2017-10-11 / Front Page

Wayside Cider Raises Funds to Purchase Cow For Andes Central

By Rosie Cunningham

ANDES - Wayside Cider in Andes believes students at Andes Central School should receive the farm-to-table experience.

“We hosted the Farm Catskills annual meeting and we learned about the cows to cafeteria program,” said Alex Wilson, who owns Wayside Cider alongside Irene Hussey. “So, we thought about it and decided to hold a fundraiser so that Andes Central School could be a part of the farm-to-table initiative.”

On Sept. 30, Wayside Cider hosted a barbecue for the public to attend and proceeds were slated to support both the purchasing and processing of a cow from a farm in Andes.

“A friend from Echo Orchard in Hamden donated a pig and other area farms donated corn and potatoes, while we catered the applesauce,” said Wilson. “We had a pig roast and those who attended paid $30 per plate. We also featured bands all day long and although I am unsure of the exact number, it was very well attended, everyone had a great time and it was just a lovely day.”

In conjunction, an auction of both local art and experiences was held as well.

“We exceeded the $2,000 needed,” said Wilson. “The figures from the auction are still coming in, we are at about $3,000 and I couldn’t be happier.”

According to the Wayside Cider website, Wilson and Hussey started in 2014 - hand picking apples and bottling cider and spirits at the 55 Redden Lane location in Andes. Wayside Cider is fortunate to have a orchard and nursery on High Meadows

Farm, in East Delhi. The farm, owned by John and Laura Hussey, got its start raising Suffolk Punch draft horses before expanding into other rare and heritage farm breeds. These days the horses are all but retired, and the farm has shifted its focus to pigs, breeding both Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spots. This works well for the cidery, as the pigs make an excellent waste management team, eating up all of our spent apple pressings.

“We really wanted to raise this money because we believe in good food and buying local - from both farms and businesses,” he said. “It’s a win-win, a local farm benefits, an area USDA approved processing center, the school due to already tight budgets and the students, because it is so much healthier for the children to get locally raised grass fed beef.”

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