Generations of farmers have fed families in the Hudson Valley since the 1600’s. Today these farms offer unique cultural experiences to residents and visitors who want to know where their food comes from. Drive down any country road in the Hudson Valley and you’re bound to find a cheery red barn often accompanied by good fun with hayrides, music, corn mazes, and so many other ways to celebrate the harvest.
Hudson Valley Farmers Markets
Exploring the fields is one of the unique experiences at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills. The self-guided tour takes you through this farm and education center as it celebrates community-based food production. Every Sunday you can take a bit of the farm home when Stone Barns sells its own produce, meat, eggs, and products from surrounding farms. Even more of a treat is dining at their two restaurants, Blue Hill Café and Blue Hill at Stone Barns to taste the exquisite dishes made from everything grown at the farm. Produce grown on the farm doesn’t only end up on a plate. (914) 366-6200.
Nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains, this market boats fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, crafts, soaps, baked goods, pesto, pickles, live music, family entertainment and health information booths. Enjoy hiking, fishing or hang gliding on your trip too. Open every Sunday mid-June through October, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Located at Center Street in Ellenville. (845) 443-1946.
Seven generations have run Pierson Bicentennial Farm in Middletown surrounded by lush green pastures where their cattle graze. The Piersons sell natural beef and chicken broilers along with home grown produce, flowers, and eggs from the old wagon house, artfully transformed into a gift shop and filled with everything from antiques to country crafts. Fall is celebrated throughout the month of October with one of the largest corn mazes in the region. Pick your own pumpkins, and on Saturdays, scare yourself to death with a terror-filled Fright Night trip through the barn.(845) 386-1882
High quality pasture-raised meat and eggs are also available from Glynwood's Farm in Cold Spring. This working farm in the heart of Fahnestock State Park has an ambitious vision for sustainable food and farming throughout the Hudson Valley. Innovative programs train the next generation of farmers, and visitors can take in the rural beauty of this historic property with a self-guided tour through fields and barns. Glynwood’s Farm Store furthers their mission to build a strong regional food system by featuring a selection of specialty products made by Hudson Valley farmers and artisans, including local cheeses, grains, fruits, and vegetables.(845) 265-3338
Open June through October, Fridays and Sundays, 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm. 4640 Taconic State Parkway North, Poughkeepsie- LaGrange. 845-849-0247.
In a series of videos from The Culinary Institute of America, the CIA teams up with Taste NY as an official culinary educator for the Empire State. Get expert tips from CIA faculty on how to make the best dishes and drinks from the vast array of food and beverage products that are grown and produced in New York State.
The fields of Black Horse in Athens are the major contributor of seasonal produce to their farm market. Family-run, they farm nearly 1000 acres to make sure that nothing except the freshest quality products are available on their shelves. Tantalizing aromas from the bakery swirl around as you shop the gourmet coffees and teas, artisan cheeses, honey, preserves, gluten-free products and other hard to find grocery items. Beyond growing food, the farm also produces bedding plants sold along with garden supplies, statuary, planters and fountains, allowing you to create your own outdoor space. (518) 943-9324.
Golden Harvest Farms in Valatie takes fresh fruit from the orchard and distills it into brandy, vodka, grappa, and applejack. Join them in the tasting room for a sip of Peach Applejack, a true fruit spirit mellowed with rich flavors of spice and oak. The distillery is open ever weekend throughout the year with tours. Pick up a bottle of Apple Brandy and head for the farm stand where Golden Harvest sells the same fruits found in their bottles along with an assortment of cheeses, honeys, baked goods, and granolas. (518) 758-7683.
Farm fresh produce and products found in urban markets have tall buildings instead of fields behind them, and the Empire State Plaza Farmers Market in Albany is even open year round. From May through October it’s held outdoors at the Empire State Plaza. From November to April the market moves indoors to the concourse level of the Empire State Plaza, filled with eclectic art from around the world. In every season, enjoy a variety of plants, baked goods, and even cooked meals from local growers. (518) 474-2418.
Across the river, another unusual market is the Troy Waterfront Twilight Market held Friday evenings (check the website for dates) at Riverfront Park in Troy. As dusk starts to fall at 5pm, come and experience the Twilight Market with its diverse assortment of local sellers. Shop the producer-only vendors, and dine on amazing prepared foods while listening to local musicians as you relax in the park next to the Hudson River.