Rockland Farm and Garden Tour Set for Sunday

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Behind all the raised ranches, split levels and center-hall Colonials, there is a whole other rural, old-fashioned side of Rockland that most people don’t know about or rarely get to see.

To help people get a full sense of all the bounty the county has to offer, the Rockland Farm Alliance is organizing its first countywide farm tour, Farm to You Fest 2012: Rockland County Farm Tour, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30. For $20 per carload, you can see some or all of the dozen farms and gardens that are participating.

The alliance is promising a full day of outdoor events, organic vegetables, farm-related activities for kids such as scarecrow building and pumpkin decorating — and plenty of fresh air for everybody. Once you buy a ticket, you’ll get a map and full schedule of the sites and events.

Highlights include local chefs demonstrating how to use Rockland-grown produce in seasonal cooking, open house and a biodynamic preparation demonstration in the afternoon at the Pfeiffer Center, a tour of the demo gardens at Cornell Cooperative Extension and a book signing with local foods guru Joan Gussow in her Piermont garden.

Tickets, maps and schedules are available in advance at www.rockland farm.org; day of tour at Cropsey Community Farm at 220 S. Little Tor Road in New City, or Piermont Community Garden on Piermont Avenue (next to library on river side).

PARTICIPATING SITES

Cropsey Community Farm, New City

Orchards of Concklin, Pomona

Heritage Herb Farm, Pomona

Demonstration Gardens at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Stony Point

Stony Point Center, Stony Point

Bluefield Farm, Blauvelt

Hook Mountain Growers, Nyack

Piermont Community Garden, Piermont

Danny’s Backyard Organics, Orangeburg

Van Houten Farms, Pearl River

Duryea Farm at the Threefold Fellowship Community

Pfeiffer Center, Chestnut Ridge

IF YOU GO

What: Rockland Farm Tour

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, rain or shine

Where: 12 farms and gardens in Rockland

All-day admission: $20 per carload, $10 per bicycle or motorcycle

Tickets, maps and schedules: in advance at www.rockland farm.org; day of tour at Cropsey Community Farm at 220 S. Little Tor Road in New City, or Piermont Community Garden on Piermont Avenue (next to library on river side)

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About Author

Bill Cary's idea of a good weekend is to dig in a few dozen bulbs, turn the compost pile, pull weeds for a couple of hours and fill the car twice with new annuals from the nursery. He grew up in Louisville, Ky. His gardening was limited to growing parsley and impatiens on the windowsill of Manhattan walkups until the mid-1990s when he bought a rundown old chicken farm on 8 acres in the Hudson Valley. Now he spends his weekends chasing deer, hacking away at invasive shrubs and vines and wondering why he doesn't have more meadow and less lawn.

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