Time to partake of the hops harvest

The Genesee Country Village and Museum sill celebrate hops on the holiday

Mike Murphy
Visitors to Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford can tour a working brewery from the 19th century during the Hops Harvest Festival on Monday.

MUMFORD — At one time in New York’s past, the hops plant was king — and many fields in this neck of the woods grew the crop that gives beer it’s oh-so-familiar bitterness and flavor.

Genesee Country Village & Museum is paying homage to hops with its Hops Harvest Festival, scheduled for Labor Day Monday.

The museum will take visitors through the history of beer and hops from the field, through fermentation and into the glass. Visitors also will be able to learn about brewing traditions at one of the only 19th-century working breweries in the country and see the hops being harvested.

The names of the museum’s Fat Ox Ale and Stocking Hill Ale conjure up that old-timey feeling — and how cool would it be to sample the past in a glass? Well, you can, as the museum’s Pavilion Garden will be selling taste-sized portions of these two as well as a selection of craft beer from Flying Bison Brewing Co., wine and cider.

Food options include treats from The Whistlestop and D.B. Munger Confectionery. The Historic Village will offer demonstrations and crafts related to the theme of hops and history, including recipes — called receipts in the 19th century — that feature beer and ale as a key ingredient.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Labor Day. Presale tickets for Hop Harvest are discounted $2 when purchased through the museum website by 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit gcv.org.

Speaking of beer and history

Last year around this time, the Other Half Brewing Co. temporarily changed the name of one of its pilsners to the Burying Ground, as a way to help the East Bloomfield Historical Society raise money and to toast the society’s 2019 acquisition — the Old Burying Ground, where the town’s earliest settlers were laid to rest.

What will it be this year?

The East Bloomfield Historical Society is having its second annual Chicken and Beer Dinner at the Other Half on Routes 5 and 20 in East Bloomfield, on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The Other Half is again going to do a "special" brew for the organization that day. Stay tuned for details.

Historical Society organizers believe they can safely hold this event and are going to be following all safety guidelines.

Hunger Action Month

Even during this time of COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy for many of us to forget that too many people in this community are hungry, some not knowing where their next meal will come from and when it will be.

With more than 60,000 additional people in the Rochester area projected to live in food-insecure households due to the pandemic, there is more urgency than ever to focus on the issue of hunger in communities.

Foodlink and other hunger-relief organizations across the Feeding America network use this month — Hunger Action Month — as a time to raise awareness about the root causes of food insecurity, and encourage supporters to take action on the issue of hunger.

The annual month-long campaign will bring attention to the reality of food insecurity in the country, which is elevated this year due to the challenges associated with the ongoing pandemic.

In Foodlink's 10-county service area, which includes Ontario, Wayne, Monroe, Yates, Seneca and Livingston counties, food insecurity is projected to rise 45 percent in 2020.

Julia Tedesco, president and CEO of Foodlink, said the need is greater and the community’s response will be critical as this crisis is navigated in the months and years to come.

“Whether you have the capacity to donate, volunteer, or advocate, anyone can take action,” Tedesco said.

Foodlink focused its COVID-19 response these past six months on the distribution of millions of pounds of emergency food and nearly 500,000 children’s meals for households experiencing food insecurity.

But the agency does more.

Foodlink finalized its inaugural Advocacy Agenda last February, and it includes three major focus areas: to ensure no one goes hungry; to improve access to healthy food — in schools, health-care settings and low-income communities — and to eliminate the root causes of hunger.

Also this month, Foodlink is facilitating a series of conversations around four topics — all of which influence food insecurity in various ways. On Tuesdays throughout September, beginning Sept. 8, Foodlink will post video interviews with local experts that address: housing, health care, racism and employment. The videos — approximately 10 to 15 minutes in length — will be held via Zoom, and posted on Foodlink’s website, Facebook and YouTube pages.

On Sept. 10, you can get involved by showing support of Hunger Action Month in a colorful way: Wear orange!

Orange is the color of hunger awareness because the nation’s first food stamps (which made their debut in Rochester on May 16, 1939) were orange.

The city’s skyline will be lit orange in honor of hunger awareness, and you can show your support by wearing orange, snapping a photo, and using the hashtag #HungerActionMonth on social media.

To donate, volunteer or learn more about ways to get involved during Hunger Action Month, visit www.FoodlinkNY.org.

Farm market safety signs

New York’s farmers markets got a boost this summer with free, downloadable signs from the Farmers Market Federation of New York. What they didn't expect was to get signage mailed to them too.

With the support of Farm Credit East, Mercury Printing and 29 Design Studio, COVID-19 Signage Kits were shipped to nearly 400 farmers markets throughout New York. The packages include signage to communicate safety protocols, wayfinding and safe practices.

“The campaign came from the idea that both consumers and the market would have to work together to create a safe environment at our local farmers markets," said Maureen Ballatori, founder and CEO of 29 Design Studio in Geneva. "To stay safely open, everyone would have to work together.”

Diane Eggert, executive director of the Farmers Market Federation of New York, said shoppers are always welcome to markets.

“But (we) want to remind them of the ways that we are keeping people safe so we can still support farmers and provide fresh, healthy and locally grown food,” Eggert said.

A hop harvester at Genesee Country Village & Museum.