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Madison County Open Farm Day to offer inexpensive family fun

Carly Stone
Staff writer
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Posted 7/29/22

Madison County’s annual Open Farm Day will connect residents with their local food sources.

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Madison County Open Farm Day to offer inexpensive family fun


Madison County’s annual Open Farm Day will connect residents with their local food sources.

Twenty-six farms, featuring livestock, produce, tastings, and more, will open their properties to the public with interactive and educational activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 30. In addition, many farms will have food available for purchase for visitors to enjoy lunch or grab groceries to-go while they travel between locations.

Open Farm Day, an event hosted by the Madison County Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) for over 10 years, is about showing residents where their food comes from — it doesn’t just populate at a grocery store on its own.

For younger children in particular, this might not be obvious, explained Melissa Davis, a Madison County CCE employee helping to organize the event this year. “[Open Farm Day] is to bring that awareness and to bring economic impact,” she added. “That day is a big day for the farms,” many of which are not open to the public on a day-to-day basis.

Among this weekend’s participants are several unique agricultural producers that may be unknown to many residents. This can be a chance to change that.

Riches Apiary located at 1056 Moore Road in Kirkville, for example, processes honey, cream honey, beeswax candles, honey roasted seeds and nuts, and a small farm winery specializing in honey wine called mead. During her own visit in the past, Davis said she learned about the apiary’s “docile” bees — this was something she would have never experienced on her own, but she said she was glad she did.

Returning to Open Farm Day this year is Meadowood Farms at 5157 Ridge Road in Cazenovia, popular for its dairy-sheep flocks. Visitors can take a wagon ride tour of the farm, pet some baby lambs, and watch a sheep get milked. Guests can then visit a Texas Longhorn Cattle farm nearby on 4064 Rippleton Road to get up close to the cattles’ colossal head pieces.

While in Cazenovia, travelers can make a stop at 2869 Fenner Road to visit Local Roots, a family farm offering horse-drawn buggy rides.

Farms are sprinkled across the county in other areas near Hamilton, Morrisville, and Chittenango, among others.

Whether horses aren’t your speed or you’re really just looking to get a good meal, the Open Farm Day website and passport helps guide participants to curate the day to their needs and preferences.

Destinations can be organized by farms offering animal interaction, tastings, accessibility, and more. The passport includes a map of all destinations and also breaks farms down into zones — western, eastern, southern, and northern Madison County.

Physical passports are available at Madison County Price Chopper stores and at participating farms.

Visitors are encouraged to have both cash and card available during their trip, though making a purchase isn’t required. Attending Open Farm Day is free.

“You know how a lot of times you go to a water park [and] you drop like $300 at your family fun day? This is an economical way for the whole family and friends to enjoy their day, and it’s a learning and educational process,” Davis remarked.

She recommends guests dress for the occasion with close-toed shoes and be prepared for the weather, including potential heat. “I’ve been to it even when it was a rainy pouring day and myself and my kids have had such a blast,” Davis reflected.

The Madison County CCE building, located at 100 Eaton St. in Morrisville, will be open during the day for guests to use the restrooms if need be during their travels.

To learn more about Madison County Open Farm day and to plan your own trip, visit:


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