Looking for a quintessential fall excursion? Here’s a tip: Head for a farm! A drive out to the country can make for a perfect afternoon escape or a weekend of fun while enjoying the fresh air, bright foliage and a much needed escape before the chill of winter arrives. Spend the day touring the farm’s many acres followed by a delicious picnic lunch and a visit to their market where you’ll find the freshest of everything from meats, honey, jams and flowers to seasonal fruits and vegetables such as apples and squashes, and of course pumpkins. So, if you’re thinking about baking a warm, crisp apple pie and searching for the perfect pumpkin to carve up for Halloween, you’re in luck!
Shaker Meadows, New Lebanon, NY
One such farm in the New York area is Fishkill Farms located in the Hudson River Valley region at East Fishkill. This family owned and run farm has passed through three generations. Along with berries, fruits, organically grown vegetables, and pasture-raised chicken and sheep, they own 40 acres of apple orchards of all kinds that grow in abundance at different points during the latter part of the year. If you arrive in late summer or early fall, you’ll be treated to Paulareds, Jonamacs, McIntoshes, Cortlands and more. Golden and Red Delicious, Mutsu, Jonagold and Empire reach full ripeness in October. Arrive late in the fall and you’ll find Romes, Idareds and Stayman Winesaps.
Walking around the market you’ll see squashes of differing shapes, sizes and varieties on display and in large crates for purchase. But, take a walk down the dirt path past a few of the apple orchards and you’ll find yourself in the pumpkin patch where people of all ages scurry around looking for their favorite – and taking pictures with it, too! You’ll be hard pressed not to find a pumpkin of your liking there. If you’re feeling tired after the long day, hop on the tractor ride back to the farm where you can share your finds with your fellow travelers.
Whether you’re looking to go apple picking or simply want to shop for farm fresh produce and other items, a farm visit can be both a treasure hunt and a welcome escape out to the country. Be prepared to do a lot of walking since there’s so much to see and do while you’re there. But after you take the first bite of that freshly baked apple pie or carve the scariness into your pumpkin prize, you’ll see that it was all worth it.
To see photos from a recent trip to Fishkill Farms visit our Facebook page!