September has been a busy month for local farms, with Rogers Family Orchard in Johnstown being the latest farm to host an “open door day” for for families to visit and experience farm life up close.
Sunday afternoon saw hundreds come from Saratoga and Fulton counties to the orchard to take park in “Fulton County Sunday On The Farm.”
From noon to 4 p.m., the huge orchard on county Highway 131 opened its doors to everyone who cared to stop by, offering a multitude of fall activities like hay rides, apple picking and shopping. There were also horse-drawn and tractor wagon rides, tractor shows and demos, a petting zoo, wool spinning demonstrations, a large corn maze and apple cider pressing. The farm also brought in a handful of vendors to serve food and drinks on site.
Farm days such as Sunday’s event largely function as opportunities for local farms to showcase their attributes and to remind the surrounding communities of what they bring to the table, whether that be fresh fruit and vegetables, a healthy and safe opportunity for children to get outside for a day, or simply to remind people of what it takes to run a farming operation in 2019.
Most recently, Clifton Park hosted a similar event known as Farm Fest, which has been going on for almost 30 years and showcases other local agricultural heavy-hitters, including Bowman’s Orchard and Riverview Farms.
The orchard has been hosting the event for nearly a decade. Each year sees almost 2,000 people in attendance.
Cars flooded the highway and fields outside Rogers Family Orchard as hundreds visited the farm on Sunday.
Rogers Family Orchard is a longtime, well-known family-owned and -operated apple orchard that also offers peaches, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, plums, and pears.
Attached to the orchard is country store, which was bursting with people on Sunday and which offers local cheese, maple syrup, potatoes, jams and jellies.
In the fall the farm also offers homegrown pumpkins, gourds, and squash, along with cider and donuts. The orchard’s seasons is from mid-July until Christmas and is open seven days a week.
Otis Martin, a Saratoga Springs resident who made the almost hour-long trek to visit the farm on Sunday with his family, said that he was drawn to the event because he found past experiences at Rogers Family Orchard to be “authentic.”
“They’re a working farm with tractors moving around that you can actually see,” he said. Martin also enjoyed watching the farm’s cider bottling operation.
Shelby Martin, 10, was returning from a tractor wagon ride with her mom, Emily, when she met up with her dad outside the farm shop. The family was planning on purchasing some items before making the long drive back to Saratoga, but for Shelby, seeing the animals on Sunday was enough to make her day.
“I love horses and the goats, and all the other animals,” she said.
“She wants a pet horse but we can’t really fit that in our house, so we figured this was the next best thing. She can see them for free,” Emily Martin said before taking her daughter’s hand and heading into the farm store.