The spotlight shines on Rockland County’s farms and agricultural projects during September’s Farm To You Fest 2012.
The Rockland Farm Alliance (RFA) hosts the Rockland County Farm Tour on Sunday, Sept. 30. The countywide event will offer an educational experience for all ages to raise awareness of farms and agricultural projects within Rockland.
Starting at tour headquarters, RFA’s first farm project, in New City, visitors will receive a map of participating locations and a schedule of events throughout the county. Included on the self-guided tour are Rockland’s only dairy farm, orchards, micro-farms, local nurseries that have operated for generations, home gardeners who sustain themselves with their harvest, and more. Workshops, tours, cooking demonstrations and children’s activities will run throughout the day at Cropsey Community Farm.
Joining Cropsey Community Farm as part of the tour are: Bluefield Farm in Blauvelt; Hook Mountain Growers in Nyack; Piermont Community Garden in Piermont; Danny's Backyard Organics in Orangeburg; Van Houten Farms in Pearl River and Suburban Foragers in Congers. Additional locations include: Demonstration Gardens at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Stony Point; Duryea Farm at the Threefold Fellowship Community in Chestnut Ridge; Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge and Orchards of Conklin in Pomona.
“Rockland’s rich agriculture history is influential on a new generation of farmers and garden enthusiasts,” noted John McDowell, founder and president of Rockland Farm Alliance. “Our Farm Tour will make available the diversity of conventional and organic farms, community and demonstration farms and gardens, In fact, this is the first time in history that people will have access to the various farms in Rockland, including some that are not generally open to the public. There is a growing interest in this country in local food, and knowing your farmer or growing yourself is the best way to know where your food is coming from.”
The Farm Tour is self-guided and no reservations required. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. All-day admission is $20 per carload and $10 per bicycle/motorcycle with a $5 discount for RFA members. Proceeds will benefit Rockland Farm Alliance.
RFA formed in early 2007 as a grassroots organization that now has a broad-based community coalition of farmers, local and county officials and interested citizens. Its mission is to preserve, create and enhance sustainable food production in Rockland County, NY, while creating model small-scale farms that serve as outdoor classrooms for agricultural education. Discounted annual membership for the RFA will be offered at Cropsey Community Farm. For more information, visit www.rocklandfarm.org.