Ithacash, new local currency, set to launch in May

"Ithacash" or "Ithaca Dollars" will go into use in May.

“Ithacash” or “Ithaca Dollars” will go into use in May.

An Ithacan reaches into his or her pocket. They are about to buy a movie ticket at Cinemapolis, but instead of grabbing a United States issued $10 bill, they reach for their phone. They pull up a new text message, which is linked to their online Ithacash account, type “Pay Cinemapolis 9.50” accompanied by their individual pin number and press send.

Ithacash or “Ithaca Dollars”, a new regional currency, will debut this May. Founder Scott Morris originally came to Ithaca in hopes of exploring what was happening with Ithaca Hours, a similar system that revolutionized local currencies when it launched in 1991.

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NYS maple producers face delayed start due to frigid temps and snowfall

Dan Beasley, of Sweet Trees Maple, hammers a tap into place.

Dan Beasley, of Sweet Trees Maple, hammers a tap into place.

Two men, dressed head to toe in Carhartt jumpsuits, trudge through knee-deep snow as powdery flakes fall steadily from the sky on a cloudy March Sunday morning. One, the son, carries a DeWalt power drill and plastic clear-handled hammer in hand, the other, the father, follows steadily behind.

This day will be just like any of the other three days the duo has been out in the woods this season. Snow fills their boots and the cold bites their faces, as they struggle to make it through the 17-acres of their 170-acre property, tapping trees for this year’s maple syrup season.

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Karl Vonderhyde hangs a pot

Cornell program receives new funding to support veteran-owned farms of NYS

Karl Vonderhyde hangs a pot

U.S. Army veteran and worker Karl Vonderhyde hangs a plant.

The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, a part of the Cornell Small Farms Program, was recently awarded a $712,500 grant through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The new funding will be used to create community-based resources for two underserved groups, veterans and “advanced beginners” who have been farming anywhere from four to seven years.

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