Take a farm tour and bring the bounty (and knowledge) of the local food movement to your table!
You can appreciate the work and natural resources required to produce your food, visiting with the animals and farmers, maybe even experience the ‘old ways’ farms were run before automation . . . all of this, plus being outdoors, makes for a delicious and fun day trip.
Why not start with some history? The Farmers’ Museum, founded in 1943 and one of America’s oldest rural museums, is a fascinating look inside a 19th century working farmstead and rural/village life. From butter molds to plows, it showcases early New York agricultural tools, equipment and bygone ways. For a modern perspective on healthy and sustainable food systems, Stone Barns Center trains farmers and educates children to improve the way America eats and farms. You can even enjoy a visit to a farm right near NYC: Queens County Farm Museum is the only working historical farm in NYC and the longest continuously farmed site in the state.
Your visit to Sprout Creek Farm could be a triple treat: it’s a working farm; a market to sell cheeses, meats and Hudson Valley products; and an educational center. At Stone & Thistle Farm, grass-fed meat, eggs and milk are produced onsite: you may dine there, stay at their B&B, and tour their family-run farm and Kortright Creek Creamery. Rulfs Orchard started small and now offers retail and wholesale crops, including pick-your-own strawberries, blueberries and pumpkins; apples, vegetables, bedding plants, and they operate a cider mill, bakery, greenhouses and a dairy farm too.
Tucker Farms, home of the Great Adirondack Corn Maze and TuckerTaters, is family-owned and operated just north of Lake Placid. Learn more at a farm tour or pick-your-own strawberries. Murphy Orchards offers agricultural and Underground Railroad Heritage tours, and has a Country Store, Tea Room and u-pick strawberries, among other fascinating delights. Visit Indian Ladder Farms in early spring for Baby Animal Days; sign up for Barn School Days during the summer months; or come for a tour, pick-your-own events or to visit their country store and café/bakery.
And, here’s a great story . . . A boy who won a blue ribbon for his sheep at the Dutchess County Fair grew up and owns the largest sheep dairy farm in the US, Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. You can visit the farm and the sheep and buy their award-winning cheese. Nettle Meadow Farm, in the Adirondacks, is a 50-acre goat and sheep dairy farm and award-winning cheese company plus it’s a farm sanctuary for happy animals – they welcome visitors with a love of animals and cheese. Another award-winning cheese maker, Catapano Dairy Farm, produces goat milk beauty products and soaps in the heart of North Fork Long Island wine country.
Take a tour, buy some New York State products, and discover more about the work these farmers do and its importance to all of us – what a yummy way to learn about local foods!
Catapano Dairy Farm – Peconic Long Island
Indian Ladder Farms – Altamont
Murphy Orchards – Burt, north of Lockport
Nettle Meadow Farm – Thurman
Old Chatham Sheepherding Company – Chatham/Columbia County
Queens County Farm Museum – Floral Park
Rulfs Orchard – Peru
Sprout Creek Farm – Poughkeepsie
Stone & Thistle Farm – East Meredith, The Catkills
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture – Poncantico Hills
The Farmers’ Museum – Cooperstown
Tucker Farms – Gabriels, north of Lake Placid