At the cornerstone of our program is the desire to provide hands on, farm-based, experiential learning excursions to farms we love. Each trip will be a unique view of a local operation doing what they do best- apples, pumpkins, cheese, wool, wine, horses, veggies, mushrooms, meat, pickles, hay, grains, hops, eggs, and maple syrup. Not only will the students get to see new places and witness the bounty our local agricultural system provides us, their parents and chaperones will as well. The hope is that we can get behind our local farmers, spread the word and promote them shamelessly to all our friends. Once you've fallen in love with a local farmer, it's hard to buy something from overseas or across the country 3,000 miles away when you can get it from them at a local farmer's market or through a CSA.
All Field Trips will require an adult chaperone to transport and supervise children throughout the duration of the field trip. Some will take us down the road, some may take a bit longer. Babies in arms are welcome to come, though it may not always be appropriate for younger siblings to tag along. Field Trips are covered in our yearly deposit fee for students but occasionally we may ask for money for siblings or parents to participate. Some field trips will require extra money if we are taking home a valuable item from the farm, like a wreath or expensive cheese to taste.
september 23: saratoga apple
1174 Rt. 29, Schuylerville NY 12871
We will pick apples, have a tour, watch the cider be pressed and taste apples to see which we like best! We might need a donut and cider too.
october: fossil stone farms
331 Grange Road, Greenfield, NY 12833
The Spiak Family owns this neighboring farm, which was owned by the brother of the Wing family member who founded our farm. They now grow cold hardy wine grapes, board horses and have a winery where they ferment the grape juice and turn it into wine! We will tour the whole farm and see what the winery is producing. We might even get to help harvest and taste the grapes! Did you know they are sweet and delicious? They even throw in a pony ride for all the kiddos.
november: featherbed lane farm
35 Featherbed Lane, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Mr. Tim will give us a tour of the greenhouses, fields, barns, and his draft horses Bear and Duke who help plow, weed, harvest and haul around the farm. Featherbed Lane Farm offers one of the best CSA options around and are another farm conserved to be forever farm by Saratoga PLAN. We will learn about what a drafthorse powered CSA is all about.
december: native farm flowers
Our neighbor Barbara Jefts is the coolest flower farmer around and we are lucky to have her right next door. We will take a trip to her holiday greenhouse and decorate an evergreen wreath and have hot chocolate and cookies when we are done. We will take many trips to her farm throughout the year to visit her and Meadow and the flowers and experience wonderful programs for the kids. Barbara is an artist who specializes in weddings and also sells items year round from her shop on the farm and at Healthy Living, Four Seasons, and Pitney Meadows Farm. She also offers classes in planting, arranging, silk scarves, wreath making and hypertuffa by appointment.
january: Old Saratoga Mercantile
1120 NY 29, Schuylerville, NY 12871
We will visit a winter farmer! Greens grown in winter are a delicacy as they are sweeter and more flavorful. We will see what it takes to grow greens all winter long under blankets. We will harvest and help wash! We will also visit the farm's full service Old Fashioned General Store to see what amazing delights we can find.
february: nettle meadow farm
Nettle Meadow Sanctuary Farm is the home to well over 130 farm sanctuary animals and an award winning cheese company in Thurman, New York just below Crane Mountain in the Adirondacks. It is owned and operated by Lorraine Lambiase and Sheila Flanagan. Both have a great love of animals, artisan cheese and the unique challenges of farm life. They are graciously inviting us to both the sanctuary and their cheese making room in Lake Luzerne where the students can look through the window and see the cheese being made! We will learn about milk and cheesemaking and will get to taste some of their amazing cheese. This will be a lot of driving, but so worth it!
march: merck farm and forest
3270 Rt. 315, Rupert, VT 05768
Merck is a place near and dear to my family. It is a working farm and education center that offers classes, miles of trails to use for free, and lovely rustic cabins that are within a few miles of the visitor center to camp in. We've brought Rew here every year of his life in the winter to camp in a cabin as a way to slow down and really be together. They have a fine sugarbush and will offer a program on their large scale maple operation. Maybe you will camp here some day with your family now that you know where it is!
Pitney Meadows is a unique community farm. They operate as a non-profit and aim to sow knowledge and increase food security for our city. They sell veggies on the farm as well as to local schools and also have a community garden where people can use their raised beds. We will get a chance to enter their greenhouses full of greens and see their seed operation starting up for the next season. Our neighbor Kelly Holzworth is the Greenhouse, Planting and Harvesting Manager there, so we get to see her hard at work.
may: 518 farm
Hoosick Falls, NY 12090
Jeff and Megan Killenberger began their mushroom farming operation in 2018 as an experiment to see if they could grow enough edible and medicinal mushrooms to support their family. Now they are successfully selling Oyster, Reishi, Nameko, Lion's Mane, Pioppino, Shiitake and Chestnut mushrooms grown on straw and sawdust to folks at the Cambridge, Kingston, Saratoga Farmer's Markets as well as Four Seasons in Saratoga and Old Saratoga Mercantile in Schuylerville.
june: greenfields forever
Farmer T started his farm Greenfields Forever in 2009 by planting 2 acres of fruit and vegetables for his processing business. They have increased their plantings each year and now have 6 acres under cultivation. They sell products- many jams and pickles- at their farm stand and u-pick. Their list of crops includes raspberries, blueberries, apples, pears, plums, currants, juneberries, and gooseberries. They have an asparagus patch and grow a number of vegetables for their food processing operation. They have always used organic farming practices and never use fungicide or pesticide on their fruit.