Eddie Brennan on Beak & Skiff: Family Orchard to Tourist Destination

The Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library are delighted to announce our April 2021 event, an evening with Eddie Brennan, President and Co-Owner of Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards. Mr. Brennan will share the story of how this fifth-generation business evolved from a small family farm into regional producer of award-winning ciders, spirits, and wine, and, finally, to a polished, publicly-acclaimed tourist and event destination. Beak & Skiff’s transformation is at the heart of all that makes Central New York agriculture great, and is a shining exemplar of Central New York’s entrepreneurial ethos. A brief Q&A will follow Mr. Brennan’s discussion.

This event will be held on Thursday, April 8th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUqfu2gqzovGdS_NJqXGc-WN3bPJ-O9ljVN

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About Beak & Skiff

Beak & Skiff has been growing apples for over 100 years. The operation began in 1911 when George Skiff, an onion farmer on the North Side of Syracuse, and Andrew Beak, a dairy farmer, met at the farmers market and decided to join forces and enter the then emerging apple business. They found that the hillside area along Route 20 provided the perfect conditions for growing apples and began planting that very year.

For most of the 20th century, Beak & Skiff was strictly a wholesale apple producer, selling apples to grocery stores such as Victory and A&P. It was throughout this first phase of the business that they developed the culture of creativity and innovation that would set the stage for where the business is today. At first, this culture manifested itself in technological innovations around protecting and increasing the yield of their apple crop. In 1975, the business turned outward for the first time, opening its doors to the public as one of the nation’s first pick-your-own orchards. This was followed a few years later by the conversion of an old dairy barn into the Apple Hill Country Store and the beginning of Beak & Skiff’s foray into cider production. It was during this time that a visit to the orchard first became a fall tradition for many Central New York families.

In 2001, Beak & Skiff launched their 1911 Established line of Hard Ciders, catching a nascent cider revival that was soon to sweep the country. Before long, 1911 Established ciders were available in stores, restaurants, and bars across New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The success of their hard cider line led to a jump into wine and the spirits business via the launch of 1911 Spirits small batch premium vodka and gin and later brandy and bourbon. In 2013, Beak & Skiff renovated their Apple Hill Campus, transforming it into a major regional agrotourism destination and event venue.

Today, Beak & Skiff is in their fifth generation of family ownership and continuing to innovate. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the 1911 Spirits distillery switched over to the production of hand sanitizer which was ultimately sold and donated across Central New York. 2020 also saw the launch of Beak & Skiff’s industrial hemp and multi-product CBD business

Hyatt Green on COVID-19: Predicting the Next Outbreak

The Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library are delighted to announce our January 2021 event, an evening with SUNY ESF professor Hyatt Green, whose novel approach to wastewater monitoring is currently being used as an early warning system for the next major outbreak of COVID-19 in Onondaga County. Battling COVID-19 requires rigorous testing. Testing, if it is to succeed, requires the close coordination of microbiologists, public health officials, and operational technologists. Professor Green’s cutting-edge wastewater monitoring project unites these fields. Its blend of microbiology and biotech provides local governments and public health officials with a non-invasive method for detecting the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community—a method that may just be able to contain the next outbreak before it spreads. You won’t want to miss this incredibly topical event. A brief Q&A will follow Professor Green’s presentation.

This event will be held on Thursday, January 14th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrdeyqrTIuHdAtO64QbJTKanSoJNNbhthH

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About Hyatt Green

Hyatt Green is an assistant professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He holds a PhD in Microbiology from Oregon State University, and has been published in numerous scientific journals, including Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Environmental Science and Technology. His research looks at molecular microbial ecology, water quality and microbial source-tracking, microbial dark matter, and eDNA and molecular ecology.

In April 2020, Professor Green and his research team began developing a method to monitor wastewater for evidence of COVID-19. The New York State Department of Health awarded Professor Green $500,000 in funding to pilot a statewide coronavirus transmission early warning system. They are currently monitoring wastewater systems in 11 counties across New York State, including Onondaga County.

Missed our last event? Watch the video!

The Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library are excited to announce that our virtual events will now also be accessible after the event in video form.

Missed Michael Streissguth and his presentation on City on the Edge: Hard Choices in the American Rust Belt? Watch the video below!

Announcing a New Partnership and a Fall Event!

The Strathmore Speakers Series is excited to announce a new partnership with our friends and neighbors at Onondaga Free Library! The Speaker Series and the Library will be working together to bring you the same great content you’ve come to expect… virtually!

We are delighted to announce that this partnership will launch with an event featuring journalist, professor, filmmaker, and longtime Syracuse and Strathmore resident, Michael Streissguth, as he discusses his most recent book City on the Edge: Hard Choices in the American Rust Belt. Following the stories of five Syracuse residents—a young survivor of the streets, a refugee from Cuba, an urban farmer, a community activist, and a city elder—City on the Edge offers insight into the reasons why individuals chose to remain in a struggling metropolis. In this lecture, professor Streissguth will examine these motivations and will take us on a deep dive into the social, political, and cultural challenges confronting Syracuse today. A brief Q&A will follow professor Streissguth’s discussion.

This event will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2020 on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcofu-rrj8qHtVIu9g5XUvijcp1WDf_Ckpt

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About Michael Streissguth

Michael Streissguth is a professor in the Communications and Film Studies Department at Le Moyne College, where he teaches courses on Mass Media, Film, Writing and English Literature. His work has also been featured in numerous publications, including the Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Rolling Stone, and the Irish Times. He is the author of eight books, including Johnny Cash: The Biography, and the producer of two documentary films, Record Paradise and Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (2008).

Dr. Colin Beier on Climate Change

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce our November 2019 event, an afternoon with Dr. Colin Beier. Dr. Beier will explore the science and evidence behind our changing climate. He will discuss near and long-term solutions for managing this change and the implications of failing to manage it.  This event will be held on Sunday, November 10th at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

About Colin Beier

“My work recognizes that humans are integral parts of the Earth system, capable of both inducing rapid and irreversible changes, yet also providing careful stewardship that fosters the adaptive capacity of the Earth’s ecosystems.” – Colin Beier

Colin Beier, PhD, is a father, a husband, a student and teacher of the natural world, and an associate professor at SUNY ESF.  He is a broadly trained ecologist interested in the fate of forest ecosystems and landscapes – including people and our economic, political, and cultural institutions – in a rapidly changing world. His current work is focused on monitoring ecosystem impacts of climate change in the Adirondacks, developing a statewide forest carbon inventory and monitoring program for New York, and leading a new ESF initiative in ‘Pathways to Net Zero Carbon’ that will integrate science and design to address our critical challenges and opportunities at the nexus of land use, energy systems, and climate change.

Dr. Jana Shaw on The Rise of the Anti-Vaccination Movement: Why Should You Care?

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce our October 2019 event, an afternoon with SUNY Upstate’s Dr. Jana Shaw who will explore the rise of vaccine hesitancy and why it should matter to you. This event will be held on Sunday, October 20th at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

About Dr. Jana Shaw

Dr. Jana Shaw is an immunization content advisor with expertise in the area of vaccine refusal and 17 years of experience providing primary and specialty pediatric care. Dr Shaw is an Associate Professor at the Department of Pediatrics at the SUNY Upstate Medical University with training in pediatric infectious diseases, public health and immunology from the Johns Hopkins University and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Dr. Shaw’s research has focused on identifying populations at-risk for undervaccination, with a particular focus on undervaccination and school systems in the United States. Findings from her research have been disseminated through presentations at national and state meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Shaw has previously collaborated with the numerous public health and academic institutions on variety of vaccination coverage improvement projects such as Center for Disease ControlUniversity of Albany, the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins and the New York State Department of Health. Her expertise also extends beyond the national borders. She has collaborated with public health professionals in New Zealand to search of ways to enhance coverage in a country without immunization laws.

Announcing the Spring 2019 Season!

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce its Spring 2019 season!

Our first event will take place on Thursday, March 14th at 7 pm and feature scientist Dr. Donald Siegel who will examine the dismissal of facts in science-related decision making.

Our second event of the spring will take place on Thursday, April 11th at 7 pm and will feature Dr. Keith Bybee, who asks “Is civility dead?”

Our third and final event of the spring will feature Dr. Ednita Wright who will examine the root causes of the opioid epidemic in America and consider what it means for individuals and families dealing with addition. This event will be held on Thursday, May 16th at 7 pm.

As usual, the events will be held at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. They are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Children’s Book “The Silent Nightingale”

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce the our November 2018 event, a family-focused afternoon with illustrator Erin Nowak and author Lamis Solaim who collaborated on the new children’s book, “The Silent Nightingale.”  This event will be held on Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

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About Lamis Solaim

Lamis Solaim is a New York City-based writer and Child and Adolescent Psychologist specializing in global mental health. Together, with illustrator Erin Nowak, Solaim will do a reading of her recently published dual-language children’s book “The Silent Nightingale,” written in both English and Arabic. The book was inspired by a time-honored Arabic poem by Maruf al Rusafi, commonly sung by Iraqi children in the 50s and 60s. Lamis earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University, an M.A. in applied child development from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the United Kingdom’s Royal Holloway University of London.

About Erin Nowak

Erin Nowak is a Strathmore resident and creator of whimsical illustrations. A graduate of Alfred University with a bachelor of fine arts focused on graphic design and printmaking, Nowak created the illustrations for “The Silent Nightingale” with a layered mix of watercolor and digital painting. The freelance graphic designer is an employee of the Syracuse City School District and lives in the Strathmore neighborhood with her husband and three children. Her work can be found at Wildflowers Armory in Syracuse and at erinmckennanowak.com.

Syracuse: Bridging our Differences with Empathy and Storytelling with Dr. Emad Rahim

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce our October 2018 event, an evening with refugee, author, educator, and entrepreneur, Dr. Emad Rahim. Dr. Rahim’s talk, “Syracuse – bridging our differences with empathy and storytelling,” will be held on Thursday, October 25th at 7 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

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About Dr. Emad Rahim

Dr. Emad Rahim is a Khmer-American, survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields. His story was turned into the short documentary “Against the Odds,” a 2016 Bronze Award Winner at the F.A.M.E.’US International Film Festival and adapted into a Syracuse Stage theater production titled ‘Tales from the Salt City,’ which is an extension of the acclaimed Undesirable Elements series written by celebrated playwright and Presidential National Medals of Arts Award recipient, Ping Chong. He has been featured in the Huffington PostForbes MagazinePost-StandardVICE, Rutgers’ The Humanist and CEO Magazine, and interviewed on the BBC, NPR, StoryCorps, PBS and multiple podcast shows.  He is an award-winning author, educator, entrepreneur, Fulbright Specialist and TEDx Speaker.

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