One of the best things about New York’s Capital Region is buying local products, fresh from the farm. So, plan a farm daycation in Washington County! The sites listed below all have fantastic food, AND will have you in breathtaking scenery in no time. I’ve grouped the farms by proximity, so that you can make multiple stops relatively easily, rather than trying to cover the whole county in one day. Rest assured, you’ll be back for more!
Northern Washington County
181 County Rte 12, Granville, NY 12832
Visit Tuscany without having to leave New York State! That’s the vibe at Dancing Ewe Farm. Luisa Somers — a Tuscany native — and her husband Jody Somers have dedicated themselves to the art of cheese-making, salumi and olive oil. Their Sunday lunches and weekend dinners, which feature a curated farm-to-table experience with hand-selected Italian wines, are not-to-be missed. While you cannot currently sit in their beautiful dining room, you can enjoy the experience in an open-air tent. Reservations are required and space is limited, so book now!
18 Hicks Rd, Granville, NY 12832. Cherries and blueberries and apples, oh my! At Hicks Orchard, the oldest U-Pick in New York State, you can load up with fruit, and afterwards, stop by their store and pick up some of their Slyboro Ciders to help wash it all down. My personal favorites are the Montmorency Cherry & La Sainte Terre. If you’re lucky to be there in the Fall, the cider donuts — made fresh on site — are worth the splurge. Trust me. If there anything I know, it’s sweets.
4 Charles St, Fort Ann, NY 12827. Not technically a farm, but with so much locally sourced ingredients in the food and beers, I felt like they could sneak onto the list. Start with their Farmers Platter featuring locally made cheeses or their soft pretzel bites with beer cheese. Choose one of their rotating beer selections to go with your order or try a flight and sample a few. For the main course, I recommend trying one of their two burgers served on house-made buns. These may be some of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Seriously. Not a burger fan? Try the Fort Ann Pub Club with turkey on toasted cranberry spent grain bread instead. I’m starting to get hungry… See you there!
Central Washington County
691 County Rte 30, Salem, NY 12865. Two words: Ice cream. Two more words: So delicious. For over a century, Battenkill Creamery has been producing dairy. What started as a family is open to the public today. I must say there is something really special about locally sourced dairy. Makes you remember why you loved milk as a kid. And when you put that dairy into ice cream, well… love. But don’t just stop by for a scoop and a gallon. Battenkill also sells products from many other local purveyors including: cheese from Argyle Cheese Farmer, maple products from Wild Hill Maple and local, free-range eggs from Saunders Farm to name a few.
167 Bunker Hill Road, Cossayuna, NY 12823. Speaking of dairy, I defy you to try Bunker Hill Creamery’s maple milk and not want to chug the entire bottle. It’s ridiculously good and makes that morning cuppa joe a little more delightful. Right now, you can’t tour their creamery. However, you can buy the milk along with farm-raised beef, eggs and other seasonal offerings at their farm stand. Their store is operated on the honor system, so make sure to bring cash. Do yourself a favor and take a moment to appreciate the amazing views from their farm.
1055 County Rte 30, Salem, NY 12865. Now in the hands of the third generation, Gardenworks Farm is a place that has it all. You could spend quite a few hours here. From seasonal produce that you can pick on your own, to a shop full of local artisans’ wares, to an art gallery upstairs full of antique farm equipment, theres something for everyone. I loved seeing the old equipment and realizing how much work went into farming before technology came along. This is not to say farming today is by any means “easy”. Gardenworks also does flowers arrangements for weddings, which are created from their blooming fields of flowers.
Southern Washington County
11975 NY-40, Schaghticoke, NY 12154. Victory View Vineyard is a family-owned winery producing cold-weather wines that harken back to the rich history of the region. Owned by Mary and Gerry Barnhart, the winery offers outdoor seating on their lush grounds for wine tasting and cheese sampling. If you’re not a wine fan, but want to get out of the house, Victory View has generously opened up their property for picnics. There are guidelines that you’ll need to follow including stopping at the drive-through and not bringing outside alcoholic beverages in. You can get the full rundown on their website. I mean a picnic on a vineyard in picturesque Washington County… doesn’t that just sound glorious?
340 Crescent Ave, Highland, NY 12528. Family fun abounds at Liberty Ridge Farm. There is so much going on at Liberty Ridge that one visit won’t cover it. Blueberry and sunflower picking in the Summer, corn maze in the Fall, pumpkin patches and haunted houses for Halloween… They even have cabins to rent for an afternoon. There you can enjoy a catered event or bring your own food. After you’ve visited and fallen in love with the farm and that special someone, you can even get married at Liberty Ridge. Check out their website to find our more, make reservations and buy tickets to special events.
Washington St, Cambridge, NY 12816. I’m including the Cambridge Valley Farmers Market on my Washington County list, because there are so many great small farms that don’t allow visitors, but still shouldn’t be missed. The CVFM allows you the opportunity to get to experience many of them. The vendors at this market are so diverse that you can go home with kimchi from Sunhee’s Farm (spicy deliciousness), pierogi from Slavonian European Cafe, fresh veggies from Long Days Farm and locally raised meats from Joint Venture Farm, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg with regard to vendors. The market is open on Sundays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Cambridge Central School.