“Saturday Night Live” recently aired a sketch parodying farm markets in Upstate New York. The scene poked fun at apple picking, petting zoos, haunted hayrides, and other activities popular during the fall season. The sketch went viral and got a lot of laughs, including from many farmers.

We sit down with local farmers to break down the sketch: we discuss their take on the jokes, do a little fact checking, and we talk about the impact the fall season has on their businesses. Our guests:

The Summer of Food on Connections continues with a look at our food system, from the farmers to our plate.

Our guest is the founder of the Headwater Food Hub, which is working toward a fully sustainable local system. What would that mean? How are they supporting small farms? We find out. In studio:

  • Chris Hartman, founder of Headwater Food Hub

What is a real CSA? Some local farmers feel that once the local food movement became popular, a lot of businesses have started calling themselves a CSA without really following the original ideas, putting actual CSA farms at risk of losing customers. In other words, your CSA might not really be a CSA, and smaller farms could be hurt by this.

We talk to several local farmers, including a woman who has created a charter to define what a CSA is -- just in time for CSA Day on Friday. Our guests:

Local farms are uniting to bring more people into their CSAs. Soon enough, we'll see asparagus leading the spring crop, and CSAs will be in full swing.

Our panel explains how CSAs work, how they've grown, and we talk about how building community gives CSAs an opportunity to talk about a wide range of issues that impact farms. Those include why local food can be healthier for consumers as well as the environment, why teaching your kids where their food comes from is important, and what climate change is doing to local farms. Our guests:

We’re talking Farm to Fork in Rochester with a new collaboration among the Public Market, the Westside Market, and the South Wedge Market. The goal is to promote the markets – and local food – more directly surrounding the markets. Ideally, this brings in more people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We'll dive into this new collaboration with our guests:

What do you know about the chicken you eat? Two weeks ago, the NY Times' Nick Kristof wrote a devastating takedown of the false advertising on behalf of Perdue. Turns out that "cage-free" means nothing, and most Perdue-contracted operations result in horrific conditions for the chickens. 

 So we wanted to know: Are there any locally raised chickens that live in much more humane conditions? The answer is: yes, but not many. We've reached out to Wegmans about their standards, too.  Our guests are:Denis Lepel, Lakestone Family FarmTim Haws, Autumn's Harvest FarmsFred Forsburg, Honeyhill Farm