Top 3 Westchester Farms For Fresh Summer Produce

Summer is the best time to find alternatives to overpriced mushy strawberries and sour summer squash found in most supermarkets. Stop spending a fortune on berries gone bad and stock up on first-rate produce at one of the county’s most celebrated farms.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm

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Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights (http://www.hilltophanoverfarm.org/our-produce/farmstandu-pick/), a former dairy farm that dates back to the 1600s, is a leading supplier for sustainable food in the county. Featuring 445 acres of farmland and 3.5 miles of trails, there’s no shortage of things to do or produce to pick.

U-Pick: July – November; Saturdays 10-4 pm. During the Harvest season, Hanover opens their fields to Westchester’s undercover farmers. Sit and select summer squash, gather garlic bulbs and grab the best basil to learn the true definition of hand-picked. Farmers are in the fields with you to answer any questions and teach young ones the basics of crop cultivation. U-Pick spots are limited, so be sure to call ahead.

Farm Stand: June – November; Friday 1-6 and Saturday 10-4 pm. You may not handpick these, but they’re still the farm’s freshest choice of the day. Available farm stand produce—and flowers—vary each week, so be sure to check the website ahead of time. It feels good to give: 10 percent of annual produce sold goes to local food pantries.

 

Stone Barns Center For Food and Agriculture

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Set on 80 acres and spanning across four seasons, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills (http://www.stonebarnscenter.org/farm/farm-products/index.html) is truly one-of-a-kind. Attracting more than 100,000 visitors annually, it’s part farm, agricultural education center, and dining destination (Blue Hill). The center cultivates some of the county’s best crops and shares them with visitors, bettering the way Westchester eats.

Farm Stand/Farm Store: open year-round, Wednesday to Sunday 10 am-6 pm. Although there’s no pick-your-own option, Stone Barns’ farm store offers meat, eggs, and seasonal produce, including summer squash, chard, spring onions, shishito peppers, basil, cabbage, and tomatoes. If you get hungry while shopping, light snacks, lattes, fresh baked goods, and vegetable salads are offered at the Blue Hill Café & Grain Bar (Wednesday to Sunday 10 am-4:30 pm).

 

Hemlock Hill Farm

For nearly 80 years, the DeMaria family has worked tirelessly to cultivate pristine produce and preserve what’s left of family farming in the Hudson Valley at Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor (http://www.hemlockhillfarm.com). On 120 beautiful acres overlooking the Croton Reservoir, fields are used to grow hay and provide grazing space for an array of animals. Though primarily a livestock farm for much of the year, the farm offers fresh produce each summer.

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The Market: open year-round; Monday to Saturday 9 am to 5:30 pm, Sunday 9 am to 2 pm. Hemlock Hill Market is home to the freshest produce around. The pesticide- and fungicide-free veggies are cultivated with techniques like companion planting and permaculture. In the summer, enjoy ripe, juicy tomatoes, summer squash, lush lettuce, crunchy cabbage, basil, and more. Complement your hand-picked produce with fresh pasture-raised dairy and meats (Italian sausage, smoked bacon, Black Angus beef, and pork chops). They also have cage-free eggs, mouth-watering cheeses like raw milk cheddar, ice-cream, and honey pollinated by the property’s bees.

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