Midsummer in the Valley: Besides warm, lazy days and starry nights, this season brings with it a bumper crop of fresh produce, meat, cheese, and other comestibles — courtesy of our local farmers. Three events taking place this month celebrate the region’s food producers — and you’re invited to attend.
Columbia County’s third annual Friends of the Farmer Food Festival is a daylong tribute to local growers. Restaurateurs, chefs, winemakers, distillers — and, of course, farmers — offer all manner of food and drink for attendees to sample and purchase, while music and activities for kids keep everyone entertained. Funds raised at the fest are slated to help support the education of the Valley’s next generation of farmers. July 20, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $20, $10 youth 11-17, 10 and under free. Copake Country Club, Copake; 518-325-9437; www.friendsofthefarmer.com
On the west side of the Hudson, the Shawangunk Wine Trail hosts Bounty of the Hudson, its yearly summer wine festival. Close to two dozen wineries offer several varieties of red, white, and dessert wine — as well as cider — to swirl, sniff, and sip. The Brykill and Kiernan farms, both located in Gardiner, are expected to be on hand; guests have the unique opportunity to taste food and wine produced in the same type of soil and climate conditions, taking the concept of “terroir” to a new level. July 27-28 from 12-5 p.m. Call or visit Web site for ticket info. Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery, Gardiner. 845-256-8456; www. gunkswine.com
Purveyors and eateries join forces for the Chef & Farmer Brunch, organized by the North East Community Center in Millerton. Local farmers donate the vittles, which are prepared by chefs from area farm-to-table restaurants; the result is a savory, fresh-from-the-fields menu. Millerton restaurants like Number 9 and Manna Dew, and suppliers such as Amazing Real Live Cheese of Pine Plains and Herondale Farm in Ancramdale, are all participating. One of the event sponsors is none other than celebrity chef (and Red Hook resident) Mario Batali. A pig roast and barn dance follow the brunch; proceeds from both events benefit food-friendly NECC initiatives such as the Millerton Farmers Market and the Webutuck middle school’s garden and cooking clubs. July 28; brunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m., pig roast/barn dance 1-5 p.m. $50 brunch, $25 pig roast, $65 for both. Silver Mountain Hay Barn, Millerton. 518-789-4259; www.neccmillerton.org