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Barbara Zheutlin
Blueberries at the Berry Patch in Stephentown, N.Y.

SUSTAINABLE BERKSHIRES: The Berry Patch and Wyomanock Farm ‘Celebrate Stephentown’

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By Friday, Aug 17, 2018 Farm and Table

Note from Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown: The Berkshires are much loved for the pastoral beauty of the region. This gorgeous landscape attracts visitors and development, producing a rich culture, while simultaneously raising the cost of land. The high cost of land is one of the many challenges facing farms, the farms that are at the heart of the beauty of the Berkshires. So a challenge to all who treasure the Berkshires is how to sustain the old and new farms of the region that make the Berkshires extraordinary. In this series you will “get to know your local farmers,” the individuals who grow the food you eat and care for the land you see.

The Berry Patch’s farmer, Dale-Ila Riggs, restocks strawberries at the farm’s store. Photo: Barbara Zheutlin

Stephentown, N.Y. — The Berry Patch and Wyomanock Farm, two Berkshire Grown farms, are co-sponsors of Celebrate Stephentown 2018, a grassroots festival celebrating the vibrant rural community of Stephentown, New York, taking place Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19. For a schedule of events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.

The Berry Patch is an amazing farm. The owners are innovators. They raise a wide variety of berries throughout the season. They are growing so many different melons, flowers and tomatoes.

The farm is the leader in pesticide-free berry production in the nation. This is the time to be visiting! The farm has a wide variety of melons in addition to tomatoes, squashes and berries.

What is ”farm to table”? People wonder, because the phrase is used everywhere. In the Berkshires, the Berry Patch grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and provides those to local chefs, who serve the delicious food at their tables. Among the many local restaurants serving food from the Berry Patch are  Mill on the Floss, Red Lion Inn, Allium, Mezze, Cafe ADAM, Prairie Whale, Canyon Ranch, Cantina 229, Haven Cafe & Bakery, Crossroads Cafe, and Seeds Café at Hancock Shaker Village.

An innovative CSA

Heirloom tomatoes at the Berry Patch farm store come in a variety of different shapes and colors. Photo: Barbara Zheutlin

The Berry Patch has created what it calls a “free choice CSA,” which means that, when a person buys a share in the Berry Patch, the CSA dollars can be applied any time and in any amount to the purchase of fruits, produce and products in the farm’s store and at its Troy Farmers Market booth.

“As farmers who supply premium-quality berries and vegetables to consumers, we hope to help create long-term memories of fantastic meals and food experiences for our customers.”

One of the Highland cattle at Wyomanock Farm investigates the visitors from Berkshire Grown. Photo: Barbara Zheutlin

The Berry Patch Farm Store is worth visiting! It has beautiful berries, heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes, summer squashes, cucumbers and other vegetables, and local products like meats, cheeses, maple syrup, jams, and other great local foods. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The Berry Patch is the first farm in the country to successfully protect its crop from an invasive insect without pesticides by using exclusion netting. The farm has a beautiful crop just waiting to be shared with foodies who want to stock up for summer pies, tarts, breakfast favorites, sauces, cocktails and more!

Wyomanock Farm will also be participating in Celebrate Stephentown. People can purchase fresh vegetables from its farm stand.

Thom Pecoraro of Wyomanock Farm with his 2018 garlic crop. Photo: Barbara Zheutlin

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