Excursion: Columbia County Farm Festival in Valatie
Free tractors rides, pick-your-own apples (Honey Crisps!), live bluegrass (Cathy Grier and the Gentlemen of the Night followed by the Wickers Creek Band), Kinderhook Farm burgers made from hormone-free, grass-fed, cosseted-and-coddled cattle (all that bovine happiness results in lots of healthy Omega 3’s!), square dancing (Fern Bradley and the Band), the Columbia County Farm Festival, this Saturday at the splendid orchards of Golden Harvest Farms, promises to get autumn off on the right foot.
But all that’s just the icing. The cake is the extraordinary assemblage of farmers who will be there, farms that have made names for themselves, becoming recognized brands and symbols of all that’s right in the world today. The Farm at Miller’s Crossing in Claverack has vegetables—arugula-to-zucchini— covered. Others will bring the artisanal products they make from what they and their neighbors grow: Valatie’s Tierra Farm, which specializes in raw nuts and seeds, as well as nutbutters (promised to be peanut-free); Kinderhook’s Katchkie Farm, which is owned by the New York City-based caterer Great Performances will be selling its acclaimed Katchkie Ketchup, Thunder Pickles, and Bob-B-Q Sauce; Micosta of Stottville, specialists in fruit and fruit-based products (which they’ll bring) and orchard plant stock (which they won’t); and, of course, Beth of Beth’s Farm Kitchen, Stuyvesant Falls, who stands over a bubbling cauldron of sublime Strawberry-Rhubarb jam so we don’t have to, and also makes an amazing range of chutneys—Blazing Tomato, Hot Plum, medium-hot Rhubarb, and for serious heat-seekers Ragin’ Rhubarb.
Columbia County vintners and brewers also will be out in force, offering tastings, wines by the bottle, beers by the growler, and everything by the discounted case: Cascade Mountain Winery of Amenia, Brookview Station Winery of Schodack, Hudson-Chatham Winery of Ghent, and Chatham Brewing.
All deliciousness aside, these are the people who make Columbia County great by keeping development at bay. Their farms are both our scenery and our shield. We owe them big-time. So come out, have fun, and show your support.
Columbia County Farm Festival 2009
3074 Route 9, Valatie, NY