Festivities at the Farm

Despite the rainy weather last Saturday, Phillies Bridge Farm held a day full of fun activities and tasty food to kick off the start of autumn.

Phillies Bridge Farm is located five miles out of New Paltz off of Route 208. It is a working farm that promotes organic and sustainable agriculture.

On Oct. 3, the farm held a harvest party and barn dance for the community.

“We want people to be able to come in and see what we do here,” Susan Loxely-Friedle, farm secretary said. “We want them to understand our mission and what community-supported agriculture is all about.”

This is the first year the celebration included a barn dance. The new farmer at Phillies Bridge, Anna Elbon, is a fiddler player and was willing to play at this event to provide festive music and dancing.

Students and families attended the free event; children happily played with the farm’s goats and chickens and participated in races while the adults enjoyed the fall themed activities.

Under the pavilion people browsed through the silent auction of wines, paintings, farm fresh fruit and jellies made from the farm’s produce and more.

There was a tasty dip contest, where for a dollar, anyone could try six food dips and judge which was the best. According to Loxely-Friedle, farm shareholders made the dips with farm produce, hoping theirs would be chosen as the best for a prize.

Members of the community gravitated towards the food, which was all made with ingredients from the farm. People noshed on stone soup, kale biscuits, wraps, apples and other fresh foods.

“I would never have thought to make half of these dishes and they are all delicious,” said second-year communication disorders major Mckenzie McNeill. “The recipes are so unique and I will definitely be trying some of them on my own.”

Phillies Bridge Farm also sells an array of homemade dilly beans, jellies and pickles that people were able to sample at the Harvest Party free of charge.

“It is cool to see all this food that could be made from farm products,” said Morgan Malecki, fourth-year digital media production major.

In celebration of the fall season, hard cider and apple cider were present at the festival.

Using an old fashioned apple press,  workers on the farm gave a demonstration on how to make fresh apple cider. Children were able to turn the crank and watch as the apples turned to pulp and into the cider they enjoyed.

“I always love seeing how things were done before modern technology, it is a reminder that we can get along just fine without industrial agriculture,” McNeill said.

Although there was a dreary overcast, everyone was happily chatting and enjoying the farm festivities. Malecki said it was nice to see how community-oriented everyone was at the event.

“I love attending events like this for a different experience,” McNeill said. “Festivals like this are fun to attend and educational.”