U-Pick | Apple, Berry, Pumpkin
Going green encompasses many small and large acts, each contributing to saving our environment, and our planet. We can all contribute by doing seemingly small acts that collectively add up to major contributions. Each of us can contribute to "going green" by buying from local farms and Farmers Markets. Rensselaer County offers many local farms and Farmers Markets where you can buy fresh and healthy produce from the bounty of the Hudson Valley; and for a special treat, pick-your-own fruits and vegetables at one of many U-Pick farms in Rensselaer County, New York.
Visit local farms in Rensselaer County. There are many farms throughout Rensselaer, offering a wonderful selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other farm fresh products. Select delicious produce at one of the Farmers' Markets or at a market on the farm. For a day out in the fresh air, pick-your-own fruit and vegetables on a U-pick farm. Bring the kids, bring the whole family, or go yourself and experience a beautiful and satisfying day on the farm.
Visit farms in the towns of Castleton, New York, Petersburg, New York, East Greenbush, New York, Schaghticoke, New York, and Schodack, New York. The farms in Rensselaer sell a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including New York apples, berries, pumpkins and U-pick produce. In addition to pick-your-own fruits, many local farms have acres of delicious vegetables available for you to pick-your-own; or you can buy the already picked produce at the farms market stand. You will also find that many farm markets offer a wide range of fresh jars of honey, jams and chutney. Several of the markets offer fresh apple cider to go with the donuts that have just been made . . . or enjoy a fresh cup of coffee; delicious. You can also find local crafts, cheeses, soups, and other specialty items that are charming and made locally.
Select one or more farms to visit at local farms in Rensselaer County and go apple, berry, or even pumpkin picking in Rensselaer Farmer's markets and Pick-Your-Own farms abound throughout the county of Rensselaer in the upper-Hudson Valley. There are farm markets for all seasons offering many wonderful items including homegrown seasonal fruits & produce such as apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, pears, plums, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes & corn. Some farms are open through late December selling Christmas trees and other seasonal items.
Children enjoy activities at your local pick-your-own farm such as picking raspberries, blueberries, apples, and pumpkins for Halloween. Many pick-your-own farms offer additional healthy outdoor activities for the kids including hayrides, a corn maze, and pick your own pumpkin - for very strong kids.
Several pick-your-own farms have beautiful views of the hills and mountains overlooking the towns of Rensselaer, also offering kids a wonderful time outdoors "picking their own food". Pick-you-own, also known as U-Pick farms, are great fun for children and kids of all ages.
Farmers Markets abound in the Hudson River Valley. To find your local market or list of Farmers Markets in the Hudson River Valley, click on the Local Harvest website and enter your zip code or city. A list is displayed of local Farmers Markets, with address and hours of operation.
Buy Local Movement
Local Farmers Markets
In a Farmers Market, farmers sell their products once or twice a week at a designated public place like a park or parking lot. Some Farmers Markets have live entertainment. Shopping at a Farmers Market is a great way to meet local farmers and get fresh, flavorful produce. Many farms have set-up farm markets on their own farm. In addition to fresh picked fruits and vegetables, the Farmers’ Markets often sells crafts and other locally made products.
Farmers Markets provide a means for local producers of agricultural products to sell those products directly to the consumer. Many communities throughout New York State view Farmers Markets as a positive avenue for supporting local agriculture, providing a source of fresh fruits and vegetables to the residents of their community, and as a means of drawing people into their community aiding in the economic redevelopment of an area.
The Farmers’ Market Federation of New York is a statewide not-for-profit organization designed to both promote and provide support services for the Farmers Markets within New York State. The Federation was formed through the collective efforts of market managers throughout the state, Cooperative Extension, and the Department of Agriculture & Markets, and was initially funded by a Federal State Marketing Improvement Grant in early 1998.
Large-scale chemical agriculture continues to poison our soil and our water, and weaken our communities. Buying directly from a family farm can help put a stop to this unfortunate trend. By purchasing organic produce from your local farmer, you are working to maintain a healthy environment, a vibrant community, and a strong and sustainable local economy for you and for your family.
There are many farms situated throughout the Hudson River Valley. Visit a local farmer's market in Albany, Rensselaer, Greene County, Columbia County, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange, and the lower-Hudson counties of Westchester and Rockland. Experience the colorful abundance of nutritious, high quality locally grown foods, the aroma of fresh produce and the friendly banter of farmers and customers, neighbors and families. A visit to a Farmers Market is an adventure, and among the fun things to do in your own community. Bring the children. Kids love visiting their local farmer's market where they can meet the farmers, ask questions, and learn about the food. Farmers' Markets also provide a lesson in supporting your own community and the environment.
Both economic and health factors have resulted in the growth of Farmers Markets across the country. Not only is a completely new generation of farmers seeking retail outlets that increase their profitability and viability thus preserving agriculture for themselves and future generations, but also, consumers are discovering that Farmers Markets are a fun, reasonably priced, alternative to supermarkets. At Farmers Markets they have direct access to fresh, healthy local foods and to the farmers who produce the foods. The experience often develops into friendships with the farmers and gaining an understanding and appreciation of where their food comes from, and how it is produced.
Use the Local Harvest website on the Farmers Markets & Local Farms page to find Farmers Markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other delicious and healthy treats.