CORNING, NY – On February 23rd from 5-8pm, Corning Community College will become a bustling hub for food lovers during a special agritourism event showcasing locally-sourced foods. The event, Taste FLXpo, is part of a five-county collaboration entwining local agricultural producers with regional restaurants.
The collaboration brings together tourism promotion organizations and Cornell Cooperative Extension representatives from Tioga, Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, and Yates Counties in an effort to connect local farmers and restaurateurs in the development of the Finger Lakes Farm Country project.
“Bigger. Better. Different.” That’s how Stephanie Mehlenbacher from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County describes the Taste FLXpo event which replaces the popular “Locally Grown Food Festival” that focused mostly on the winter bounty from Steuben County farmers. As part of the new Finger Lakes Farm Country initiative, the new event has expanded into a regional program.
More than a typical winter farmer’s market, Taste FLXpo is an opportunity to meet farmers, learn about various foods grown in the area, as well as where and how to purchase those foods.
The Taste FLXpo is a local food and beverage festival open to the public and includes food trucks, cooking and pairing demonstrations, tasting samples of locally-grown foods, Finger Lakes wine and craft beverage tastings, and a farmer’s market where guests can purchase locally-sourced products. The Taste FLXpo will feature approximately 50 local farmers, chefs, and beverage producers inside the Corning Community College Commons Building.
Take advantage of the special advance ticket price of $5 which ends on 2/16/18 when the price will go back up to $10. Your ticket entitles you to admission to the event, plus food and beverage tastings, demos, and more. Purchase tickets at TasteFLXpo.com.
With small farms focused on everything from microgreens and wheat grass to those specializing in honey and maple production, from dairy and cheese farms, to meats, corn, grains, and hops, as well as grape growers and wineries, the Finger Lakes has long been an agricultural region.
The expansion of craft beverage trails, like the Craft Your Adventure Trail which currently has over 30 beverage producers, has led to more and more collaborations between farmers, farm brewers, and farm distillers. The intention of the Finger Lakes Farm Country initiative is to explore other ways local agricultural producers might grow and sell their wonderful products to ensure not just their success, but hopefully their continued growth.
This exciting, new Taste FLXpo event is actually the second part of a full day of agritourism events, as the Finger Lakes Farm Country Conference will take place prior to the expo from 8am-4pm. The Finger Lakes Farm Country Conference is intended to help local farmers and agricultural producers grow their farm businesses with new markets and opportunities.
Both events are being sponsored by Taste NY which will have a presence at the conference (presenting and as part of a panel) and at the expo.
“Food is such an important component to travel now,” said Costello. “If you don’t have a solid culinary experience, visitors will consider another destination. Taste FLXpo will help us to get the word out about how deep our agricultural roots go and how uniquely our chefs and value-added producers have put those local agricultural products to work creating their art.”