Holiday shoppers: Looking for something you can't find on Amazon? If you want to give something truly unique this season, check out one of the upcoming holiday craft and artisan fairs happening around the Catskills.
Billed as "arty meets party," the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo is a smorgasbord of handmade gifts and crafts from over 40 local vendors, from letterpress to leatherwork. This year, the festivities include a DJ, a photo booth, a craft table for kids, and a visit from the Ate.O.Ate food truck. Read more
Above: Middleburgh's newest business, Valley Tax and Accounting, which opened at 296 Main Street on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Downtown Middleburgh was devastated by flooding from Irene and Lee, and recovery has been a long process. But with several new businesses on Main Street -- and a new brewery set to open its doors in 2014 -- things are looking up in Middleburgh. In a press release, Valley Tax owner Francis Pipcynski says he's proud to be part of the comeback:
"We are pleased to be here and be part of the rebuilding process after such widespread devastation. What has impressed us so much is that after what seemed like a knock out punch, the residents and business owners did and continue to do whatever is necessary to get back on their feet." Read more
To buy local meat in the Catskills, you've got to know where to look. But the extra effort pays delicious dividends -- like this grass-fed ribeye from Liddle Farm in the Delaware County hamlet of Halcottsville. Photo from the Facebook page of AgriForaging, Inc., a local farm consulting business.
Buying locally raised meat is more complicated than buying vegetables, partly because sales of pork, beef, lamb, poultry and goat are subject to different sets of regulations. Read more
Season's greetings, Catskills. It's that time of year again: The Thanksgiving leftovers are all but polished off, the Christmas carols have begun in earnest, and if you've got a pair of skis buried in the attic, it's high time you exhumed them. Read more
Rainfall has been heavy in the Catskills during the storm that began Tuesday afternoon. Most areas in the region have received 1 to 2 inches so far, with localized rainfall of around 3 inches in higher elevations in Ulster County. Rain will continue into the afternoon, with about another half-inch expected to fall.
A flood watch issued on Tuesday is still in effect for Ulster and Greene counties in the Catskills region, along with a portion of the mid-Hudson Valley and parts of New England.
Above: A selection of Catskills dairy products. Photo by Toni Brogan.
The locavore movement has made a celebrity of many a humble ingredient, sparking a renaissance of old-fashioned vegetable varieties and elevating the lowly pork belly to the level of haute cuisine. But through it all, milk has mostly remained, well, milk—and the local-food revolution has left most dairy farmers behind.
For farmers in the Catskills, once a proud and prosperous dairy region, the modern milk market is a tough one. In the world of commodity milk, where the milk from many farms goes into a single vat for processing and prices are set by federal law, small upstate New York dairy farmers have a tough time competing with vast feedlots in the midwest and California. Read more
The Northeast is currently bracing for a midweek storm that threatens to dump snow, ice, sleet and rain on Thanksgiving plans. To the south and west of New York State, snow and rainstorms that will fuel what the National Weather Service is calling a "complicated" storm system have already claimed over a dozen lives, and left thousands without power.
Above: AccuWeather graphic showing potential scenarios for a storm that's slated to move up the coast toward the Northeast next week, just in time for Thanksgiving. For more on that, see AccuWeather's Friday story about the storm.
In the rural Catskills, 2013 was the Year of the Absentee Voter.
On Nov. 5, Election Day, dozens of races around the region were too close to call from the machine count alone. In a few of them, a count of the absentee and affidavit ballots reversed the results of the initial count -- and revealed some surprising differences of opinion between voters who cast their ballots at the polls and those who mail them in. Read more