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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 8, 2011


Discover the Hilltowns with HHA’s inaugural farm and artisan tours

By Zach Simeone

HILLTOWNS — Local farms and businesses are gearing up to show the community what they are made of as the Helderberg Hilltowns Association’s farm tours draw closer.

With activities ranging from bread-baking demonstrations to guitar-building and woodworking, those who attend the tours will be guided through whichever farms or other attractions they choose. There are nearly 40 participants to select from.

“One of the advantages of this tour is, of course, going on the farms, seeing how the animals are fed, how they raise their crops, and what fertilizer they’re using,” said Zenie Gladieux, a member of the association since its inception last spring. “So, if people want to know about what they’re eating, this is a great way to go out and observe what is happening.”

The full schedule and list of locations and activities can be viewed online at www.Hilltowns.org.

“It’s our hope that we’ll be doing this every year — a first annual, as it were,” Gladieux said. “Gary Kleppel is doing a demonstration on oven baking with his breads, and a sheep dog demonstration. Usually what happens is, they will have a little enclosure, put the sheep out into a larger enclosure, and the dog is given a certain amount of time to round up the sheep and get them into the pen, usually with limited commands.”

Timothy Lippert will give a pasture walk of Crosby Farm on Bradt Hollow Road in Berne. Brett Pulliam will give a tour of his woodworking shop, where he builds guitars, cabinets, and timber frames. His daughter, Xena, will be selling homemade jewelry.

“Jean McLean is teaching how to sew, using materials you already have around the house, perhaps from other items of clothing or something, making quilts or what have you,” Gladieux went on. “And, we’re featuring various delis. Fox Creek Market and Medusa General Store, they’ll be available for people who need lunches, and the store in Medusa is actually having music.”

Gladieux thinks that, with the heavy damage sustained by Schoharie’s farms after Tropical Storm Irene, “The Hilltowns are going to step in to fill that gap.”

“The Helderberg Hilltowns Association’s mission when we got started was to make our farmers and small-business people more noticeable in the Hilltown community, and the community beyond the Hilltowns, and this was just kind of a way to do that,” Gladieux concluded. “We’ve done farm tours, the Cooperative Extension has done farm tours in the past, and we wanted to do tours of artists and crafters, and it just ended up in one big lump here. So, there’s something for everyone.”

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Visit www.Hilltowns.org for a complete list of attractions, with detailed descriptions, and a printable map.

The map includes the locations of gas stations, ATMs, and rest rooms. Maps are also available at the Bethlehem, Voorheesville, and Altamont public libraries, and at the Saddlemire Homestead on Route 156 in Knox.

All events are free to attend, but there will be donation jars at some locations.


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