The 1st Annual Women in Food & Farming Festival Kicks Off in New York's Hudson Valley

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Celebrate women chefs and women-owned farms and businesses in food and craft beverage at the hybrid live/virtual event in the Hudson Valley of New York State. Local foods and beverages will be for sale to the public on May 8th at Stone Ridge Orchard at the live farmers market. Virtual video tours, demos and online presentations by leading chefs, producers and women in the industry will be available on May 9th.

The Women in Food & Farming Festival brings together women from all sectors within the industry to empower and inspire each other," says Caylin Sanders, Founder of EscapeMaker.com

On May 8th & 9th, 2021 (Mother's Day Weekend), EscapeMaker.com will present the 1st Annual Women in Food & Farming Festival at Stone Ridge Orchard in the Hudson Valley of New York State – 2 hours outside of New York City in Ulster County.

The 2-day-long hybrid live/virtual event will honor women-owned farms, businesses, and entrepreneurs in the food and craft beverage industries. The May 8th live farmers market will host dozens of vendors with products ranging from cakes and cookies to fresh veggies to honey and hot sauce to teas, hard ciders and spirits - all locally sourced and produced and for sale to the public. There will also be a craft beverage tent for on-site beverage purchases.

Mask wearing is required, and although the live farmers market will take place on the expansive 115-acre farm and orchard, attendance will be capped and procedures in place to adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols and social distancing.

Additionally, for those not able to attend in person, there will be a virtual experience on May 9 of over 25 online tours, demos, and educational presentations on various topics for the public and trade by industry professionals, including Food Network television personalities Chef Maneet Chauhan ("Chopped" judge and Culinary Institute of America alumnus) and Chef Judy Joo, (the host of "Korean Foods Made Simple" and Iron Chef UK). Other presenters of note include the prolific author and activist and former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson on "Food & Connection."

Local changemaker speakers include renowned cidermaker and Breezy Hill Orchard farmer, Elizabeth Ryan with a "Hard Cider Tour," leading entrepreneur Liz Neumark of Great Performances and the Sylvia Center with a "Farm-to-Fork Tour of Katchkie Farm," and author and expert reporter Amy Wu on the latest in "Women in AgTech."

Presented by EscapeMaker and Fulton Stall Market, the farmers market and the virtual event is sponsored by The New York Cider Association, Cabot Creamery, Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider, SnapDragon & RubyFrost Apples, The Diamond Mills Hotel Saugerties, Doorstep Market, VisitIthaca.com, and SullivanCatskills.com, with media partners like Heritage Radio, Edible Hudson Valley and Edible Manhattan.

The event encourages women consumers and entrepreneurs from across the food and farming industries, hospitality service members, chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, craft beverage producers, local agritourism destinations, and lodging operators to attend, shop, taste, learn and participate – either in person or virtually. A portion of ticket proceeds benefits the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

"Now more than ever in this COVID age, women are being forced to leave the workforce in droves. Local food systems are breaking down, and local agritourism is suffering. We've got to dig deeper to find solutions, says Caylin Sanders, President of EscapeMaker.com. "A dream of mine for many years, this event will have a live farmers market at the beautiful Stone Ridge Orchard for shoppers to make conscious buying decisions to support women – the perfect fertile ground for new tastes, trends, and new local culinary trip ideas. Plus, it will also virtually bring together women online from all sectors within the industry to empower and inspire each other."

Women vendors, farmers, producers, and speakers will be featured in two ways:

  • Saturday, May 8: LIVE OUTDOOR NEW YORK STATE FARMERS MARKET:

Local foods and beverages from women producers and farmers will be for sale to the public, and prize raffles will be held from 11am-4pm at Stone Ridge Orchard. Attendees will receive a to-go swag bag of local products to eat separately at socially distanced picnic tables or 10ft field pods. They can also get info about local agritourism farm escapes and farm-table restaurants, wine, distillery, and cidery trails. Social distancing protocols will allow consumers to watch demos and browse and shop for gifts. Entrepreneurs can gather info about MWBE certification, training, grants, and funding opportunities to either start-up or grow their businesses. A brief kick-off introduction will highlight the importance of celebrating women in business and creating opportunities for growth in the agriculture, food and craft beverage, and agritourism sectors.

  • Sunday, May 9: ONLINE VIRTUAL EVENT - ON-DEMAND:

The virtual event will offer tours, online presentations and workshops of interest to the public and also budding entrepreneurs. Topics to include -

  • Cooking demos
  • Farm tours
  • Food justice and policy
  • Craft beverage trends
  • Food and connection
  • Holistic nutrition
  • Foraging
  • Farming in the COVID age
  • Social media tips for food businesses
  • Adding glamping to a farm
  • Women cookbook authors
  • Women chef and farmer spotlights

"Women empowerment is a priority at Fulton Stall Market, where our goal is 80% of products from women farmers and producers," says Bob Lewis, FSM's Public Market Advisor and co-founder of New York City's Greenmarket, 45 years ago. We're excited to have the chance to honor their accomplishments during this event, inspire the next generation, and foster the upstate-downstate local food system connection."

TICKETS: A portion of ticket proceeds benefits the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

  • Students 21 and Under: FREE on May 8 only
  • ALL-ACCESS PASS: $25 and includes live market access and a swag bag of samples on May 8 and virtual event access on May 9. The first 100 registrants will get a free gift box of cheese from Cabot Creamery delivered to their doors.
  • VIP PASS: $75 and includes live market access and a swag bag of samples and an exclusive live orchard walk and talk with Stone Ridge Orchard farmer Elizabeth Ryan and cider tasting flight under a 300-year old oak tree on May 8, plus virtual event access on May 9.

A portion of the proceeds benefits the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. For tickets and info on the live farmers market and virtual events on May 8-9, visit http://www.womennourish.com.

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Kash Barkeley
EscapeMaker.com
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