People attending Schoharie County’s first Family Farm Day will get a chance not only to see but to feel the work that keeps people fed and farm animals safe and healthy.
Nearly two dozen farms are opening their barns, henhouses and fields Saturday, offering horseback rides, displaying farm work and getting visitors involved in gathering eggs and other work.
Organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties, a portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit post-flood recovery efforts.
If you go
WHAT: Schoharie County Family Farm Day
WHERE: 20 farms, three farmers’ markets and SUNY-Cobleskill
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
MORE INFO: www.familyfarmday.org
It’s a busy time on farms right now, so guests will get a nice view of round baling, the process that leads to those big, circular bales of hay seen in farm fields, said Lois Goblet, owner of Hessian Hill Farm on Treadlemire Road in Schoharie. She said kids will get to collect eggs at the farm and see how sheep are sheared, while her “extended family members” will be toiling in the fields baling hay.
The agricultural lifestyle will also be on exhibit on the farm, which is gearing up to celebrate the Goblet family’s 50th year running it in 2014.
Goblet said her daughter will be coordinating horseback riding and her niece will bring children to the creek for some “rock ’n’ roll felting,” a form of farm art that entails pounding felt on rocks in the water. Her nephew will be putting on a demonstration on fly casting.
“It’s the forgotten pleasures of country life. It’s work, but at the same time there’s pleasures that offset,” Goblet said.
Visitors can also take a small bit of the farm home with them — seeds. Goblet said the colorful flowering Hollyhocks were just cut, so people can take a stalk and shake them over their own garden, dropping seeds and watching to see them grow.
Carrie Edsall said her Black Willow Pond Farm on Hill Road in Cobleskill will be welcoming children to gather eggs — there’s some 300 hens laying — and take part in other chores. The farm engages in intensive management — grazing sheep lead the way, cutting the grass, followed by meat chickens spreading manure as they look for bugs, and hens come last, eating grubs and bugs and filling up to produce healthy eggs.
Edsall said folks participating in the Family Farm Day can help out with the chore of moving the mobile fencing, which will open up new pasture for the cycle to begin again.
The day will give urban residents a chance to see what goes into making food.
“My biggest thing is that they connect with where their food comes from,” Edsall said.
Twenty farms are participating, in addition to three farmers markets and the working farm at SUNY-Cobleskill. Their locations are listed online at www.familyfarmday.org. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.