Post by: Aleda
The Queens County Farm Museum is one of my favorite urban oases in all of New York City. Nestled in Floral Park right on the Little Neck Parkway, the Queens County Farm is so many wonderful things wrapped into one: a free park, a true local farmer’s market, a feeding and petting zoo, a historical site, a haven for great farm based events, a vineyard, a greenhouse and so much more. A brief history from their website:
The Queens County Farm Museum dates back to 1697; it occupies New York City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland, and is the only working historical farm in the city. The farm encompasses a 47-acre parcel that is the longest continuously farmed site in New York State. The site includes historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard, and an herb garden. The farm is owned by the New York City Department of Parks, operated by the Colonial Farmhouse Restoration Society of Bellerose, Inc. and is a member of the Historic House Trust of New York City.
I bring my kids to the farm frequently, they love feeding the goats & sheep, checking out the peacocks & ducks, squealing over the big pigs and arguing with me about whether the alpaca is in fact an alpaca or a baby llama. I also love buying produce and other food goods here, at an eight minute trip from my apartment it doesn’t get more local & organic than buying produce straight from the farm. The farm practices sustainable agriculture and farm products are only sold in New York City (with products never traveling more than 15 miles), making this a very green enterprise.
The farm stand is open June through October on Wednesdays – Sundays from noon to five p.m. The farm also has a stand at the Union Square Greenmarket every Friday on the west side of the park. The farm produces a wide variety of delicious, fresh produce including carrots, onions, tomatoes (large and baby), kohlrabi, hot peppers, okra, lettuce, and other vegetables depending on the month/season, as well as fresh herbs and flowers from the greenhouse. The farm also bottles its own raw honey from its Italian honey bees, makes its own wine from its vineyard, and sells fresh eggs that are chemical free, cage free and collected daily. The farm store sells other snacks and food items like wheat flower and jams as well as adorable toys, gifts and educational products for kids.
I brought the kids to the farm yesterday to pet some animals and do some shopping, and ended up buying a cucumber, a (huge!) white onion, two eggplants, a large bunch of carrots, and potatoes all for about $9. A pretty sweet deal if you ask me, made even sweeter by the morning stroll around the farm, the feeding and petting of farm animals, and the discovery of the farms new group of tiny adorable kittens. I’ve already started eating the cucumber, and it’s as good as a cucumber gets, and I am still hugely undecided about how to cook those eggplants.
So, in a latent (and admittedly failed) attempt to keep a long blog-post short, please visit the Queens County Farm Museum. The produce is amazing. The farm is sustainable. The animals are lovable. Visit the website and check out the calendar for one of their many amazing events, like the Annual Queens County Fair and the Apple Festival. Visit in October and pick your own pumpkins in the city. I cannot recommend this place for green, local, fresh food enough. If you can’t make it out to the farm, check out their stand in Union Square.
Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens