Monday, March 11, 2019

Vote for Veggies!

Good afternoon!  We hope you can join us for our next delicious Pathfinder Produce market, Thursday, March 14 from noon to 5 p.m.  We’ve got the greatest tastes around, and you can’t beat our friendly, helpful assistants, all members of our Pathfinder Village Adult Day Services.

Also, for shoppers in the West Winfield area, Pathfinder Produce will be hosting a special “Showcase Market” at the Federated Church, 452 East Main Street, on Monday, March 18. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This market is open to the public and is a test run for expanding services through our new Mobile Market.  Of course, folks in Edmeston and Morris can take advantage of our online ordering system too … just cruise over to our website and put in your order for delivery at either pick-up location.

This week promises to be very busy -- spring sports are already starting!  Here at Pathfinder, we’re hosting our annual Otsego Academy Leadership Week with students from Colgate University’s Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE).  The week after that is our lead up to the market’s sixth anniversary celebration and World Down Syndrome Day on 3-21!

Vote for Veggies!

As a college student, I had the opportunity to intern for a semester in Albany for a SUNY-run newspaper that focuses on state government, “The Legislative Gazette.”  We cub reporters were put through our paces learning about law-making processes, getting immersed in politics, and churning out a weekly edition (which everyone in government read).
It was a great experience and taught me many skills that I still use: Even to this day when I hear of a bill that interests me, I will research it to learn more.  This process is easier than ever with online access to the bills of both the Senate and Assembly.  One note, the Senate site has “an app interface” where one may indicate if they approve or disapprove of any given bill, with links for sharing on social media; the Assembly site is a bit clunkier to use and doesn’t allow you to vote yay, nay, or share.
Recently I read a Facebook post by State Senator Jen Metzger of Rosendale (D-42nd District), the new Chair of the Agriculture Committee, of the passage of Senate bill S00252 that would make it easier for school districts to buy more locally grown produce as part of their lunch programs. 
“What a great idea to support our own local agriculture!” I thought.  I also wondered why we haven’t been doing this until now, but it was good to see that the bill had advanced from its first reading to the Local Governments Committee to the floor vote without any dissent. The Senate Bill was sponsored by Senator Timothy Kennedy of Buffalo (D-63rd), with co-sponsors Senator Rachel May of Syracuse (D-53rd) and Sen. Patti Richie of Oswegatchie (R-48th).
Senator Metzger wrote, “I’m happy to report that today (March 6), the New York State Senate unanimously passed Senate bill S252, which makes it easier for public schools to purchase fresh, locally-grown produce by eliminating the cap on local purchasing and allowing public schools to specify a regional preference in their bid and procurement requests.”
“Fostering strong farm-to-school connections is good for the health of our children and for our local agricultural producers and distributors who will benefit directly from this expanded market,” she added. “My long-term goal is to see all of our New York schools serving fresh, locally-sourced vegetables, fruits, and dairy products, and the passage of S252 brings us closer to realizing this.”
So, now that it’s cleared the Senate, the bill has been sent to the Assembly and has been referred to its Local Government Committee.  I expect that the bill will also have strong support in the Assembly and that it soon will advance to the Governor for his signature.  While nothing’s certain in government, it’s good to see that our state legislators want to put more locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables into our school students’ lunches … it’s a step in the right direction. And who knows, it may even encourage students to make better choices.
Until next time, vote for veggies!

Monday, March 4, 2019

WDSD & Winter Salads

Hello everyone!  We’re gearing up for another tasteful market at Pathfinder Produce at the Village Commons.  Stop on down from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursdays to get the freshest fruits and veggies around. 

Below, my colleague Sally Trosset shares some updates about World Down Syndrome Day and some delicious ideas for salads to round out your winter and early spring meals!


March, the longest month of the year, is a transitional month. If we can get through March we’re in the home stretch to warmer and sunnier days, flowers blooming and green grass.  Daylight savings is just around the corner on March 10th and the first day of spring follows on March 20th. The light evening hours that daylight savings brings is always a welcome change. 

Campus activities at Pathfinder Village pick up in March as well. Near and dear to our hearts is World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st. WDSD has been observed since 2006 and it received official recognition by the United Nations in 2012.  “3-21” was selected as the celebration date as it represents the triplication of the 21st chromosome, the genetic cause of 95% of occurrences of Down syndrome.

WDSD is also Pathfinder’s unofficial welcome of spring.  Falling on a Thursday this year, our Pathfinder Produce Market will be in full sixth-anniversary celebration mode!  Balloons at the entranceway will give way to door prizes, raffles, and our signature assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables.  As a special treat, the market will offer special baked goods from the Pathfinder Bakery and Cafe.  A WDSD discount will be given on your purchases at the checkout register as well!

In addition, Pathfinder invites you to wear crazy socks on WDSD to raise awareness of the abilities of children and adults with Down syndrome.  We invite you to join in the fun by posting a picture of you wearing your crazy socks on our Facebook and Instagram pages. On Facebook, “like” our page then send a picture to us through Messenger.  On Instagram, “follow” our page, pathfindervillageinc., and post your picture with the tag, #pvcrazysocks. Please post respectful pictures; it’s about spreading joy, creativity, and awareness! 

Our residents and students at Pathfinder and Pathfinder School will enjoy weeklong WDSD activities with School Spirit Week and other activities (March 18-22).  Our Otsego Academy students will get a jump start to WDSD with their 9th Annual Colgate University Leadership Week (March 11-15).  This is a popular, week-long immersion filled with team building and leadership activities and workshops for our Otsego Academy and visiting Colgate University students.


Winter salads might get a bad rap when you compare them to their spring and summer counterparts, but they can be just as delicious and addictive.  When topped with the right items and delicious dressings, winter salads can be a nice and nutritious transition meal to spring and summer foods.  While spring is only a few weeks away, it can be weeks before the full effects of the season are felt in our area. Some of my favorite winter salad ingredients include spinach, arugula, beets, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.  Served with spaghetti squash, quinoa or a hearty whole grain bread, these bright colorful salads are guaranteed to make you feel better at this time of year as we tire of comfort foods with subdued colors.

Don’t be fooled by these salads either.  Following are some colorful salad ideas that will please the eye and palette; these recipes are hearty, filling main meal salads that you can look forward to after a long day at work or school.

A big fan of arugula, my personal favorite is the Mushroom-Fennel Salad found in the Winter Salad Collections link.  Mushrooms, goat cheese, walnuts, and arugula offer blends of textures, colors, and flavors. With a side of bread or sliced baked chicken added to the salad, it is definitely a satisfying meal.

Make sure to mark your calendars for 3-21 and come celebrate with us at the Pathfinder Produce Market.   Pick up your salad ingredients, grab a special “3-21” treat, and show off your crazy socks!  We look forward to seeing you all on this special day!

Sally (and Lori)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Springing Ahead

My, another month has flown, and subtle signs of spring are starting. Days are getting longer, and at times, the sun’s rays remind us of the power and promise of Mother Nature. We at Pathfinder Produce are looking forward to another season of serving our market patrons, as well as to planting seeds in our hoop houses for this summer’s delicious Pathfinder grown produce.

As always, we invite you to come to our next weekly market, on Thursday, Feb. 28, from noon to 5 p.m. to shop and sample the freshest, tastiest produce around! Plus, we offer our online ordering service, which builds convenience into the entire Pathfinder Produce experience.

In this week’s blog, my colleague Martha Spiegel looks forward to “springing ahead” and has some suggestions for improving one’s sleep patterns.


Springing Ahead

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for some.

Daylight savings time is fast approaching; it begins at 2 am on March 10. For me, this is one of the best days of the year. To instantly have another hour of daylight makes me feel happy and energized.  While I have to wake up in the dark for a few weeks, I don’t really mind, because I like to wake up gradually. Coming home in the evening with hours of daylight left, however, boosts my spirits and I get more accomplished before settling in for the night.

I know that some people struggle with the time change, and not just for one day, so I did some investigating. In reading an article in Science-Based Medicine, I learned that clocks were originally set based on sunrises and sunsets. Since people did not travel much or travelled very slowly, this was not an issue. With the advent of railways, a more standardized method became necessary, and the four existing time zones were established in 1883 in the US. Daylight Savings Time was first adopted in Germany and Austria during WWI but did not come to America until 1918. After a rocky and inconsistent start, it became standard practice in 1966. The Science-Based Medicine article gives a concise history of a rather confusing concept!

Most people adjust to the time change within a day, but what to do if you are not one of them? According to WebMD, circadian rhythms determine sleep patterns and are greatly influenced by light. Controlling exposure to light can help you to keep on track. Try not to place yourself under bright lights when it is dark outside, such as if you need to get up during the night; use nightlights instead of turning on overhead lights. Also, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day if possible, and practice good sleep habits such as limiting caffeine, screen time and alcohol consumption, and adopt a relaxing bedtime ritual.

Further suggestions from Consumer Reports include placing yourself in bright light as soon as possible in the morning, and going to bed early on Saturday night and not sleeping in on Sunday. Sleeping in can cause you to lose more sleep on Sunday night, which perpetuates the cycle and contributes to sleep deprivation when waking up for work on Monday morning. Also, take extra care on the road; even if you feel awake and alert, there’s a good chance that there are some sleepy drivers on the road.

For those of you who are not fond of the time change, I hope this is helpful. And remember, the start of Daylight Savings Time means spring is on the way!

Until next time, sleep well and think spring,

Martha (and Lori)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fighting the Winter Cold

Hello everyone to another busy week!  Many of our local sports teams are completing their winter seasons, school students are on their mid-winter break, and there are so many community events happening.  But no matter how busy it gets, Pathfinder Produce will be here to help you provide nutritious and satisfying fruits and veggies to your family.  Come down and shop this Thursday afternoon, February 21, at the Village Commons, from noon to 5 pm.

Of course, there’s our convenient online ordering system.  Just cruise over to our website and select your delivery site, Morris or Edmeston.  Place and pay for your order using our secure server, and then just stop by for your pre-shopped items.  It’s oh so easy!


After weeks of staving it off, this year’s winter cold has hit me.  It’s time for getting some extra rest and taking extra self-care measures.  In the spirit of recovery, here are a few cold-strategies that may help others:

Elderberry Syrup:  Over the summer, a Facebook friend indicated she was putting up several quarts of elderberry syrup to use during cold and flu season.  After the advice of another friend, I was able to locate a bottle of this dark, sweet elixir at the local pharmacy.

I’m not sure if the syrup is helping, or if it’s a less virulent virus.  Or it could be a placebo effect …  but for this cold I haven’t been as tired or as symptomatic as with prior head colds.  Elderberries are extremely rich in antioxidants, and several recent studies suggest that the berries may reduce the length and severity of colds and flu.  Apparently, there’s rich lore about elderberries too as a folk medicine. 

However, it is pricey, so this summer I hope to learn to accurately identify elderberries in the wild (and if none are on our property, then I plan to buy some bushes).  It seems they syrup is easy to make and should keep if properly canned.  (There are other berries that mimic elderberries in the wild, so please use caution in ingesting any wild fruits).

Lotion Tissues:  These are an absolute God-send when you have a cold with an overactive nose.  The tissues aren’t rough and scratchy and provide a soothing application of lotion to your sore, red nose.  While I generally don’t buy these because of the extra cost, it always pays to have an extra box in reserve.

Chewable Vitamin CsVitamin C is a mild antihistamine so it can reduce the amount of discomfort you experience if you’re having a mild allergic reaction or cold symptoms. It’s also an antioxidant, which can help strengthen your body’s immune system.   Vitamin Cs come in a non-chewable tablet, which is okay for teens and adults, and chewables, which may appeal more to younger patients.  Be sure to follow dosage directions, and be aware that some tablets are sweetened with sorbitol; too much of either Vitamin C or sorbitol may result in hurried trips to the restroom.

Frequent Hand-Washing:  Last year’s very bad flu season led to the “gone viral video” of the Florida nurse who was ranting about “Wash your stinking hands.”  It remains one of the best strategies for everyone to stay healthy.  Viruses can live for a time on surfaces, and if your hand conveys the virus from the surface to your nose, you may potentially come down with an illness.

Recently, a news commentator on a major channel indicated he rarely washed his hands, saying he doesn’t believe that germs exist because “he can’t see them.” Pure drivel. If one washes one’s hands at key times – before prepping or eating food, after using the facilities, and after touching one’s face, nose or unclean items – it helps you from making others sick

Drinking enough, eating well:  If you’re sick with a cold you need to stay hydrated to help move your recovery ahead.  Likewise, though it’s very tempting to eat ice cream and other treats that may be soothing, it’s better to eat a lighter, healthy diet with fruits and veggies to provide the nutrients you need to help your immune system bounce back.
Until next time, stay well!


Monday, February 11, 2019

Be a Heart Hero

Hello and Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope everyone will come out to our next Pathfinder

Produce market at the Village Commons on Thursday, February 14, from noon to 5 p.m. Our fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables are perfect ingredients to heart-healthy meals. 

Of course, there’s our convenient online ordering system.  Just cruise over to our website and select your delivery site (Morris or Edmeston).  Place and pay for your order using our secure server, and then just stop on Thursdays for your pre-shopped items.  It’s oh so easy!

Below, my colleague Maura Iorio, our Sr. Director of Education, updates us on how Pathfinder School is celebrating February, American Heart Month.

Be a Heart Hero

This winter, Pathfinder School is participating in the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. Students learn about their heart, how to stay healthy and active, and raise money for a great cause! The program focuses not only on children’s physical well-being, but their social and emotional health as well.

Our students have been focusing on eating smart, moving more, and being well. What does this mean?

Our students have been hard at work all month building their physical fitness skills, learning to make heart-healthy snacks, and getting the word out there about how to be a Heart Hero.

To learn more about how you can help, please visit our AHA-Pathfinder School page.

Happy Valentines and Healthy Hearts to all!

Maura (and Lori)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Beyond the Burger

Welcome to February, National Heart Health Month!  We hope you’ll celebrate with us at

Pathfinder Produce.  Come on down to the regular Thursday market, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Pathfinder Village Commons to get the freshest and tastiest fruits and veggies around.

Our online ordering makes it easy to shop: Just go to our website, make your order and pay over our secure server.  Our friendly staff will pull together your custom order and have it ready to go for pick-up at our Edmeston or Morris pick-up sites.  This is a service that is becoming more and more popular around the country I’ve noticed, and is even being featured in commercials by much-larger stores.

Also, I wanted to give a big shout out to our colleagues just down the road at NYCM Insurance, Edmeston, who are doing their part to Go Red in support of the American Heart Association.  Well done!  You can learn about American Heart Month at this link.

Finally, Pathfinder Village has been nominated for the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce’s Business Hall of Fame for 2019.  If you’d like to vote for Pathfinder, please go to the Chamber’s voting website by Friday to cast your vote.  Thank you!


After my son’s last indoor track meet at Ithaca College the other week, the hour had grown late and we were all hungry. We stopped at a fast food restaurant and much to my surprise, there were veggie burgers on the Bill of Fare.  More to my surprise, both my son and husband ordered them.

We try to avoid eating fast foods and highly processed foods, as we know that too much of these can adversely affect your health.  When we do need to “grab and go,” we try to order the healthiest things on the menu -- we’ll drink water or unsweetened iced tea, go for the salads (watching how much dressing it’s drenched in), and get the non-red meat options.

My son, who has worked to stay fit and has clocked in some impressive races this indoor track season, said that the veggie burger was good, although a little salty.  He said he’d try it again if these stay on the restaurant’s menu.  I’ll probably give it a try too.

In examining the differences between the veggie burger and a regular burger of similar size and garnishment at this restaurant chain, the veggie burger is better for those seeking to make healthier selections, although the sodium and sugar levels are high.  Most restaurant chains offer their foods’ nutritional information online and on their menu boards, which helps in making choices.

Calories (Kcal)
Fat (g)
Saturated Fats (g)
Fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Carbs (g)
Fiber (g)
Sugar (g)
Protein (g)
Less than 5

The move to eat less red meat and processed foods is in-line with recent recommendations by health researchers.  One somewhat controversial study, the new EAT-Lancet Commission report, recommends eating less than one ounce of red meat per day (or about a large hamburger per week), both to improve one’s personal health and the planet’s health.  Beef ranching has a huge impact on our collective carbon footprint, requiring 20 times more land and emitting 20 times the greenhouse gasses per gram of protein produced when compared to growing beans, according to  the World Resources Institute.  (Beans are often a main ingredient used in creating veggie burgers, hence the comparison).

In an interview on NPR’s “The Salt” blog, the lead researcher for the EAT-Lancet study, Dr. Walter Willet of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health said, "(Vastly reducing meat consumption) may seem a little extreme to many Americans, but this is actually in line with the traditional Mediterranean diet …”  The EAT-Lancet study also points out that if people eat less meat, they should eat more nuts, fruits, veggies and legumes to replace the meat, instead of highly processed grains.

"It's all about the replacement," Willet said. "If we replace red meat with a lot of white starch, [such as] white rice, white bread, potatoes and sugar – then that's not going to be a win."

Other health experts recommend cutting back on red meat to thwart heart disease, diabetes and cancers: The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 6 ounces of cooked lean meat, skinless chicken and seafood per day, for a total of 4-5 servings per week (a serving is roughly the size of a deck of cards).  The American Institute for Cancer recommends limiting consumption of red meat to 18 ounces per week (3-6 ounce servings).  Both organizations encourage people to eat processed meats very sparingly, due to their high fat, salt and preservation methods.

In closing, I’ll offer a link from AHA and the BBC on how to lead a healthier lifestyle with less meat consumption, as well as a recipe to try for your own homemade black bean burgers, which I’ll try as well (Note: These contain eggs, and thus cannot be viewed as vegan). 

Until next time, eat well and be well,


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sheet Pan Vegetables

Hello everyone!  We hope you will be able to join us at our next Pathfinder Produce market here on Thursday afternoon at the Village Commons, from noon to 5 p.m.  Our Pathfinder Produce Market is heading into its sixth year; we’re grateful for the tremendous community support we’ve had and look forward to another year serving all our friends and neighbors.  Pathfinder Produce – we’re ROOTED IN COMMUNITY!

If you’re too busy to shop, let us do your marketing for you!  Just cruise over to our website and select your delivery site, either in Morris or Edmeston.  Make your purchases and secure payments online, and our friendly Adult Day Service members will take care of all the rest.  Just stop by for your delivery on Thursday afternoon, and enjoy your fresh and healthy purchases all week long!

Below, my colleague Sally Trosset offers some great tips for serving a variety of fresh veggies … why not try a few of these roasted recipes during the Super Bowl this coming weekend? 


Sheet Pan Vegetables

February is lurking and we’re in the throes of winter!  This is the time of year when planning dinner gets stressful.  Our schedules are very busy; the kids’ sporting events keep us out late two nights a week.   “Same old, same old” is what meals are often referred to at my house.

On the nights we are home, I try to make our meals count; sadly they are often, “same old, same old.”  I also want to make sure we are eating our share of healthy vegetables, as illness is always a concern during winter and students need to eat well to excel in school and sports.  A friend recently told me I should investigate sheet pan roasted vegetables

“Roast everything on a sheet pan; it’s a game changer in our house,” she said.

I decided to do some research and experimentation.  Fast and easy, this method of cooking can make a meal on a busy weekday night interesting and tasteful.  Sheet pan roasted veggies are not only pretty to look at, but they are delicious and healthy! Paired with a chicken breast or a piece of fish, these veggies make a great side dish.

With the roasted veggies, I hit the jackpot!  My kids readily ate Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli, and carrots.  My daughter even took a picture of our vegetable creation and posted it on her Instagram.  That HAS to give me some cool mom status!

Some notable recipes I researched that look interesting include:
We tried the Eating Well recipe first, for no particular reason.  A word to the wise, give the cubes of butternut squash a head start for 10 minutes to soften in the oven before adding in the other veggies. The broccoli, peppers, and onion are naturally more tender than the squash and cook more quickly. That way everything ends up finishing at the same time.

Not only will you be satisfied with a healthy meal, but the pop of color on your plate will put a smile on your face!  Who knows, maybe your kids will even ask for seconds!

Until next time, eat well and be well,

Sally (and Lori)