YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A recent Letter to the Editor lamented the absence of a farmers market in Yorktown. The writer was technically correct; however, there are more opportunities in the Yorktown environs than most people realize. Greater publicity and word of mouth would immensely improve this situation.
In late April, the Westchester Grown Farm Trail was proclaimed as a New York State-designated Farm Trail dedicated to promoting greater marketing and promotional opportunities for agricultural producers. Instrumental in establishing this Westchester Grown Farm Trail was Lucille Munz, the executive director of Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center, former board members Hugh Sigmon and Bruce Barber, and the Westchester County Office of Film and Tourism.
The Farm Trail runs from Sleepy Hollow to North Salem and includes farms along the route in Yorktown, Cortlandt, Somers and Bedford. According to Natasha Caputo, Westchester County Officer of Film and Tourism: “This trail builds upon the county’s historic agricultural roots and cultural richness and showcases the collaboration of wonderful farms and businesses on our county. Each of the farms and farm stands are unique destinations offering a variety of products and experiences.”
Instead of just visiting Yorktown/Somers farm stands, such as Hilltop Hanover Farm, The Meadow Farm, Stuart’s Farm, and Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm, visit all 14 with your family! Presently, you must visit these farms on your own (Call in advance for hours), but the hope is to organize these farms into a weekend tour— similar to the winery tours — without the designated driver! Hilltop Hanover Farm staff have just started to tackle this project—with the help County Executive Robert Astorino’s office.
The 14 farms, which make up the Westchester Grown Trail, are Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Sundial Farm, Thompson’s Cider Mill, White Oak Farm, Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center, The Meadows Farm, Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm, Hemlock Hill Farm, Stuart’s Farm and Orchard, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, The Farmer and The Fish, Ryder Farm Cottage Industries, Seedswell Vegetable Farm and Muscoot Farm. Caputo affirms that “all trail members are committed to supporting these farms and farmers, their community, local commerce, and the farm-to-table movement. A list of participating food and beverage businesses who embrace the Westchester Grown Trail will be listed on the county’s Farm and Restaurant website.”
If you presently prefer not to travel and wish to buy in Yorktown/Somers, visit Hilltop Hanover Farm, The Meadows Farm, Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm or Stuart’s Farm and Orchard—or all four! Presently, the best variety may be found at Hilltop Hanover Farm on Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights. Its farm stand is open on Fridays from 1 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to selling early crops such as kale, lettuce, mizuna, Bok Choy, chard and arugula, as well as its own eggs, Hilltop Hanover also sells added value products produced by local artisans. These products include honey, jams and jellies, sauces, pasta, breads cookies and organic grains. The Hilltop Hanover farm stand has been steadily becoming a true farmers market that showcases not only its own products, but also those of other local merchants. Any local artisans interested in selling their products at the farm should contact Lucille Munz at 914-962-2368.
Hilltop Hanover Farm not only provides organically grown vegetables and the products of local merchants, but it offers a 187-acre property to explore. After visiting the farm stand, hike a trail, enjoy a picnic, soak in the fresh air, view New York City, take a weekend workshop, and don’t forget to say hello to the cows, chickens, and goats.
For the most current information about activities at Hilltop Hanover Farm, visit its website at hilltophanoverfarm.org.
Tom McLoughlin serves as a volunteer and board member at Hilltop Hanover Farm.