Celebrating Thurman’s agricultural heritage, this year’s Fall Farm Tour on October 7th reflects the upsurge in small specialty farms in the regional marketplace. Three new farms have joined the maple farms, goat and sheep dairy, all-natural vegetable and poultry farm, llama hobby farm and certified tree farm that have built the popularity of this annual day of free farm fun.
Visitors to this tenth anniversary event will self-guide to ten sites. Valley Road Maple will host a pancake breakfast from 9 am to 1 pm in their pancake annex, this new space allowing the hosts to offer evaporator demonstrations all day in the sugarhouse. Their shop will be stocked with all their usual maple wares, and their two NYS Fair 2017 award winners: uncoated maple sugar and crystal-coated maple sugar.
Martin’s Lumber will showcase guided woods walks and wild plant talks, jewelry-making and their traditional Dutch barn-in-progress. Guest vendors will sell handmade greeting cards and wooden items decorated with a wood burner.
Nettle Meadow, operated as a farm for most of the past two and a quarter centuries, will show its goats, sheep and assorted sanctuary rescue animals, along with a tasting table and children’s activity tent. Guess will have the opportunity to see cider being pressed, enjoy a luncheon buffet (noon to 3 pm), accompanied by the music of The Old Main, all in the loft of the award-winning restored historic barn. Luncheon proceeds benefit the Kemp Sanctuary at Nettle Meadow.
Whitefield’s Farm’s main building is an old stone structure built in the mid-1900s as a dude ranch stable, and Don and Michelle Whitefield are long-time producers of all-natural foods. They will again have fall veggies, fresh eggs, turkeys (order now for Thanksgiving, too), gluten-free baked goods, and pumpkin-painting.
Toad Hill Maple Farm keeps guests busy with evaporator demos, tasting kitchen, gift shop and trebuchet “punkin chunkin’.” This year the site adds Clydesdale-drawn wagon rides to the sugarbush over a timber frame covered bridge.
Peru Llama Farm shares Llama Psych crash course with guests, letting kids role play a llama in training, and also has a new special activity for kids under 10 – a string search to earn a small prize. Irv also makes available bags of llama fertilizer, touted for it beneficial qualities and his book for educators and parents of teens, “Breaking the Rules.”
These six farms are joined by Blackberry Hill Farm and Sanctuary, the first farm in Thurman to become certified organic for herbs and vegetables, as well as poultry processing. Guided or self-guided garden tours will be featured, and visits to poultry and piggies will be offered. Guest vendors will sell baked goods and handcrafted knives and 11th Hour Dog Rescue NY will set up with adoptable dogs and some merchandise for sale.
Also new this year is Windy Ridge Farm, situated on land that has been passed down through generations of one family for over 200 years. Windy Ridge will offer special activities for kids, along with assorted late-season garden produce (perhaps you can help harvest) along with jams, jellies and maple syrup.
Nearby find Thurman’s Adirondack Ranch, celebrating its grand opening as a trail riding facility. During the Fall Farm Tour, the ranch will transport guests via wagon to a pumpkin patch for an old-fashioned farm activity.
The annual Fall Farm Tour Quilt Show will be set up as always at the Thurman Town Hall, with displays of full-sized quilts and smaller quilted items, many for sale. This year’s show will also feature the drawing of the winning raffle ticket for a handmade quilt crafted by local artisan Avis Russell, and the raffle benefits Thurman Station Association (TSA), a 501 (c) 3 organization. Raffle tickets may be purchased until 2 pm on October 7th at the quilt show and several other sites on the farm tour. Ticket buyers need not be present to win
The Fall Farm Tour, hosted by TSA, is made possible by Warren County occupancy taxes, help from First Wilderness Heritage Corridor and funding through the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Act.
Photos from above: Nettle Meadow goats; and Martin’s Certified Tree Farm’s traditional timber frame barn-in-progress, provided.