Happening upon the summer farm stand is to experience the taste of a specific place and time. It is the farmer’s daily offering to the road-tripping traveler, to the loyal patron, to the impromptu cook in search of inspiration. It is the place to go for just-picked produce, the seasonal stop for visitors to thrill at the unexpected last hurrah of red kale, a daintily tied bouquet of fresh flowers, or a basket of warm eggs if their timing is right. Finding a farm stand almost always feels like good fortune.
Midsummer colors are about to burst onto a formerly leafy green scene; the kales and cabbages will start making room for tomatillos, lemon cucumbers, corn, apricots, and white donut peaches, to name a few. There are so many interesting farm stands across Upstate New York, all varied and wonderful as the areas where they can be found. We couldn’t think of a better way to share a few of our favorites than to introduce them by the very locals who live there.
Casey Scieszka of Spruceton Inn will take you to RSK Farm Stand in Prattsville for heirloom potatoes, potted marigolds, and fresh produce grown by a husband-and-wife farming team. If you are up near Bovina, Sara Elbert and Sohail Zandi of Brushland Eating House insist on a visit to Burnett Farm Stand, where organic greenery abounds in their greenhouses and fields, yielding lesser-known varieties like lambsquarter and mizuna. Sally Watkinson of Audrey’s Farmhouse encourages her guests to stop at Wright’s Farm Stand in Gardiner for their cider doughnuts and delicious preserves, while Sarah Suarez of Gaskins cannot get enough of the fresh berries and welcoming feel at Montgomery Place Orchards’ Wayside Stand.
These and others are a humming buzz of day-trippers, seasonal dwellers, and year-round locals. Each stand is bountiful and inviting in their variety, not to mention a great community resource connecting us with each other and with the land we love so dearly.
Featured image by Christian Harder of Burnett Farm Stand
Third-generation family owned and operated, Wallkill View Farm sits beneath the majestic Shawangunks on Route 299 just beyond the busy hum of New Paltz’s town center. The small covered wagon once used to sell the farm’s daily harvest decades ago has given way to a bustling year-round market. Their offerings change with the season—-plenty of fruits, veggies, herbs and freshly cut flowers in the spring and summer, pumpkins, gourds and corn in the fall, then wreaths and trees in the winter. After a languid stroll through the flower gardens and greenhouse, be sure to stop at Grandma Carol’s bake shop. Fresh-out-of-the-oven artisan loaves, braided peach strudel, apple cider donuts and plenty of pies, all made in-house and sure to delight. But beyond the produce and tasty indulgences, what I cherish most of all is the familial connection the farm has fostered over the years. It’s where I go to meet my neighbors and make new friends!
New Paltz, NY
78 Miles from New York City
Caption and Images by Bea Rue of The Thrifty Spoon
It was the onset of winter when my husband, Doug, and I moved upstate from Brooklyn to run Audrey’s Farmhouse, a beloved bed-and-breakfast in Wallkill, NY. We wanted our guests to be treated to locally-made baked goods at breakfast time and the options were aplenty over at Wright’s Farm Stand, a fifth-generation farm located in Gardiner, just off Route 44/55 on Route 208. Wright’s is best known for their apples, but what has kept us coming back week after week are the cider doughnuts, the 20 or so various jams and preserves they sell (strawberry habanero being our favorite), and the fact that they stay open seven days a week all year round. They have a pretty hefty offering of other types of produce, eggs, meats, pies and fruit breads, as well as a large variety of flowers and plants. The kids and grandkids—-often seen running around being super cute—-all partake in helping make this farm stand a very special and family-oriented place.
79.2 Miles from New York City
Caption and Images by Sally Watkinson of Audrey’s Farmhouse
Montgomery Place Orchards’ Wayside Stand
Trips to pick up produce at this family-run farm have become the highlight of my week. Their product is high quality and beautifully displayed, but the stand also feels like a place where you’ll run into neighbors and friends. We love their strawberries, asparagus, black and red raspberries, green beans, numerous varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and of course their peaches, pears, and over 70 varieties of apples. This summer there have been plenty of berries, which are spun into ice cream, top our polenta cake or get muddled in cocktails. Wayside Stand offers fruit and vegetables they grow themselves, but they also work with many of the same purveyors as Gaskins to keep their stand stocked with the best the Hudson Valley has to offer. You can find vegetables from Hearty Roots, soap from Sawkill Farm, mushrooms from Wiltbank Farm, blueberries from Mead Orchards, and cherries from Fix Brothers.
Red Hook, NY
107 Miles from New York City
Caption and Images by Sarah Suarez of Gaskins
South Pine Street City Farm Stand
We adore the intimacy of this small urban farm run by Joel Zenie and Trish Hawkins, in collaboration with Kingston Land Trust and Diane Davenport of the Binnewater Ice Company. South Pine Street City Farm Stand is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3pm to 5pm, and visitors can pick veggies from the stand or walk through the quarter acre plot with the farmer as they harvest veggies on the spot. You can’t get better service than that! The farm is in its fifth year of providing the city with food grown with organic soil and seed without the use of pesticides. They grow all sorts of delicious seasonal veggies (and flowers!) while employing responsible and regenerative growing practices.
101 Miles from New York City
Caption and images by Michael Drapkin of Kingston Wine Co.
My favorite farm stand is RSK, a vegetable farm located on Route 23A in Prattsville. The stand is run by a local wife and husband team who grow everything in the stand’s literal backyard. It’s as local as local can be! Sweet summer corn, heirloom potatoes, kales, lettuces, tomatoes, beets… and more squashes, pumpkins, and gourds than you’d ever know what to do with come fall. There’s usually something seasonal that’s potted as well like herbs or marigolds, in addition to local fruits, honey and maple syrup. It’s some of the freshest crop around, barely traveling a few hundred feet from the couple’s back fields and into your bag.
140 Miles from New York City
Captions and Images by Casey Scieszka of Spruceton Inn
Steve Burnett and his wife, Kristie, maintain a gorgeous, organic farm up the mountain from Brushland Eating House, which we stumbled upon during our first visit to Bovina. Now they are great friends of ours and, unsurprisingly, of just about every local and traveler that find themselves searching for a bounty of crisp, vibrant fruits and veggies. We actually hosted a dinner with And North in one of Steve’s greenhouses on a frigid day in January. Steve hand-delivers copious amounts of lambsquarter, mizuna, and heirloom tomatoes to the restaurant for dinner service, so we are able to catch up with him and his myriad projects, some of which are metalworking and watercolor paintings of our rural landscape. Go to Burnett Farm Stand for the raspberries; stay for the beautiful view of their property. And hopefully, you’ll get to meet the man (and misses) himself.
Bovina Center, NY
150 Miles from New York City
Caption by Sara Elbert and Sohail Zandi of Brushland Eating House
Images by Christian Harder
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