Scenes from Our Farms: Daisy Hill Farm, Bedford Corners

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 Name of Farm

Daisy Hill Farm

Address

214 West Patent Road , Bedford Corners

Web site

http://daisyhillfarmny.com

The small wooden sign at the entrance of Daisy Hill Farm on West Patent Road hardly belies the beauty that awaits you once you step onto the property.  Meeting with the farm owner Gwenn Brant was a real pleasure.  Her love of the farm and the family oriented environment she’s created there warmly embraces you as you as you walk the grounds and shop the farm store.  The store is loaded with products from the farm and other area farms offering a rich variety of items.  The kids will love sitting at a picnic table nibbling goodies or visiting with some of the farm animals.

How long has the farm been in the family  (history of the farm) 

Purchased in 2001 the farm is now a family owned and family operated farm.   The property formerly known as Tanrackin Farm, was a race horse breeding farm.

How many acres are on the farm?

We originally started with 74 acres and in 2010 we sold 67 acres. Today the farm consists of almost 7 acres which is all farm property – the gardens, buildings and fields.

What do you grow?

We grow everything that’s in season: lettuce, cucumbers, swiss chard, onions and tomatoes – lots and lots of tomatoes.  The only thing we don’t grow is corn because it takes up so much space.  We’re very fortunate here because the soil is so rich, we don’t spray because we don’t have to.   A lot of the products we sell in the store are organic and though we’re not certified, we do use organic practices.

How has the farm changed over the years?

Its changed dramatically!  When we first started we had a shed row and a large garden at the top of the hill.  Then we thought, let’s try a farm stand because we had so much produce – we used to give it away because we had so much.  So we took this shed row that was  really just a shell and we cleaned it up, painted it and made it pretty.  Our first year we just had buckets of produce and a cash box.  Then someone asked for jam and we got jam, then someone else said we needed baked good, so we got baked goods.  Really things just evolved organically and today we have a great robust farm store.  Every year we grow and in 2007 we took one of the barns and turned it into the farm store we have now.  We try to get products that no one else has or that you can’t get in the local market – it’s fun and it lets us offer our customers a lot of variety.

Where do you sell your produce?

We sell at the farm store on the farm.

Do you participate in CSA and/or farmer’s market?

No, we only sell in the store.  A lot of people have asked about the CSA but for us it works best to sell to lots of people. We do have the same customers years after year and then lots of new ones too.  Any leftovers are usually donated to the Food Bank or day cares that feed seniors or kids.

Tell us about your most successful season?

Tomato season for us is most successful season by far.  We grow a vast amount of tomatoes, we have over a thousand tomato plants.

What was your hardest season and why?

The tomatoes blight for sure. We start our tomatoes from seed so it’s a long process then to see it all wiped out was really hard.  We lost over 90 plants (that was at a time when our garden was a lot smaller).

What is your favorite thing to grow or raise, and why?

Kale for sure because I love to juice it.  It’s green, leafy and juicy.  After I juice it I give the pulp to the pigs so nothing goes to waste.  I love juicing the swiss chard and collard greens too.

Is there a lesson that you’ve learned farming that you might apply to life?

Life on the farm is very rewarding.  Growing your own food, seeing how you can maintain and improve an area is really rewarding.  Its being able to find beauty and satisfaction in the little things.  Its being able to sit back at the end of a long day and simply enjoy the people your with.  So the lesson for me is really in simplicity – being aware of the beauty that surround us and enjoying simple things like breaking bread with friends and family.

Do you have a favorite recipe from the farm that you’d like to share?

Recipe forthcoming – please check back soon!

 

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About Author

Contributing blogger Margaret Rizzuto is a portrait and food photographer with an interest in vegetarian and raw foods (though she does admit to occasional indulgences in seafood). Margaret lives and works in Lower Hudson Valley where she loves being surrounded by the beauty of nature, the farms, and of course, great food. She admits to being obsessed with the Food Channel to the point where she’ll even watch shows where meat is being cooked—meat that being a vegetarian she knows she’ll never cook. She loves all the techniques, ingredients and creativity that go into cooking. When not shooting, Margaret can often be found in her garden battling slugs or in her kitchen trying out a new recipe. To see some of Margaret’s food work visit http://www.mrpculinaryart.com or see her portrait work at http://www.margaretrizzutophotography.com

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