The Farm at Nanticoke Creek

  (Union Center, New York)
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Taste The Flavors Of The Finger Lakes This Weekend

Watkins Glen, NY (July 14, 2009) – The Finger Lakes Wine Festival presented by Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese, July 17-19, will feature several cooking demonstrations, culinary classes and wine seminars to educate and entertain people attending the festival. Nearly 20 classes, demonstrations and seminars will take place throughout the weekend at Watkins Glen International. All of these activities will be located on the second floor of the track’s media center. Same-day sign-ups will begin promptly at 10:00 AM in the media center, and attendees are encouraged to signup early as all activities have limited seating.

Culinary classes will feature the work of three local chefs as they present quick dishes utilizing regional ingredients. Chef Instructor Eric K. Smith of the New York Wine and Culinary Center, will join Chef Paul Mach of Penn College and a team of Cargill Chefs to teach attendees everything from pairing beer and food, and cooking with seasonal NYS ingredients, to utilizing Cargill Salts to add flavor to recipes.

Cooking Demonstrations will be presented by the Finger Lake Culinary Bounty. These six sessions will feature chefs from local wineries, restaurants and regional companies, who will prepare dishes that feature NYS ingredients or a Finger Lakes region wine pairing.

A variety of wine seminars will be presented by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. These seminars will teach attendees about a variety of topics, including pairing wine with cheese and chocolate, understanding the winemaking process, and provide a sampling of wines from across our great state.

Located in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country, the Finger Lakes Wine Festival presented by Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese, takes place July 17-19, 2009, and promotes New York wines and agricultural products. Over eighty wineries will be in attendance, in addition to a variety of vendors from across the country representing artisans, jewelers, culinary products, displays and wine accessories. The celebration kicks-off Friday evening, July 17, with fireworks, wine, and togas at Yancey’s Fancy Cheese Launch of the Lakes, and continues Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The festival encourages bus group participation and is coach friendly. Camping on Festival grounds, shuttle service to area hotels, and plenty of free parking are all available. For tickets and information, please contact the FLWF ticket office at 866-461-7223 or log on to the official Finger Lakes Wine Festival website at
The Recipe of the Day from Food and Wine Magazine:

Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches with Norton-Shiitake Sauce


  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  2. 6 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 4 scallions, minced
  4. 1 1/2 pounds shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  7. Coarsely ground black pepper
  8. 2 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
  9. 2 cups Missouri Norton or other dry red wine
  10. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  11. 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
  12. Salt
  13. 2 baguettes
  14. 2 pounds filet mignon, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  15. Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing


  1. In a large, deep skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add one-third of the minced garlic and all of the scallions and cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the shiitakes and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, thyme and 1 teaspoon of pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the shiitakes begin to brown, about 5 min-utes. Add the stock, wine and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until reduced to 1 cup, about 40 minutes. Stir the cornstarch slurry and whisk into the liquid. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt; keep warm.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Cut the baguettes into thirds and split the pieces lengthwise, taking care not to cut all the way through. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the remaining minced garlic and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Brush the garlic butter on the baguettes and sprinkle lightly with salt. Broil the bread, cut side up, for about 1 minute, until golden.
  3. Preheat a grill pan. Brush the tenderloin slices with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the meat in batches over high heat, turning once, until charred and medium-rare, about 5 minutes. Dip the meat in the mushroom sauce and arrange on the baguettes. Spoon the mushroom sauce on top, close the sandwiches and serve.

Serve With

    Yukon Golds with Shallot Butter.

Got Fruits and Veggies? Make wine!

With the growing season in full swing, you may find yourself with a surplus or maybe some "scratch and dent" produce. What to do with it?

Make Wine!


For over 10 years has been the internets' go to source for recipes and tips. I took a little hiatus from it last year, but found I missed it terribly. So this past week I gave it a gorgeous face lift, added recipes, made pdf help files and finally...the re-launch!

I welcome you to come and visit us at we have much to share and hope you'll find us to be your favorite source for home wine making. As always, you are welcome to share your recipes too!


Blueberry Season!

The Blueberry…behold its lovely blue outside and deep purple inside. You’re thinking pies aren’t you?


I know, I was too. Especially the Dorie Greenspan double crusted blueberry pie….mmm…BUT!!!

There are other things you can do with those berries! How about making some Blueberry Wine! Wine made from blueberries is rich, deep and luscious…it’s worth the effort, so make lots! Here is a recipe from our database:

ID: 35
Date: 19-Apr-2000
Name: Blueberry Wine
Category: Fruit

2 lbs. blueberries (fresh or frozen, fresh is best!)
7 pints water
1 3/4 lbs. sugar (I added 850 gr for 12% alcohol)
1 1/2 tsp. acid blend
1/2 tsp. pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp. energizer
1 Campden tablet, crushed
1/2 pt red grape concentrate to add before bottling
1 pkg. wine yeast

1. Select and prepare berries and strain out juice into primary fermentor.
2. Keep crushed berries in the juice, and stir in all ingredients except yeast.
3. Rest 24 hrs, covered.
4. Add yeast and stir daily.
5. Check SG and aid extraction by pressing pulp lightly. When the SG reaches 1.030 (I would recommend 1.015-1.020) strain juice into secondary and attach airlock.
6. When fermentation has completed (SG 1.000 or less), siphon off sediment into clean secondary and re-attach airlock.
7. To aid clearing, siphon every 2 months.
8. Before bottling, add 1/2 tsp. stabilizer and the concentrate.

There are a few other recipes too, so be sure to check out the new database (I am still adding recipes) here:

If you are new to wine making check out the tutorial and glossary while you are there, you can safe a PDF copy for yourself too.


Colleen Cheechalk - The Farm at Nanticoke Creek
Colleen is a

copyright 2009 - all rights reserved

Silkie Chickens Available

We have 5 Silkie Roosters available. Also some hens. Would prefer to pair these adorable and affectionate creatures. They are beautiful and are proven producers. They are a bit past one year old. The Roosters are $20 each and pairs are $35. Email for more information please.

copyright 2009

Why can't all grocers do this?

While I understand the whole concept of “bottom line” quite well, I also understand that a little compassion, empathy and a small helping hand can end up reaping benefits that far surpass a few dollars.

We have record unemployment right now, I will come right out and say that our family is struggling on a single paycheck too. Our paycheck is weather dependent too so those of you living in the Southern Tier can understand where I am going with that! Every penny counts and luckily I am good at stretching a food dollar. But during the winter months when there is no work and there is little that can be produced here at the farm, I feel the same sting that many of you are feeling right now.

I stumbled across a market in Syracuse this week, The Green Hills Market. Green Hills was dubbed “The Best Little Grocery Store in America” by Inc. Magazine, and for good reason…they found their niche and they have filled it completely. From local buying to gourmet delights, this store has it all. It is, by all definition, the store I would open if I ever found to desire to. But what makes this little grocery store unique isn’t it selection, or service. At least not to me. To me it is their commitment to their loyal shoppers. Most of us have a gamut of those little grocery mega-store key tags, but this is different…this is a store with heart.

Green Hills Market has a program called the Recession Assistance Program, and after completing a short form, folks collecting NYS Unemployment Benefits will receive an extra 10% off their grocery bill each week. There are some fine print details but in all, it is simple straightforward way to help their neighbors.  If I shopped in Syracuse I would make Green Hills my go-to market. Not just because of what they have, but for this commitment to their local community.

So my question is this, if Green Hills Market can do this…why can’t others? There are certain things we all need right? We need our groceries, gas for our cars, clothing and feed for our animals. So why aren’t we helping each other more?

Frankly I am so inspired by this that I am going to make an offer to MY neighbors. If you are collecting NYS Unemployment contact me. I don’t have tons to offer, but I would happy to work out something with you for discounted or free eggs and herbs. Maybe we can even barter to help each other out? We are huge supporters of our community and we know there are others out there too…why not help each other!

To visit Green Hills Market online, visit their website at


Katie Kisses

I had no doubt that Todd and Katie would be fast friends. I haven’t met and animal that didn’t love Todd, but seeing that Katie has some ghosts he was a bit extra doting…it paid off…


But now look…

I can’t help but feel they are plotting something. But they sure are cute doing it~


Some things I am quickly learning:

  • Mules are SO smart!
  • They are much more “sensible” than horses
  • They learn everything the first time, so you better be sure you do it right!
  • That my husband should have been a horseman from birth
  • That I love having these amazing beasts here on the farm
  • That what works for horses is not the best for mules
  • That Dumplin’ is REALLY little!

And most of all…that I love doing what I do. I love this little farm, I love my animals, I love my family and friends. I love working with the special needs kids, I love working with horse rescue. And I love being able to capture all these moments and share them with everyone who comes here each day to read about it all.

My life is good!

Colleen Cheechalk


Panko Crusted Roasted Red Potatoes

I have been trying some fun things around here lately when it comes to food. I have been in a rut, I know…me the food lady in a rut…and it hasn’t been pretty.

I was sitting here the other night craving fried potatoes. Friend potatoes are not my friend. First they are just plain old fattening, but the fat is also the foe of my gall bladder. Eating fatty things is not in my best interest these days. What to do, what to do…

I cut up the potatoes and stared at them for a while still undecided. Roasting is always good so I tossed them in some fresh chopped Rosemary, Thyme, Kosher Salt and Black Pepper and a little olive oil. Ho hum…still not exciting.

But then it hit me! Panko bread crumbs sprinkled on right before plopping them in the convection oven is a great way to get crunch… PERFECT!!! The Panko crumbs give a bit of crunch without deep frying. Just what I wanted!!! Excuse the pic, it was dark in the kitchen and my tripod was in the car.


Try it at home and let me know what you think. You could easily do the same with sweet potatoes too and that would yummy as well.


Finally...spring is really here!

Just when the cold upstate NY winters start to get you down, you go out to your coop and find something like this. 4 new white Silkie chicks just hours old. 



Giving Thanks

This year was year like no other. Really, I mean that. I never thought in a million years that our life would be what it is to today and what it continues to grow and evolve into.

We bought our little farm almost 10 years ago expecting it to just provide us with the some breathing room and fresh air after living in town for so long. We didn't expect that I would be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis nor that our little girl would be diagnosed with Autism. As we came to grips with all we had been dealt, we also learned...and learned...and learned. During or journey we came to find that our little piece of fresh and sunshine would instead become our saving grace in the face of life altering change.

We now raise heritage breed ducks and small flocks of heritage breed poultry. We grow Ark of Taste heirloom vegetables and herbs with abandon. Everything in our world is local and organic. As a small scale caterer, I am proud to be the only one locally (actually for many. many miles) that only offers locally grown, seasonal fare. We also head up Eat Local Southern Tier, an outreach to bring the food service community together with the producers and the community at large. We have met some incredible people along the way and so grateful for the wisdom that they share.We try to give back by sharing our day to day life, including recipes, photos, success and failures on our website. And now nearly 50,000 come each week to see what goes on...who would have thought...we never expected it in a million years!

This year something else happened that will leave us forever changed...we have made the decision to move our growing energies to something we feel strongly about, helping special needs children. We are so proud to announce that in the spring of 2009 we will break ground on The Childrens Garden here at our farm.

The Children’s Garden will be a place where children in pre-k through 3rd grade with special needs can come with their families, and in small groups, can dig their fingers into the dirt and participate in their very own garden. They will learn to weed, water, plant and enjoy the fruits of their labor! A vegetable and fruit garden and a flower and herb garden will be established for their enjoyment and education.

While the children are here they will enjoy learning about life on a small farm, from the care of small animals to the importance of preserving our Heritage Breeds. They will enjoy interacting with many small farm animals who live here, from the ducks and chickens to Dumplin’ the teeny tiny horse who is coming here from Sunkissed Acres rescue and retirement in GA.Two of our ducks and three of our chickens and Tito the dog, also from Sunkissed Acres, will become additions to the therapy animals.

This was a year like no other, we are so incredibly blessed there really are no words to express it. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us get to this place in our lives, friends, family, neighbors and fellow producers...we love you all more than you know!

 Colleen, Todd and Ally
The Farm at Nanticoke Creek
Union Center, NY 13760


What's new

As usual there are a million things going on around here. Some good, some not so good. I’ve been grappling with this flu-like thing that everyone has for almost a month now, and frankly, I’m really tired of it. Todd’s work is winding down for the season and he comes home tired, cold and in pain. Ally is busy as ever, and is working really hard at her A average and volunteering. The last of the summer vegetables have been picked, and now we look forward to meals rich with Kales and other great greens. I am STILL working on the fall and winter catering menus, and reservations for at home holiday baking are filling fast. As the weather turns colder I look forward to the holidays more and more and I’ve been planning our menus and thinking of gifts. Gifts come from the heart around here…no standing in line at Walmart at 3am. Most are hand made or come from artists and craftspeople. Starting next week I will be posting step by step recipes for food gifts that can be easily made at home. Of course we will do cordials and liqueurs, but I will also be sharing recipes for gorgeous chutneys, lovely cookies and beautiful wreaths. For those of you who love to print your own cards, I’ll have some amazing holiday card templates available for you as well as some gorgeous new designs I am offering through the studio. I look forward to spending the holidays with you and I hope that you will enjoy the many recipes, ideas and fun we will share. Come visit us at for the detials Colleen

Saturday on the Farm

I have some photos posted on our farm website, I hope you enjoy them. Here is the link:
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