The fields at Shaul’s Farms in Fultonham are full of thriving crops and owner Dave Shaul talks hopefully about a good growing season.
Memories of the summer of 2011 when Tropical Storm Irene hit the region are still fresh in his mind, though — the crops he lost, the fields filled with flood debris and the months of excavation work needed to make the land farmable again.
This week, some of the vegetables growing in his reclaimed fields will be donated to help those still suffering the effects of the devastating storm.
The produce will be used as part of Saturday’s Bounty of the County Chefs’ Dinner to benefit Schoharie Area Long Term, Inc., the lead agency coordinating flood recovery efforts for those affected by tropical storms Irene and Lee in the Schoharie Creek Basin and surrounding area.
To date, SALT has raised $1 million to assist in recovery efforts, but there is still more work that needs funding.
“It’s almost two years out and yet we still do have families that aren’t back in their houses, so we’re looking at needs that range anywhere from places that need to be complete rebuilds from the ground up to places that need water or septic issues resolved so they can get back in a house,” said Sarah Goodrich, SALT’s executive director. “One of the challenges as you move forward in the recovery effort is that the further you get into it, the more complex and more expensive the situations are. And so that’s why they’re still left, but also why we still are very anxious to have continuing funding help, because we really can’t do it alone.”
The Bounty of the County dinner will pair the produce, meat, baked goods and dairy products made in Schoharie County with some of the region’s most accomplished chefs. The result will be a six-course dinner held Saturday evening at the Carrot Barn on Route 30.
Organized by the Albany Chefs’ Food and Wine Festival Board of Directors, the Bounty of the County Event Committee and SALT, the event is anticipated to raise $50,000.
Proceeds will be dedicated to SALT’s summer rebuilding program.
Attendees won’t know what culinary delights await them until they arrive at the event.
“We know it will be good. We know it will be featuring local products and honestly, you can’t miss with this lineup of chefs,” Goodrich said.
Participating chefs include: Ric Orlando of New World Bistro Bar and Restaurant in Albany; Yono Purnomo of Yono’s in Albany; Chris Faraci of Carmen’s Cafe in Albany; Sarah Fish of The Hungry Fish Cafe in Troy; Marla Ortega from Illium Cafe and Wine Bar in Troy; Justin Engineri of Portofino’s Italian Ristorante in Latham; and Dale Miller of Sperry’s in Saratoga Springs.
Farms contributing their wares to the effort include: the Carrot Barn; Wellington’s Herbs and Spices; Barber’s Farm; Bohringer’s Fruit Farm; Shaul’s Farms; Mariaville Farms; West Wind Acres; Parsons Farm; and Sunnycrest Orchards.
Chefs may also use fresh lamb from Hessian Hill Farm in Schoharie as part of the dinner. Jess Goblet, who runs the 350-acre livestock farm with her family, said their business was spared the wrath of Irene, but friends and extended family members who live and farm in the Schoharie area were not so lucky, so she and her family are happy to contribute to the recovery effort.
“It’s a rural town. Everybody is connected in one way or another and agriculture is one of the largest industries in the county and in New York state. Economically, we depend on each other,” she said.
Goblet also helped to plan the Bounty of the County Artisan Market and Country Brunch scheduled for Sunday, which will raise additional funds for SALT.
At a glance
Bounty of the County Chefs’ Dinner to benefit Schoharie Area Long Term, Inc.:
WHEN: 5 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Carrot Barn, 5605 Route 30, Schoharie
COST: Honorary Committee ticket, $150; regular gala ticket, $125; junior gala ticket, for those under age 35, $90.
The dinner will include six courses.
Tickets on sale through Thursday. For information or to purchase tickets, visit saltrecovery.org/bocdinner or call the SALT office at 702-5017.
Bounty of the County Artisan Market and Country Brunch to benefit SALT:
WHEN: Locally sourced brunch, Sunday 10 a.m. to noon; artisan market, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Lasell Hall lawn, 368 Main St., Schoharie
COST: Brunch, $12; artisan market is free
uThe event will also feature live music, food from local restaurants and a petting zoo.