Saratoga County

Visit to a farm means a trip to earlier times

The past was alive on Saturday for thousands of people who descended on local farms for the 20th ann

The past was alive on Saturday for thousands of people who descended on local farms for the 20th annual Farm Fest.

A dozen sites in the town offered locally grown food, displayed crafts, hosted animal displays and gave a little taste of life on a farm for people who were excited to spend one of the final days of summer in the outdoors.

At King Crest Farm a real trip in time was offered after a brief tractor ride over a short trek from the makeshift parking lot to the barns. There were handmade wooden toys, quilts and woven products in one barn and a demonstration on peeling, coring and slicing an apple with the latest equipment from the late 1800s.

Leading the apple demonstration was Linda Conpropst, of Clifton park, who was aided by her 10-year-old granddaughter Abigail Conpropst.

Working from two large barrels of apples, Linda would pick one out, while talking to a steady stream of onlookers throughout the day, and jam the apple onto a short horizontal spike, which rotated when she turned an attached wheel. As the apple spun, a blade that was pushed against it would shave off its bright exterior, or at least that was the plan. Occasionally the apple would pop off the spike and fall on the ground.

After a successful peeling, she would hand off the apple to her granddaughter, who would then use devices more than 100 years old to core and slice the apple. While Abigail finished the final two steps, she narrated with the same excitement in her grandmother’s voice.

Inspiring that interest is what Linda hopes to accomplish with her demonstrations. “I need to encourage people to know how it was once upon a time,” she said. “Because history is very important.”

That sentiment is also endorsed by Abigail, who is very proud of her grandmother and likes operating the old equipment.

“My favorite one is the apple corer, because it just goes wham, and cuts it out,” she said, using hand gestures to represent the instrument that slams the core out of the apple. “My second favorite is definitely the slicer.”

There was also a woodworking demonstration by Dan Minbiole, using both old and newer tools to work on four large posts made from hemlock that will eventually go into a barn.

orchard popular

Nearby Riverview Orchards was packed to near capacity as the parking lots were full at noon.

Despite a frost in the spring that messed with the apple crop, hundreds of people were anxious to check out all the different offerings, including the pick-your-own opportunities. There were hay rides for small children, pumpkin carving and decorating demonstrations, a hay castle and a cheese sampling in the early afternoon courtesy of the Saratoga County Dairy Princess.

In addition to the events, people also took the opportunity to buy foods that are the trademark of an orchard, like fresh apples, cold apple cider and warm cider doughnuts. Also for sale was honey, which was located on shelves just a few feet from a honeycomb behind glass.

Farm Fest continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Admission is free to any farm, but some of the different offerings do have a fee.

For specific information about site locations and event times, call 371-6667 or visit

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