Think farm museum and you’re probably not thinking about Queens.
Yet, if you pay attention while driving along Little Neck Parkway in Floral Park, you’ll notice a spot where city apartment buildings give way to open space. It’s here, down a slightly uneven driveway, where you’ll find the Queens County Farm Museum and all the makings for a perfect day trip.
“The farm connects people to their heritage, to history, to their food and to the environment. It’s an oasis in the city that offers open green space and peace,” said Sarah Meyer, director of communications and sales for the Queens County Farm Museum.
Free and open year-round from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Queens County Farm Museum is an unexpected yet peaceful spot in the city, waiting to be explored. Stop by the welcome center on your way in for a map of the 47-acre farm and to purchase goat and sheep feed. Stroll around the farm and you’ll find the animals ambling about in their pastures eager for visitors to feed them. Continue walking and you’ll also spy cows, alpacas and chickens, the growing fields, a greenhouse, a hands-on children’s garden and more.
The farm grows more than 200 varieties of fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs, including many heirloom varieties that you can’t get in the grocery store, but depending on the season you can purchase on the farm along with honey, eggs and other locally made products. Freshly picked produce is generally available Wednesday through Sunday from mid-May through early November.
“As a public farm, our visitors and customers are free to see our operation with their own eyes and talk to our farmers, strengthening the connection to their food and community,” Meyer said.
You can even get your hands dirty. From mid-April to November, the Queens County Farm Museum hosts drop-in volunteer days where those aged 18 and older can help out in the growing fields. And throughout the year there are adult education programs visitors can sign up for such as cheesemaking for beginners, how to plan your vegetable garden and more.
“There’s something for everyone here.”
— Sarah Meyer
The farm also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, as well as weddings and birthday parties.
Stop by on a weekend and you can take a guided tour of the Adriance Farmhouse building, originally built as a three-room Dutch farmhouse in 1772. The farm, which dates back to 1697, is the longest, continuously farmed piece of land in New York state. The state bought it in the 1920s using it to grow fruits and vegetables for the Creedmoor State Hospital before eventually transitioning the property into an educational farm and museum.
Laid out with easy to follow paths to the different areas of the farm, the site is a fun, educational excursion no matter the time of year you visit or your age.