Eat Drink Local Profile #14: Cayuga Pure Organics

Wheat berries running through the mill at Cayuga Pure Organics; courtesy of cporganics.com

The Company:

Cayuga Pure Organics

What They Do:

If you’ve limited your local lexicon to produce and animal products, consider your pantry now complete—as locally-grown beans, flours and grains are on the rise.

The latter come organic from this Finger Lakes-area growing and distribution company founded by long-time farmers Erick Smith and Dan Lathwell in 2003. They work with local Finger Lakes farms to package seven different types of stone-ground artisanal flours (including whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, rye, polenta), five different dry beans (pinto, black, red, soy) and six grains (farro, buckwheat, barley, oats). They also grow their own specialty and heirloom beans like adzuki and canellini, and rare grains like freekheh, an unripe wheat with an earthy nutty flavor.

Why We Love Them:

We first fell in love with Cayuga Pure Organics–smitten over a bowl of handmade emmer wheat garganelli courtesy the chef at I Trulli, in fact–because their products are so incredibly good-tasting and complexly flavored. But we also dig that their product is made right here in-state under organic, sustainable farming practices, and that their business model is designed to improve conditions for their planet, their community, their industry and their crops in this state. (In fact we covered the growth of local grains in the fall 2010 issue.) Smith and Lathwell two have been in the biz since the ’70s, and they’ve made sure to do things right: proper crop rotations, bio-diesel fuel, on-site composting, and absolutely no pesticides, artificial fertilizers or genetically modified organisms allowed.

Where To Find Them:

Cayuga can be found at city Greenmarkets, including Union Square, as well the New Amsterdam Market, and even some local specialty food shops like the market at ABC Kitchen. You can also buy their product online at shopcporganics.com. And if you happen to be upstate near Brooktondale, they’d be happy to show you around the farm—just set up a tour through [email protected] or give a ring at 607-793-0085.

From September 26th to October 6th Edible Manhattan, Edible East End and Edible Brooklyn — in conjunction with Edibles statewide and GrowNYC — present Eat Drink Local week, our celebration of the local food chain through heirloom vegetable auctions, wine tastings, DIY challenges, lectures, garden tours, farm to table dinners and countless other events. Over the next few weeks we’re highlighting a few of the restaurants, wine shops and wineries, breweries and beer bars, farms and food artisans and cultural institutions that the week is meant to celebrate.

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