By Shawn Dell Joyce
In the dead of winter, most of us dream of the plump ripe tomatoes of summer, while fondling the pink excuses for tomatoes in the supermarkets. But, did you realize how many local farms are open right now with some fresh, locally-grown produce? Here’s a partial listing of a few farms in the region where you can stop in all winter.
Brother and sister team; Holly and Ned Roebuck, are working together to save their family farm. For several generations Roebucks have worked this particular piece of property into many different configurations. These Roebucks have free ranging Belted Galloway cows, and an organic vegetable farm. Walnut Grove Farm in the Town of Crawford, offers frozen organic free-range beef, pork, bacon, pies and jars of jams and jellies by appointment. Ned Roebuck (845) 313-4855 www.WalnutGroveFarms.net
A family farm for many generations, W. Rogowski Farm, 327-329 Glenwood Road, Pine Island, 258-4423, has an organic farm stand open year round. The owner/farmer is Cheryl Rogowski and family, and has been a major force in promoting sustainable agriculture in our region. You can currently find apples, pears, shallots, turnips, beets, garlic, onions (of course) potatoes, greens of many varieties including Asian, chili peppers, squashes, turnips, radishes, cabbages, dried beans, and processed things like jellies, honey, maple syrup, sugar and crème. Also you will find books, my artwork, and some garlic wreaths. Open every Sat. from 9-2 until spring. www.rogowskifarm.com
Nestled between subdivisions, and making the most of a bit of open space is Blooming Hill Farm 1251 Route 208, in Washingtonville. Guy Jones and sister; Cindy Jones offer many varieties of potatoes, squash, cold-hardy lettuces, and chards, root vegetables, onions, broccoli some fruits, eggs, and real milk with real cream on top. You must see the farm stand to believe the beauty and abundance of these fresh organic vegetables. Open Sat. from 9-2 through April. 782-7310 www.bloominghillfarm.com
Dolan’s Farm in Gardiner is on 208 near Ireland Corners. I would give you their phone number but it won’t do you much good, because no one answers the phone on this busy farm. You are more likely to find the farmer around back behind the farm stand in the packing room where bins of apples are available. Dolan’s is open, and you can buy apples until this season’s harvest runs out. Just pull down the driveway a bit and look for a lanky smiling man up to his elbows in tractor parts and you’ve found Mr. Dolan.
Apples are also crisp and delicious from Soons Orchards, 23 Soons Circle, New Hampton. Soons is probably famous for their pies, but you can find local garlic, vegetables, apples, pears, fresh ground peanut or almond butter, mixes for dips or soups, jars of salsa, jam and jellies, honey, and maple syrup, among other items. Soons is open to the public until 5 pm most days, and encourages you order pies in advance for the holidays. Soons has been family owned and operated for many years, and you can almost always find a Soons in the store. www.SoonsOrchards.com, (845) 374-5471
One of the few multigenerational working family farms left in the region is Cornwall’s Jones Farm on 190 Angola Road. This farm does a bustling business in the winter with the “largest gift store in the region,” according to co-owner David Clearwater. He and wife Terry, and her parents are the farmers. Terry is also an artist and framer who runs a frame shop next to the farm store. Their farm features fresh fall apples, homemade fudge, a bakery, gourmet foods, and many other goodies. Open 8am-5pm weekends, and until 6pm during the week. www.JonesFarmInc.com, (845) 534-4445
Penning’s Farm at Route 94 and Warwick Turnpike offers an indoor farmer’s market every Saturday from 11-4pm with live music, a café, and food tastings. Right now, you can find local foods producers like Lowland Farms (for grass-fed beef), Hometown Baker (Warwick-based bakery), Astas (homemade dog treats) Hudson Valley Pantry (homemade jams, jellies, hummus, and salsa), Late Bloomer Farm (sprouts, organic grains, and artisanal soaps), local wines, ciders, and live plants. www.penningsfarmmarket.com (845) 986-1059.
Dines Farm offers fresh meats, and other farm’s products delivered to your door! Dines is located in Oak Hill, about 38 miles South of Albany, and offers their own pasture-raised chicken, pork, lamb, beef, duck, rabbit, turkey, chicken sausage, and hot dogs. Right now, they are offering mushrooms, goat cheese, and jams and jellies from other farms. Dines delivery network is mostly Rockland, Westchester, Orange, and parts of Ulster. They are open to delivering in other areas, so it is worth a call if you want them to come to you. To set up a deliver, or ask what’s available, call (518) 239-4206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be on the emailing list.
Shawn Dell Joyce is the director of the Wallkill River School and an author of “Orange County Bounty” local foods cookbook. www.WallkillRiverSchool.com