It’s no secret: I love New York! I love everything about it—the physical diversity of the state, its beauty, its strength and, of course, its products. New York is called the Empire State, which refers to its vast wealth and resources. This week’s Diversions focuses on our own local agricultural and food resources and some great places to truly experience this incredible bounty. Go now as the summer wanes, or well into the fall harvest season.

Fishkill Farms
9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell Junction, NY
Located right off the Taconic State Parkway, I had to pass the sign hundreds of times and didn’t stop till a friend told me about her peach-palooza yield at Peachtopia. What am I talking about? What was she talking about? She is a “member” of Fishkill Farms, a local holistic organic farm where members follow a pick-your-own guide from June through November.  Members and non-members can shop at the well-stocked, New York-produced market, attend monthly events, picnic outdoors, attend hard cider tastings and enjoy Yoga on the Farm every Saturday in the summer. 

Why I love it:
Because it’s a beautiful living oasis with inspired events every weekend for everyone. Because I love hayrides, apple picking, fresh donuts and a good hard cider tasting—Fall Harvest Weekends begin Sept. 9 and run through Oct. 29.

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Taste NY
Taconic State Parkway, Lagrangeville, NY
One of many Taste NY outlets around the state, this one is conveniently located on the Taconic State Parkway in a restored rest stop. This little gem should be treated as a destination.  There is an extensive array of NYS food, beverages and products along with tasty samples and friendly help. Taste NY is the perfect spot to purchase a gift and to support our local farmers and entrepreneurs. This outlet does not sell alcoholic beverages but other Taste NY locations do. There is a Taste NY website for guidance and a directory of shops all around the state.

Why I love it:
Because I love to bring made-in-NY products to friends out of state while supporting our local economy.  Because you can create your own picnic out of the products they sell here and then find a spot to enjoy it at one of the many NYS parks nearby.

Sprout Creek Farm
34 Lauer Road, Poughkeepsie, NY
Sprout Creek Farm is another local treasure; a hands-on educational working farm, camp and market. The year-round facility offers children and families the opportunity to learn how to live off the land, enhance creativity and experience all aspects of environmental preservation and sustainability. The market sells award-winning cheeses and farm-produced meats, milk, eggs and vegetables.  

Why I love it:
Because it provides a wealth of learning opportunities for the entire family and because its cheese is amazing.  Eden, Margie, Madeleine--who knew they were incredible cheeses?

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture
630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY
Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture is an educational center focused on creating a healthy and sustainable food system, dedicated to training individuals and budding farmers in restorative and resilient organic farming. It offers family farm tours to get hands-on experience with the farm animals and the vegetables being grown.

Why I love it:
Because there is so much to learn about sustainable farming and the food we put on our tables. Because the Summer Nights at Stone Barns lecture series is amazing and the upcoming Harvest Fest in October will feature, among so many other things, sheep moving and turkey-herding, which just sounds really cool.