Farm events and agritainment abound in Upstate
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Only 2% of people live on a farm or ranch in the US. Getting back in touch with agriculture can be as simple as visiting a few agritourism operations this summer.
While some are more commercialized than others, they can at least help children see where food is grown and how it gets to their dinner plates.
The following are only a few examples of farms open for visitors. In addition, stop at farm stands and farm stores to chat with farmers. Many are happy to show young people where their food comes from.
At www.pickyourown.org/NY.htm, look for “u-pick” farms where your children can harvest their own produce.
Indian Ladder Farms, 342 Altamont Road, Altamont, offers you-pick produce and goods in the farm’s market, including gifts, baked goods, food and beer and hard cider. Check the web page for special events.
Hurds Family Farm, 2187 state Route 32, Modena, offers you-pick produce, children’s games and activities, hayrides, cow train, farm animal petting zoo and café. Plan to make a day of it with your children.
Long Acre Farms, 1342 Eddy Road, Macedon, is the place to go in Western New York for family farm fun. Plan to spend a day with the children as they climb, bounce, ride and explore the many activities and piece of equipment in the children’s play area. But Long Acre is also fun for adults with the adjacent wine tasting room and farm store, bursting with produce, gifts and treats. The whole family can get lost in the Amazing Maize Maze, one of the region’s largest.
Kelkenberg Farm, 9270 Wolcott Road, Clarence Center, is a working livestock and horse farm that welcomes families for pumpkin picking, hayrides, visits with farm animals, picnics, farm tours and other hands-on activities. The farm also operates a market with baked goods and honey.
Lazy Acre Alpacas, 8830 Baker Road, Bloomfield, allows visitors to get up close and comfortable with these fluffy, gentle camelids. Farmers Mark and Sharon Gilbride offer farm tours and show how they care for their herd of fiber alpacas. Stop by the gift shop to pick up soft alpaca goods and gifts.
• The Apple Shed, 3391 Fairville Maple Ridge Road, Newark, provides both a farm market and summer through fall activities, like a hayride through the orchard (fall), play equipment, corn slide, and goats and chickens to visit. Pick up fresh-pressed sweet cider, baked goods and a light lunch.
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, 2708 Lords Hill Road (Route 80), Lafayette is second to none in CNY. Their sprawling campus features several buildings for buying apples, produce, food, gifts, and 1911 Established hard cider, spirits and wine. Both a shopping destination and (in season) a you-pick site, plan to spend a day at Beak & Skiff.
Our Farm, 1590 Peth Road, Manlius, offers fun for all ages with its petting zoo, you-pick pumpkin patch, corn maze, trebuchet and farm market.
Photo: The Apple Shed in Newark. Photo by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant.