BALLSTON SPA — On the last weekend in September, Ballston Spa’s Fifty South and Saratoga Springs’ One Caroline Street Bistro are both supporting local, organic food and farming by donating a percentage of their evening revenue to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY). Currently 14 restaurants around the state have signed on to donate a portion of their proceeds to NOFA-NY. The fundraising event is part of the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge, a month-long challenge to inspire awareness and action in eating locally and organically through events and activities held around the state and online.
Owner Kim Klopstock opened Fifty South after living sustainably for 30 years on a 7-acre farm with her family. The restaurant now uses practices like sourcing its ingredients locally, composting, and recycling and repurposing.
“I wanted to make sure that these personal ideals and convictions were honored not only in my personal life but my business life as well,” Klopstock said. “Community and sustainability are the heartbeat of what we are about—keeping it local as much as possible, realizing that sometimes local can mean in our state, in our region and in our country, rather than just within a designate mileage of where we live,”
Fifty South sources from area farms including Kilpatrick Family Farm, Argyle Cheese and Minglewood Farm.
“It has been a treat to see the slow food movement grow as well as the popularity of the farmers markets. Who would have ever thought it would be chic to shop at the farmers market and to eat at a farm to table restaurant?” Klopstock asked.
Run by the Pedinotti family, One Caroline Street has been operating in Saratoga Springs for almost 20 years, and using local produce has always been part of the family’s mission.
“My dad is a pioneer in that he has always supported local farms,” said Elizabeth Pedinotti-Haynes. “Even before there was a farmers market in Saratoga, we would drive out to the farms to pick up food.”
The menu at One Caroline changes daily based on the availability of organic locally sourced ingredients.
“We have a vegetarian farmers market special and a market salad on our menu, and we shop directly at the farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday for the ingredients for those dishes,” Pedinotti-Haynes said. “The chef really likes that part of his job; it’s creative and he enjoys interacting with the farmers.”
The goal of the Locavore Challenge has always been to connect consumers with their local organic farmers and to encourage local consumption and education. This year, NOFA-NY is expanding the challenge, hoping to strengthen communities through local collective initiatives and encourage engagement in state and federal policy change that supports local organic food and farming.
“The Locavore Challenge is an opportunity to celebrate the bounty of New York’s organic and sustainable farmers as well as to grow the movement of consumers seeking local organic food,” said NOFA-NY Executive Director Kate Mendenhall. “I am thrilled that hundreds of people across the state will join in this celebration and mobilize positive change in food policy. I encourage community members to support restaurants who source from local organic and sustainable farmers on the evening of the Harvest Dinner and into the future.”
Harvest Dinner at Fifty South: Sunday, September 29 from 5 - 9 p.m. 2128 Doubleday Avenue, Ballston Spa and 20 percent of proceeds to NOFA-NY.
Harvest Dinner at One Caroline Street Bistro: Sunday, September 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. 1 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 20 percent of proceeds to NOFA-NY.
Sponsoring the challenge are Once Again Nut Butter and “Edible New York” magazine.