With fall coming to a quick close and snow flurries blanketing campus, winter has finally arrived. If you are like me, you have already begun preparing for an annual hibernation, stocking up on Swiss Miss and holiday cheer. Along with us are the unsung heroes of our global food and environmental sustainability: the honey bees. Every winter, honey bee colonies prepare for the cold by forming tight clusters within the hive and slowly eating away the honey they worked so hard to produce all year long. Beekeepers find themselves busy insulating the hives and, most importantly, harvesting the excess honey from the fall flower blooms.
The process of harvesting honey is a simple, yet fascinating one.
Why do agricultural issues matter to young cosmopolites attending an Ivy League institution and who quite possibly are from a family in the top one percent? Besides being consistently ranked as one of the top agricultural schools in the country and the world, Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences conducts an enormous amount of research and outreach to help end food insecurity, combat climate change and, most recently, protect food production workers against COVID-19; just check out the litany of innovations here. Cornell is in a unique position to conduct its research; unlike many of its peers, it’s role as a land-grant institution informs its involvement in communities surrounding it. 43 percent of the counties in the Southern Tier are classified as rural. If you include upstate micropolities, such as Corning and Cortland, as semi-rural, that figure jumps to 57 percent.
The phrase Presidential Debate has become synonymous with “petty shouting match.” Ballot deadlines were extended and then revoked. Some Americans still haven’t received their absentee ballots, while others report “faulty” ballots that don’t list any presidential candidates at all. Everywhere we turn, it seems that there is new election news to lament and almost no way of letting out this stress while locked at home. The week before one of the most important elections of our lifetimes, Americans have never needed comfort food more.
Logically, we all know that a bowl of chicken soup or mac and cheese can’t actually solve any of the turmoil our country is currently going through. A bag of crunchy, salty chips won’t do the trick either, yet we still turn to these familiar foods to support us emotionally when everything seems like it’s a bit too much to handle.
Normally around this time of year, Americans would be gearing up for a night of chaperoning younger siblings around town, eating excessive amounts of chocolate and buying out the clearance candy from CVS on November 1st. I don’t really have to point out why things are a bit different this year.
The night of October 31, 2020 will be one filled with college students sitting pathetically in their rooms, accompanied only by a pile of empty candy wrappers and too much free time. As such, take a moment with me to remember better times: Look at how Halloween developed into the modern holiday we know and love, and catch a glimpse into what it may be like in years to come.
Between all of the holidays taking place around October 31 — El día de muertos, Halloween, All Souls Day — it can get confusing to trace down where one holiday ends and the other begins. Though all three of these holidays have interconnected roots, most scholars agree that Halloween’s past is connected to a combination of ancient Celtic and Christian traditions.
More than 2,000 years ago, when the Celts lived in modern day Ireland, the feast of Samhain (pronounced sow-win) marked the end of the harvest season as the community began preparations for the coming winter months. The symbolic “death” of a season and the reaping of crops prompted feasts and celebration, but also indicated that the space between the dead and the living was thinner than ever.
With fall’s arrival, there’s nothing more exciting than looking at new seasonal treats. It’s always been a joy for me to look at the innovative additions to restaurants’ and cafes’ temporary seasonal menu. So, I decided to visit local eateries and try out some of their seasonal items, focusing on pumpkin and apple. Collegetown Bagels — Pumpkin Bar
Starting off with this iconic treat, the pumpkin bar is a three layered dessert bar with a graham cracker base, cream cheese frosting in the middle and a layer of pumpkin spice cream cheese topped with whipped cream. The pumpkin bar looks nothing but delicious and offers a great variety of flavor.
Spooky season is officially upon us. It seems that out of nowhere the pumpkin spice lattes are being sipped, and fall foliage is blanketing campus. With Oct. 31 just around the corner, now is the time to start coordinating the perfect Tiger King inspired Joe exotic costume, or maybe keep things simple by repping your favorite team’s jersey. Tentatively, we purchase our costumes with one question in mind: Are Halloween festivities going to fall victim to the pandemic as we have seen with other holidays this year?
Opening a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic is crazy, and critics would say it’s impossible. Sitting inside of 2 Stay 2 Go during the soft opening just proves otherwise. Food is about bringing people together — something that’s been lacking in this technological, socially-distanced age. Most of us are spending all day in our apartments or dorms, staring at screens and lamenting the good old days when we used to be face-to-face and not mask-to-mask. The opening of a new Collegetown restaurant is exactly what students needed to pull them out of their hovels.
AppleFest, an Ithaca tradition, looked slightly different this year. Usually, the event boasts about 200 vendors with carnival games and every sort of apple-flavored treat imaginable. This year the event drastically reduced its capacity to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission and spread. Instead of the normal massive festival, Downtown Ithaca organized an “Apple and Cider Trail” as well as a small open air market. The trail directed attendees to different participating local businesses who were selling apple themed foods, drinks and gifts.
Daniel Jones ’22, a student in the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, came up with the idea to open a pop-up restaurant in Collegetown from Oct. 8 until Nov. 8, two weeks before I joined them for a full run-through of their menu. Jones was determined to keep the restaurant 100 percent student-run and operated, and not even a week later, he recruited his team from across the graduating classes at Cornell. Noah Horns ’22 and Bobby Dandliker ’22 are his co-executive chefs, Samay Bansal ’21) is acting as his president, Sabrina Sam ’22 is his pastry chef and Luke Verzella ’23 and Elin Atonsson ’23 are his marketing directors.
ByBenjamin Velani, Amelia Clute and Melanie Metz |
COVID Safety Report:
I was a little nervous going down to the farmers market this past weekend, as I have actively been trying to avoid public places since March (grocery stores and other necessary stops being the exception). But, when I got there, I didn’t see nearly as many cars as I have in past years, not to mention that it seems much of the foot traffic was locals. This apparent emptiness proved a fallacy as Amelia and I approached the entrance. Stretching from the front gate and all the way around the bend in the road was a line of market-goers, young and old, local and semesterly transplants. We walked to the end of the line, a good 250 yards long and for which it took us nearly an hour to get through.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many on-campus organizations, programs and facilities were forced to close their doors. Cornell’s student-run organic farm, Dilmun Hill, was among these many organizations heavily impacted. Each year, four to five student managers are hired to prepare for the planting season in early spring. They stay through the summer and fall to grow, harvest and distribute food produced on the 12-acre farm plot near the Cornell Orchards on Route 366. Unfortunately this year, because of the sudden undergraduate hiring freeze and other newly-introduced COVID-19 restrictions, Dilmun Hill stayed silent for many of the normally hectic growing months.