This past Saturday marked the first day of the market season at Fishkill Farms. The farm was in full swing all day today–the beautifully renovated farm market was filled with customers, freshly picked produce and delicious local products. Visitors lingered to walk around the farm and listen to the Wahoo String Band on the terrace while enjoying the spectacular view of the farm and the lush green of its surrounding hills and meadows.
And, happily, the kickoff for Saturdays on the Farm was great fun. Throughout the day, Kids Unplugged at Fishkill Farms had a steady stream of children and parents delivering the findings from their farm quests, doing farm-inspired watercolor paintings, visiting with some very sweet chicks, and making hand-made wild flower presses. All of the activities were stationed at a couple of rustic picnic tables set high on the hill overlooking the orchards, fields, gardens and chickens below.
The response to our upcoming summer series was overwhelmingly positive. Many of the local parents enthusiastically proclaimed, “We’ve been waiting for something like this around here!” and proceeded to register for either several sessions or the entire series. At the same time, a solid contingent of supporters from Westchester were there sporting their Kids Unplugged t-shirts, helping care for the slighly nervous chicks, dancing along with the fiddler and eating omelettes and baked goodies and native strawberries from the farm market.
Josh and Hannah were beaming throughout the day. Their smiles were well-earned after the months of hard work that has gone into launching their incredible venture–transitioning the farm over to organic production, creating a 5-acre vegetable garden with the help of two seasoned organic growers, planting hundreds of new apple, peach and apricot trees including several heirloom varieties, and welcoming to the farm a new flock of sheep. All of this in the midst of losing the farm’s 100-year old timber-peg barn and its adjacent workshed and cold-storage rooms only three weeks prior to opening day.
With this kind of energy and enthusiasm, the upcoming season holds infinite promise. It is very exciting to be joining the Fishkill Farms community and I look forward to the adventures of the coming months.