The Town of Thurman will host an annual Fall Farm Tour on October 7 from 10 am to 4 pm.
The self-guided tour includes working farms and businesses unique to Thurman, a rural, agricultural and natural resource-based community only twenty minutes from Lake George.
According to organizers, the Thurman Farm Tour enables visitors to immerse themselves in a way of life that remains essentially unchanged after a century and more of “progress” elsewhere.
Among the farms: Whitefield’s Farm, at 95 Mountain Road, which occupies a portion of a former dude ranch, Sun Canyon. The Whitefields raise cage-free, all natural chickens and turkeys, who divide their time between a long low-roofed stone former horse barn and a yard where they bask in the sunshine and feed on nature’s bounty. This year’s Farm Tour features wagon rides, sausage samples and pumpkin painting.
Toad Hill Maple Farm, 137 Charles Olds Road, is owned by Randy and Jill Galusha, whose sugarhouse was designed by Bolton Landing based-Blueline Barn. The farm also features a 60-foot-long timber frame bridge, which visitors cross on their way to the sugar bush and the sugarhouse, where they will learn more about the art and science of maple sugar making. Gifts and maple sugar products will be available for sale.
Nettle Meadow, 484 South Johnsburg Road. Owners Sheila Flanagan and Lorraine Lambiase turned Meadowbrook Stock Farm into an animal sanctuary whose primary concern is the well-being of goats, sheep, and the many retired farm and rescue animals: horses, mini-horses, mini-donkeys, pot belly pigs, goats, sheep, peacocks, all sorts of farm fowl, llamas, and Scottish highland cows, among them. Not to mention a smattering of barn cats. All are friendly and look forward to visitors. Cheese samples will be available near the entrance of the farm, coffee and Pumpkin cheese muffins will be served in the morning and a $20 luncheon will be available in the loft of the restored gambrel-roofed barn from noon to 2 pm.
Windy Ridge Farm, at 32 Elmer Wood Road, has just welcomed its newest members – a pair of Herefords. At Windy Ridge, which has been owned by one family for generations, visitors will meet other residents of the farm as well, including Minnie the pony. Activities include ice cream making and apple cider pressing.
At Martin’s Lumber, 280 Valley Road, visitors will find an Artisans’ Market featuring the works of friends and neighbors of owners Gary and Winefred Martin.
The Martins will also host Ed Braley of E & S Wild Food Larder, who will offer mushroom walks through the woods, offering guidance on the search and identification of edible mushrooms and some tips on how best to prepare them. Annette Burriello will talk about edible wild plants and offer samples of dandelion coffee and her nutritious pemmican.
Mud Street Maple, 269 Mud Street, has “All Things Maple” available for purchase: syrup, maple coffee, maple walnuts, granola, Maple BBQ sauce, infused maple syrup, bourbon maple syrup and a Fall Farm Tour special – maple candy apples. Maple chili and maple hot dogs will also be available for purchase. Childrens’ activities include leaf rubbings, scavenger hunt, leaf identification and a nature walk through the sugar bush.
Valley Road Maple Farm, 2190 Valley Road, where the Hill and Senecal families have been producing maple syrup for more than 55 years, will welcome visitors to its gift shop, where maple candy, maple cream, maple roasted peanuts, maple peanut brittle, granulated maple sugar, and maple-garlic pepper will be available for purchase. Valley Road Maple Farm boasts two sugar bushes on 30 acres with 3,400 vacuum fed taps and a state-of-the-art sugarhouse.
Blackberry Hill, 15 Mud Street. Not yet ten years old, Blackberry Hill is a small family farm that raises chickens, grass-fed cows and heritage breed pigs and grows herbs and vegetables, some of which it uses in its artisan breads and wood fired pizzas. During Fall Farm Tour day, it will open its farm stand to sell breads and meats, oven wood fired pizza, organic soft Bavarian-style pretzels, pastries, cookies, brownies and many locally sourced items.
Candy Mountain Maple Farm, Don Potter Road. Owners Mike and Ingrid Richter’s professional environmental experience helps them manage their sugarbush sustainably and maintain a diverse, forest ecosystem while producing a pure, healthy, maple syrup. They invite visitors on Fall Farm Tour day to learn “hands-on” how maple syrup makes the journey from made their trees to your table.
Cranewood Estate, 76 Buckley Road. A historic farmstead and working sheep ranch, where visitors will be invited to tour the farm by hayride and enjoy the views of the peaks of the southern Adirondacks just as the maples start to change into their autumn hues.
Other attractions include: Revolution Rail Company, Thurman Depot. Make a reservation at the Thurman Depot for an eight-mile round trip railbike ride along the Hudson River between Thurman and the 1000 Acres Ranch. That’s just one of four trips available from Thurman and one of even more from North Creek and Stony Creek. Visit revrail.com.
Thurman Town Hall Quilt Show, 311 Athol Rd. From 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, the Thurman Town Hall will host a display of high quality, locally made quilts and a sale of homemade, fabric-crafted products: coasters, potholders/hot mats, place mats, table toppers/runners, wall hangings and possibly some small quilts.
TEF Braids Manufacturing & Outlet, 572 High Street. “Made in the Mountains of Athol, NY;” that’s the slogan of this local company that uses century-old lace-making machines to produce down-to-earth, lace-like fashions that merge old world craftsmanship with contemporary performance and sustainably values, produced on-site in as “zero waste” a way as possible. During Fall Farm Tour day, the factory will be open for tours.
For a site map and for more information, go to visitthurman.com.