and humane standards of care and without any antibiotics or added hormones. Hardwick Beef believes in guarding natural resources and limiting the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

12. March 2017 · Comments Off on Spring Ahead with Hudson Valley Seed Co. · Categories: Blog, Local Farms · Tags: ,


The Hudson Valley Seed Company is one of our greatest resources here in New York State. We are honored to sell their seeds at HFFC. Hudson Valley Seed Co. is our go to  “source for heirloom and open-pollinated garden seeds and beautiful garden-themed contemporary art.” They offer heirloom and open-pollinated seeds for vegetable, flower, and herb varieties.  

Many of their seeds are produced on their small farm; the rest are sourced from ‘other local farmers, farmers in other regions, and from trustworthy wholesale seed houses that are not owned by or affiliated with multi-national biotech companies. Hudson Valley Seed Co. is both a Certified Organic farm and a Certified Organic Handler.’

As we approach spring and plan our home gardens, we look to HVSC for resources, information, and inspiration. That’s why we asked one of their seed packers, Marybeth Wehrung for any helpful hints she might have for getting our 2017 garden going.

A flower farmer in her own right, the owner of Stars of the Meadow farm, Marybeth knows a thing or two about sewing and growing. We asked when we should start our gardens. “Well, St. Patrick’s day is the traditional day that many begin planting seeds,” she says. “Things like peas and kale which can handle the the freezing, thawing, and refreezing we experience in March. Annual poppies are also pretty safe to plant now. Hearty veggies and flowers. The same things that do well in fall do well in early spring.” Great. Got it. But we had one more question. Especially for novice gardeners… How does one ensure the seeds they sew— well— grow?! A wealth of information Marybeth gave use some tips.

“The number one thing is to make sure that the seeds you’re planting do well in your region. Certainly you’re going to do better with things meant to grow in the northeast than in the southwest if you’re planting in Ulster County. Do a little research. Find out what the thing you’re planting wants to germinate and try to recreate those conditions. Feed and water each plant as the plant desires. Some are more high maintenance than others.” Ain’t that the truth.

Thanks to Marybeth for giving us some tips for starting our home gardens with Hudson Valley Seed Company seeds. Be on the lookout for Stars of the Meadow flower bouquets later in the season at High Falls Food Co-op. Happy gardening, everyone!

12. February 2017 · Comments Off on BRIDGE UPDATE! February 2017 · Categories: Uncategorized


As of Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 9:27am, with the help of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the old High Falls Route 213 bridge is no more. We’ve gotten reports that the blast was heard far and wide in Ulster County. While we’re sad to see the old bridge go, it held so many memories, we are very excited to be a step closer to the new bridge and to having a new, functional bridge.

We’ve been keeping up with all of the latest bridge progress online via our friends at the High Falls Conservancy. You can follow them on Facebook for up to date information as it becomes available. Here’s their last progress report:

“Yesterday we learned that good progress has been made with sinking the metal plates that will hold the concrete to be poured for the new bridge abutments. Today’s snow may cause a little delay, but the plan is for concrete to be poured next week.

Because the construction is happening in the winter months, the concrete “curing” will require tents and heating equipment to provide the the proper temperature to allow curing to take place. This has added to the time frame for completion, but the project is still right on track.”

High Falls Conservancy’s resident photographer and documentarian, Carl Cox, shot a stunning video of the implosion of the old bridge on January 25th. We’re including it here for posterity. Above is a photo of the current stage of progress, also via High Falls Conservancy.



12. February 2017 · Comments Off on Featured Vendor: Zelda Duke · Categories: Blog, Kitchen · Tags:

Zelda Duke is a magician in the kitchen. As a vendor to High Falls Food Co-op, Zelda provides us with a stunning array of healthy, wholesome, organic meals week after week. You may have had one of her decadent desserts, satisfying soups, or delectable vegan dinners. Packaged with colorful labels and care, of course.

Because there’s just something about Ms. Duke that aligns so well with Valentine’s Day, we decided to catch up with the elusive  culinarian for this February newsletter.

Zelda Duke has been cooking for HFFC for three years. She recalls, “It all started with deviled eggs. My daughter’s partner had an egg farm at the time, so I was flush with all these beautiful eggs. I had some spare time on my hands, and I wanted to start a new project. One day it dawned on my that people love deviled eggs, but who in the world has the time to make them? Well… I did! And plenty of eggs. So I whipped up a batch, brought them down to the co-op, and the rest is history.” It’s true, we loved those deviled eggs. In fact, they are still regularly in our deli case today.

Of course all of Zelda’s offerings available at the co-op are organic, her favorite to make, she says– her prepared, organic, vegan dinners. “I love it because I can be creative. I really put a lot of thought into what I’ll be making. I don’t want people to be eating the same thing every time they grab one of my dinners. I’ll rotate favorites, but I like to keep it fresh. Keep offering something new.”

Considering that we’re in Valentine’s season, we asked Zelda Duke for any tips she might have for making the perfect meal for that special someone. “Don’t overcook the vegetables,” she tells us with a smile. “Keep it simple. You know, everybody loves a baked potato, and that couldn’t be simpler!” She continues, “Or salmon. Salmon is easy. Listen. everybody’s got YouTube. Figure out what you want to make and watch a video about how to do it. It’s great. We all have access to so much information. Use it.” Before we wrap up she remembers one more vital tip, “Oh! I almost forgot! It’s very important to make everything with love. That’s the secret ingredient.”

We are so fortunate to have Zelda Duke in our lives to prepare the healthy, organic, delicious foods that keep this community running. Thank you Zelda Duke. Will you be our Valentine?

12. February 2017 · Comments Off on Cooking Organic for LESS? Yes! You! Can! · Categories: Blog, recipes · Tags:


There’s a lot of debate over the cost associated with shopping organic. Certainly some products can be more expensive due to availability or sourcing, but in general, one doesn’t have to break the bank in order to eat organic. One of our assistant grocery managers, Kristen Avery, set out to prove it.

Kristen’s background in event planning and the culinary arts makes her a perfect candidate for just such a challenge. With a little help from our vintage copy of the 1984 High Falls Food Co-op Cookbook, Kristen selected a recipe and determined the cost to make it with organic ingredients from High Falls Food Co-op, versus the cost to make it with non-organic ingredients from a chain supermarket. Which will be more budget friendly??? Let’s find out!

HFFC’s Classic Pierogies


Price per unit Non-Organic/ Organic    Price Non-Organic/ Organic

2 cups all purpose flour                     $.0.10oz/ $0.10oz                    $1.60/ $1.60

2 eggs                                               $0.17ea/ $0.49ea                    $0.34/ $0.98

1/2 cup sour cream                            $0.22oz/ $0.33oz                    $0.88/ $1.32

1tsp oz salt                                         $0.05oz/ $0.04oz                   $0.01/ $0.01

6 cups baking potatoes                      $0.10oz/ $0.10oz                    $4.80/ $4.80

1 cup anchor cheddar                        $0.53oz/ $0.39oz                    $4.24/ $3.12

1 tsp garlic powder                            $0.96oz/ $1.32oz                    $0.15/ $0.21

1 tsp black pepper                            $1.33oz/ $1.32oz                    $0.21/ $0.21

6 tbsp butter                                        $0.45oz/ $0.53oz                   $1.35/ $1.59

1.5 cups yellow onions                        $0.12oz/ $0.08oz                   $1.44/ $0.96



-Peel, cook, dice, mash potatoes

-Add cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, 1 tbsp butter and stir until smooth


-Mix flour, eggs, and sour cream together until a ball is formed

-Roll out dough dough ball until 1/8” thick

-Cut 3” circles (about 24)

Fill each circle with 1 tbsp of filling. Fold over and seal with fingers.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add pierogis.

The pierogis are ready when they float to the top.

Cut onions into strips and caramelize them in a pan with the remaining butter.

Combine pierogis with onions to serve.

Total cost ORGANIC: $15.02

Total cost Non-Organic: $14.89


HFFC non-working member 2% discount: $14.79

HFFC working member 10% discount: $13.97


Thanks to Kristen for showing us that is pay to shop smart and shop organic at High Falls Food Co-op.

11. February 2017 · Comments Off on High Falls Food Co-op Egg Farm Guide · Categories: Food Standards, Local Farms · Tags:

High Falls Food Coop Eggs

At High Falls Food Co-op, we strive to offer our customers and members the highest quality, most responsibly sourced eggs available in New York State. If you’ve ever wondered about where our eggs come from, or about differences between them, here’s a helpful guide to our farmers.

Depuy Farm– Chickens are free range and cooped at night/ in harsh weather. They are fed organic layer feed and organic vegetable scraps. The feed and the land are pesticide and antibiotic free.

Dewitt Farm– Chickens are fed hormone free and antibiotic free feed. Chickens are free range and kept in a barn during the night/ in harsh weather.

Feather Ridge Farm– Chickens are fed all natural, antibiotic and pesticide free feed consisting of grains and vegetables. Chickens are free range with a barn to nest in. Eggs reach the sales floor within two days of being laid.

Hidden Camp Farm– Chickens are fed organic and soy free feed. Hidden Camp believes their chickens’ soy free diet makes for a better tasting egg. Chickens are free range and pasture raised.

Grass & Gritt Farm– Chickens are free range with coop access for nesting and protection from the elements. Chickens are given GMO free, antibiotic free, hormone free feed and vegetable scraps.

Muddy Farm– Chickens are free range. Chickens are fed poulin feed and organic feed made from grains grown on Mudy Farm.

Campanelli Farm– Chickens are fed hormone free, antibiotic free feed. Chickens are free range, they are only coop when nesting or during bad weather.

16. January 2017 · Comments Off on Turkey + Ricotta Meatballs from Small Victories by Julia Turshen · Categories: recipes · Tags: ,

serves 8, or 4 with lots of leftovers (makes about 30 meatballs)


Two 28-oz [794-g] cans whole peeled tomatoes
7 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves; 4 thinly sliced, 3 minced
Kosher salt
1 cup [40 g] fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup [40 g] fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ cups [300 g] fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
½ cup [50 g] finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 lb [900 g] ground turkey (preferably dark meat), at room temperature

Pour the contents of the tomato cans into a large bowl (set the cans aside) and crush the tomatoes with your hands (this is a messy but fun job, and a very good one for children). Rinse one of the cans with about ¼ cup [60 ml] water, pour it into the second can and swish it around to get all the excess tomato out of the cans, and then pour the water into the tomato bowl.

In a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbsp of the olive oil, add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring, until it begins to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and a very large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer, stirring every so often, until it is slightly reduced and has lost any tin-can taste, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425°F [220°C]. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil on the baking sheet and use your hands to rub it over the entire surface of the sheet. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the minced garlic, basil, parsley, ricotta, Parmesan, turkey and 1 Tbsp salt. Blend everything together gently but authoritatively with your hands (they’re the best tool for the job) until well mixed. Then, use your hands to form the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs; the mixture will be sticky, so wet your hands with a bit of water to help prevent the meat from sticking to them. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet as you form them (it’s okay if they are touching a little). Drizzle the meatballs with the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and roast until they’re browned and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to the simmering sauce (discard whatever juice and fat is left on the baking sheet). Cook the meatballs for 10 minutes in the sauce (they can be left in the gently simmering sauce for up to 1 hour) and serve.

FOR SAUSAGE AND RICOTTA MEATBALLS, instead of ground turkey, use 2 lb [910 g] of your favorite sausage meat. Just take it out of its casings and proceed as directed. I like using half sweet and half spicy Italian sausage.

FOR A SLIGHTLY MOROCCAN RIFF, use ground lamb instead of turkey and finely crumbled feta instead of Parmesan. Leave out the ricotta. Add a handful each of toasted pine nuts and raisins to the mixture, and use mint instead of basil. Add a cinnamon stick to the tomato sauce (remove it before serving the meatballs).