PICK YOUR OWN: Fall Farm Fun by Alysse Robin
Due to Hurricane Irene, there may to some changes to the below info. Call ahead for details.
Farms are a distinguishing feature of the Hudson Valley, and what better season to experience the wide range of farm activities than the fall? There are enough farms and things-to-do on farms in the Valley this season that you can plan an outing every day and still have some unexplored adventures next year.
The fall is an extremely busy time for farmers. Their work turns from planting and tending to harvesting and working with the community. For many of them it is their favorite season, where they reap both the health, economic, and emotional benefits associated with harvesting their bounty.
We interviewed some of our local farmers about this harvest season and what to expect on their farms. We’d like to thank them for offering us this peephole into their lives on the fall farm.
At Hurds Family Farm in Modena they harvest the fun! According to Susan Hurd, “We do cartwheels to make this happen! Every year we brainstorm new activities and plant new crops to surprise and delight our guests. This season we are constructing a new mini-obstacle course for kids, inspired by a successful Rebel Race held on our property in June.” Visitors can also enter the mega corn maze and meet Mr. Amazing Apple, a comical character with important messages about exercise and eating healthy. Susan says, “We have expanded our nature discovery trails with some exciting visual and tech surprises—you’ll just have to come wander!” Susan describes how tasks shift during the fall: “The telephone starts ringing off the hook for group reservations—family reunions, campfire weenie roasts, youth group outings, and all those school groups. We also imagine, dream, and brainstorm new creative barn decor each fall. All of a sudden we’re in gear and multitasking BIG TIME!”
Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson is the largest u-pick operation in this region. Chris Kelder says he loves “seeing the fruition of the seasons’ long work develop.” He says work on the farm “moves from planting and nourishing to harvesting and distributing—not only to the public, but to the food pantries as well.” Traditions at Kelder’s Farm include the classic hayrides, corn maze, and the u-pick crops. See how things used to be done by visiting the display of Kelder’s Farm history at the farm. Kelder’s favorite thing about this season—“Seeing the child come out in all of us.”
The postcard Shawangunk Mountain view at Jenkins-Lueken Farm in New Paltz is one reason it’s a special farm to visit. In the fall, you’ll witness rolling hills of splendid yellow and red trees at the base of the steel-grey cliffs. After picking bags of your own apples off of a wide variety of tree species, enjoy the scenery from the corn maze. Eric James says, “Our corn maze changes every year and is free.” So head over and try out this year’s challenge!”
According to Danica Ferrante at Wallkill View Farms in New Paltz, “You can find every member of the Ferrante family working on our busy fall weekends, and that is my favorite part of our fall farm season, our whole family working together.” She asked others in her farming family their favorite thing about the fall and got a variety of answers. “My grandmother, Carol Ferrante, loves seeing the customers that return to our pumpkin patch season after season with their families. Many of them came here as children and now they bring their children. My father, Peter Ferrante, loves the fall colors and the different crops that the changing of the season brings. In the fall we harvest broccoli, cauliflower of many colors and varieties, brussels sprouts, and the very popular romanesco (a vegetable similar to broccoli and cauliflower but really like no other; it is a family favorite!).”
The Ferrante’s oldest farming tradition is their pick-your-own pumpkin patch, probably the oldest patch in the region. “We opened it 50 years ago to school field trips for the first time,” Danica notes. “We continue our tradition of hosting school field trips to this day. Our pick-your-own pumpkin patch is open every day in the month of October, and on October weekends we offer free hayrides through our pumpkin patch.” What’s new at the farm this year? Social networking! Danica says, “I have been quite active on Facebook this year, posting updates on what we are harvesting, sales and specials, and coming soon—Facebook giveaways!”
So whether you like to go to a scenic Hudson Valley farm to pick your own, ride on a hayride, or run through a maze…there’s something for everyone here! Check out the variety of pick-your-own farms with fun family activities this fall, and see how many you can get to!
APPLE BIN, Ulster Park
Pick-your-own apples in early October. Mainly Ida Reds, but other varieties available. Open 7 days from 7:30am to closing. Time varies according to season. 810 Broadway, Ulster Park. 845-339-7229. theapplebinfarmmarket.com.
APPLE HILL FARM, New Paltz
Pick-your-own begins after Labor Day weekend with MacIntosh, Cortland, and Opalescent apples and continues through September. October offers both apples and pick-your-own pumpkins until Halloween—plus a spectacular view of the Shawangunk and Catskill mountains. Don’t forget to bring your camera. 124 Route 32 South, New Paltz. 845-255-1605. applehillfarm.com.
BARTHEL’S FARM MARKET, Ellenville
Apples and pumpkins from local growers. 8057 Route 209, Ellenville. 845-647-6941
BARTON ORCHARDS, Poughquag
Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Open 9am to 5pm. Free hayrides, a corn maze, and petting zoo. 63 Apple Tree Lane, Poughquag. 845-227-2306. bartonorchards.com.
BURD’S FARM STAND, Kerhonkson
Pick-your-own late tomatoes and peppers, beans, herbs, flowers, and pumpkins all the way until frost. Come in on the weekends and journey through the corn maze, and even take an enjoyable ride on the hayride. 6611 Route 209, Kerhonkson. 845-626-7620. visitvortex.com/Burds_Farm_Stand.
BREEZY HILL ORCHARD, Staatsburg
Pick from many different varieties of apples starting in September. At Breezy Hill Orchard they are certified in the Eco Apple program and value the health of the environment just as much as they value fresh, highly flavored fruit and baked goods. 828 Centre Road, Staatsburg. 845-266-3979. hudsonvalleycider.com.
CEDAR HEIGHTS ORCHARD, Rhinebeck
High on a hillside this 150-year-old, family-owned farm affords pickers the most magnificent view of the Hudson Valley. Apples and pumpkins for fall picking during the months of September and October from 9am till dusk. 845-876-3231. Crosby Lane, Rhinebeck. rhinebeckapples.com.
DUBOIS FARMS, Highland
Outdoor fun for the family with pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Also enjoy the corn maze, picnic area, pony rides, petting zoo, and farm animals. Open daily in September and October from 10am to 5pm. 209 Perkinsville Road, Highland. 845-795-4037. duboisfarms.com.
DYKEMAN FARM, Pawling
Pick-your-own pumpkins. Pumpkin picking, free hayrides, face painting. West Dover Road, Pawling. 845-832-6068. dykemanfarm.com.
FISHKILL FARMS, Hopewell Junction
Pick-your-own apples grown with organic methods at one of the oldest, most historic orchards in the Hudson Valley. Choose from New York apple varieties of MacIntosh, Red Delicious, Spartan, Empire, Macoun, Rome, and Golden Delicious. 9 Fishkill Farms Road, Hopewell Junction. 845-897-4377. fishkillfarms.com.
FRALEIGH’S ROSE HILL FARM, Red Hook
Apples for the pickin’ from September’s Jonamac, Gala, Cortland, Honeycrisp, and more through October’s Golden Delicious, Fuji, Rome, and Granny Smiths. Weekends in September through October, including Labor Day and Columbus Day, 10am to 6pm. Off Fraleigh Lane at 19 Rose Hill Farm, Red Hook. 845-758-4215. pickrosehillfarm.com.
GILLS FARM, Hurley
You-pick pumpkins in October. The Fall Farm Festival runs every weekend in October, which includes face painting, food, pies, pumpkin launching, the hay tunnel, and more! Open seven days a week 9am-6pm. Route 209, South Hurley. 845-338-0788.
GREIG FARM, Red Hook
Fifteen varieties of apples. Pick-your-own pumpkins and apples on 120 acres of orchards, plus fall raspberries both ready in September and October; Pumpkins ready in later September to October. Open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm from April to December. Just off Route 9 on 223 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook. 845-758-1234. greigfarm.com.
HARDEMAN ORCHARDS, Red Hook
Pick-your-own apple season begins on weekends from September 12 through Columbus Day from 10am to 4pm. Choose from Mac, Macoun, Winesap, Suncrisp, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Mutsu, and Gala apples—plus hayrides for the kids. 194 West Market Street, Red Hook. 845-758-5154. hardemanorchards.com.
HURDS FAMILY FARM, Modena
Five varieties of pick-your-own apples. Pick-your-own pumpkins. Apple catapult, cow train, corn maze—plus a petting zoo, farm animals, and picnic area. Open August 27 to October 31. 2187 Route 32, Modena. 845-883-7825. hurdsfamilyfarm.com.
JENKINS-LUEKEN Orchards, New Paltz
Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Pick in the field and tractor-pulled hay rides. Corn maze. Monday to Sunday 9am to 6pm. Route 299 West and Yankee Folley Road, New Paltz. 845-255-0999. jlorchards.com.
KELDER’S FARM, Kerhonkson
Pumpkins galore, whether you pick your own from the pumpkin patch or pick a pumpkin already field-gathered. Plus a corn maze, a straw or hay bale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, mini-golf, jumping pillow, milk-a-cow, and a petting zoo. Open seven days from 10am to 6pm. 5755 Route 209, Kerhonkson. 845-626-7137. kelderfarm.com.
LIBERTY VIEW FARM, Highland
Not only can you pick-your-own apples at “America’s Top Ten Best Apple Picking Farms,” rated in Travel + Leisure magazine, but at this “Certified Naturally Grown” fun farm you can see baby goats, chickens, and other friendly farm animals. Apple picking season is September and October. Open weekends 9am till dusk. All other times please make an appointment. 340 Crescent Avenue, Highland. 845-883-7004. libertyviewfarm.biz.
LOCUST GROVE FRUIT FARM, Milton
Pick-your-own pumpkins from early October until November 1. 177 North Road, Milton. Weekends from 9am to 4pm. 845-795-5194.
MAYNARD FARMS, Ulster Park
Apples to pick and a pumpkin patch to pick in the field. 326 River Road, Ulster Park. Open weekends from 10am to 5pm, also Columbus Day. 845-331-6908. maynardfarms.com.
MEAD ORCHARDS, Tivoli
You’ll be picking your own at this farm, from September’s apples to October’s pumpkins. Almost all trees are semi-dwarf or dwarf trees—easy reaching from the ground! Open weekends from 10am to 6pm. 15 Scism Road, Tivoli. 845-756-5641. meadorchards.com.
MEADOWBROOK FARM, Wappingers Falls
Pick-your-own apple fun starts mid-September and continues until Columbus Day. This full veggie stand is nicknamed “Wappingers’ Best Kept Secret.” Feed animals. Pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch where the pumpkins are already laid out and cut. Open seven days a week from 9am to 6pm. 29 Old Myers Corner Road, Wappingers Falls. 845-297-3002.
MINARD FARMS, Clintondale
Look for our apple in the sky! Over 20 varieties of pick-your-own apples—from August 28th to November 1. Customers should call to verify apple variety availability dates. 866-632-7753. Pick your own pumpkins from later September to November 1. Also, bring a picnic lunch or visit the snack bar. Picnic tables are available at the farm market and in the orchard. Don’t forget the roasted corn on the cob and hay wagon rides through the orchard. Open weekends and holidays from 9am to 5pm. 250 Hurds Road, Clintondale. 845-883-7102. minardfarms.com.
MR. APPLES Orchard, High Falls
A third generation pick-your-own country apple orchard that uses minimal chemical and pesticide application. September is the month for MacIntosh, October is the month for Red Delicious, and “Russet” Golden Delicious can still be picked in November—a light frost won’t hurt them. There are also mystery apples that just grew up by themselves! Follow the blue barrels for a healthy, invigorating apple hike. Open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm. 25 Orchard Street, High Falls. 845-687-0005. mrapples.com.
ORIOLE ORCHARDS, Red Hook
From Macs, Red Delicious, Spy Golds, Greening, and everything in between—plus Halloween picking-pumpkins waiting for farm and family fun. Daily from September to late October from 9am to 5pm. Feller-Newmark Road, Red Hook. 845-758-9355.
PROSPECT HILL ORCHARDS,
MiltonFun pick-your-own apples, pears, and pumpkins from September 18 to October 24—weekends only from 9am to 4pm. Plus a pumpkin-picking patch, corn maze, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, and tractor-pulled hay rides. Kid’s Days are September 24 & 25 10am to 4pm. Fun for kids! Face painting, make-your-own scarecrow, apple cider, and hayrides. Johnny Appleseed Cider Festival October 15 & 16 10am to 4pm with Old Fashioned Cider Pressing & Antique Tractor Display. 40 Clark’s Lane, Milton. 845-795-2383. prospecthillorchards.com.
SAUNDERSKILL FARMS, Accord
Pick-your-own pumpkins in October. Horse-drawn hayrides on weekends and free corn maze. Open from 7am to 6pm. Closed Mondays. 5100 Route 209, Accord. 845-626-2676. saunderskill.com.
STONE RIDGE ORCHARD, Stone Ridge
Apple and pumpkin picking, a picnic area, and tractor-pulled hay rides. Open seven days a week from September to October 7 from 9am to 6pm. Sustainable, organic growing methods. 3012 Route 213, Stone Ridge. 845-687-2587. stoneridgeorchard.com.
TERHUNE ORCHARDS, Salt Point
Over 29 varieties of apples plus pumpkins at this pick-your-own orchard complete with free hayride and a scenic vista to enjoy. Open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm. 761 North Avenue, Salt Point. 845-266-5382.
WALLKILL VIEW FARM, New Paltz
Their pick-your-own pumpkin patch is open for the whole month of October. If you worked up an appetite picking the perfect pumpkin, head inside and enjoy a snack. Free hot mulled apple cider available every weekend in October. October weekend activities: Free hayrides, corn maze, pumpkin jump, and spooky tunnel. Open seven days a week 9am to 6:30pm. 15 Route 299 West, New Paltz. 845-255-8050. wallkillviewfarmmarket.com.
WEED ORCHARD, Marlboro
Pick-your-own 15 apple varieties ready from August to October. Pumpkins ready for the pickin’ in October. Plus a pumpkin patch to pick in the field, field-gathered pumpkin patch, train rides, straw or hay bale maze, child-sized hay-bale maze, lakeside picnic area, tractor-pulled hayrides, wagon rides, and petting zoo. Fall festival September 24 & 25. Harvest Festival October 1 & 2. Apple Festival October 8 to 10. Pumpkin Festival October 15 & 16. Halloween Costume Party October 29 & 30. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Weekends 9:30am to 6pm. 43 Mt. Zion Road, Marlboro. 845-236-2684. weedorchards.com.
WILKLOW ORCHARDS, Highland
Apple and pumpkin picking seven days a week from Labor Day weekend through October 31 from 9am to 5pm. Picnic beneath the apple trees and bring the kids for a hayride and to enjoy the farm animals. 341 Pancake Hollow Road, Highland. 845-691-2339. wilkloworchards.com.
WRIGHT’S APPLE FARM, Gardiner
Apple picking from September 3. Pumpkin picking from last weekend in September to October 31. Plus a pumpkin patch to pick in the field and already field-gathered patch of pumpkins. Open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm. 699 Route 208, Gardiner. Call or check website for exact pick-your-own dates, subject to change. 845-255-5300. eatapples.com.