I read somewhere once about a 5th grader who didn’t know what a tomato was. This bit of disturbing news consistently motivates me to educate my kids about where their food comes from. I regularly point out fruit and vegetable plants in my neighborhood, show them around my in laws’ garden, and go some sort of fruit picking at least once or twice a year. This past weekend, we headed upstate to our favorite pick your own fruit farm. Now, I’ve been to a lot of farms in the tri state area, but nothing beats the picturesque beauty of Fishkill Farms, nestled in the heart of Hudson Valley, overlooking verdant rolling hills (cheesy? oh, I know). Located just south of Poughkeepsie, this place is really a throwback to my newlywed days. My husband and I started out apple picking there, about 4 years ago. But since then their offerings have grown: strawberries and blackberries in June, cherries in July, delicious stone fruit in August, and of course apples and pumpkins in the fall. They have a CSA and even sell at some farmers markets around the city. They are all about sustainability and minimizing the use of chemical pesticides, though they aren’t certified organic.
They have a great farm stand offering fresh produce, local cheese and dairy, farm fresh eggs, meat, and other goodies. The ice cream just makes the experience complete. Really delicious, locally produced Jane’s ice cream. Benches out back overlook the beautiful landscape. Livestock are great for the kids’ viewing pleasure, though not for petting since they’re not tamed. I’m glad they didn’t sell out that way… keeping it an authentic working farm rather than a cheesy petting zoo. The grill has been a great addition. They’ve hired a lot of super friendly Jamaicans who play Bob Marley over the speakers. It was so chill! Since we keep halal, I only tried the corn (which was delicious)! Other than that, since my parents were involved, we kept true to desi day trip style and packed our own lunch (you guessed it, nothing other than chicken curry). What a great way to enjoy this glorious summer weather, and get your city kids some exposure to agriculture and the countryside. I hope you are able to get to your own local farms for some fruit picking! Happy picking (and eating)!