We are very fortunate that fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available at our but, there is something special about visiting the place where the produce is cultivated and harvesting your very own.
Many of our traditions and practices, including the beginning and end of the school year, and the scheduling of elections on a Tuesday in November (after the harvest) so that farmers had time to travel on Monday after a day for church attendance, emerged from our agrarian heritage.
These nearby farms that provide a window in to the past, and a path to our future, encourage visitors to come and pick their own crops.
Nature is fickle (we of course, are not). You must contact the farmer as close to the time that you plan to make your trip so that you have up-to-the minute information about availability, conditions, costs and rules.
Amawalk Farm (certified organic): Raspberries are nearing the end for this season. A picking session is scheduled for this Saturday, July 23 at 11 a.m. Tomatoes are ready now. Amawalk’s fall berries are described as loaded with blossoms and will be ready for picking in about two-and-a-half weeks. Amawalk’s farm stand is abundant with heirloom tomatoes, garlic, swiss chard and fresh curt zinnias and sunflowers. The Millers also offer weekend hayrides. 42 Wood St., Katonah. 914-245-2319; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center is a working crop farm and environmental educational center promoting sustainable living practices. The site had been a dairy farm since the beginning of the 17 century. It was purchased by Westchester County in 2003, after the last of Holsteins were sold at auction, for watershed protection and agricultural education. There are demonstration models for backyard farming, rainwater harvesting, composting and “greenroof” technology. Crops that are likely to be available for the picking include basil, carrots, chard, cucumbers, fennel, kale, leeks, scallions and numerous herbs. There are also a limited quantity of calendula, marigolds, snapdragons, sunflowers and zinnias. 1271 Hanover St., Yorktown Hts. 914-962-2368; email@example.com.
The folks from Mead Orchards attend the , Ossining and Tarrytown farmers' markets each Saturday. Their produce is grown on their 180-acre family-owned and operated fruit orchard and vegetable farm located in Tivoli, in the heart of the Hudson Valley. They like our communities so much, that they invite you to visit them and pick some of your own. They anticipate blueberries and early peaches to be available at the farm this Saturday and Sunday—July 23 and 24—from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Mead Orchards is located off Route 9, north of the Red Hook traffic circle. 845-756-5641.
Lawrence Farms Orchards has announced its peaches, apricots and zucchini are ready for the picking. There may also be plums, red, white and black currants and gooseberries. Lawrence Farmers also bakes on premise and offer a selection of preserves from the prior harvest. This is an strict no dogs or other pets allowed farm. 39 Colandrea Rd. Newburgh. 845-562-4268; firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you traveling out to the far ends of Long Island this weekend, there are a few pick-your-own picks to try when you are not on the beach:
Lewin Farms has been a family-owned and operated operation for four generations. This 1,100-acre farm positions itself as the first pick-your-own farm on Long Island. Lewin Farm has cultivated raspberries and blueberries for you to bring in this summer. You can also enjoy (but not pick) roasted corn while you are visitng. 812 Sound Ave. Wading River. 631-929-4327.
Patricia DiVello is the propritoer of Patty’s Berries and Bunches, which includes 20 acres with more than 24 varieties of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries that grow alongside her impressive (no-picking) flower gardens. Only blueberries are available this weekend. 410 Sound Ave., Mattituck. 631-298-4679; email@example.com.