Schenectady County’s Farm and Foliage Day should have a little something for everyone enjoying the fall season.
Children are sure to enjoy a pony ride amid the changing leaves at the historic Mabee Farm in Rotterdam Junction. Gardeners will certainly appreciate some of the tips rolled out at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s series of classes at the greenhouses in Central Park designed to help prepare gardens for the long winter slumber.
Or there’s the haunted corn maze at the Hasbrouck’s Indian House Farm in Princetown, or the horse-riding demonstrations at the Tuck-A-Hoe Farm in Glenville.
On Saturday, six sites will celebrate Schenectady County’s agrarian heritage amid the changing foliage. Leaf-peepers heading to the events across the county can expect brilliant shades of yellow and orange with splashes of red as the area’s foliage nears its peak color this weekend.
Now in its seventh year, Farm and Foliage Day is a joint venture of Schenectady County and Roots and Wisdom, a self-funded program of Cornell Cooperative Extension. The event is also sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Events kick off at 11 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. at most sites. There is a fee for some activities, such as the extension’s classes, but many others are free to the public.
The Mabee Farm will host a bevy of children’s activities, include pumpkin-painting, scarecrow-making and pony rides, in addition to hosting a petting zoo and a birds of prey demonstration with Ford’s Falconry.
In addition, the Scotia Glenville Children’s Museum will sponsor a number of hands-on activities with the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady and the 4-H Club.
The Mabee Farm will also feature a live music performance from Dyer Switch, a bluegrass band from Voorheesville. All activities at the farm are free and aimed to please the whole family, according to organizers.
Businesses on Upper Union Street in Schenectady will host Harvest Fest, which includes live music, art exhibits, children’s activities and a gourmet marketplace, until 3 p.m. Saturday.
Also in the city, miSci will host a children’s discussion exploring why leaves change color in the fall at 1 p.m. The activity is free with admission to the former Schenectady Museum on Nott Terrace Heights.
The cooperative extension will host fall gardening classes at the Fehr Avenue garden and the greenhouses in Central Park. Morning topics include backyard garlic planting and cover cropping, while a discussion on seasonal gardening tips and a cooking demonstration are scheduled for the afternoon; other topics include rain barrels and fall tool maintenance. Courses cost between $5 and $10. A pass for the entire day can be purchased for $35.
Outside the city, Tuck-A-Hoe Farm on Baldwin Road in Glenville will offer tours, horse-riding demonstrations and a variety of activities until 2:30 p.m.
For those looking for evening events, the Indian House Farm in Princetown will host “Field of Screams,” a haunted hayride to benefit the children’s hospital at Albany Medical Center, starting at 7:30 p.m.; the hayrides continue Oct. 19 and Oct. 20.