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North River Hobby Farm offers ‘haycations’ in restored camp

— The North River Hobby Farm will reopen in May for its second season, offering picnic foods, flowers, honey, local produce and Saturday night “farm to table” dinner buffets.

This year, the Hobby Farm is adding an additional amenity --- an opportunity to take a “farm holiday” in a restored family camp on the property.

Sometimes called “haycations,” many small farms are inviting guests to take a break from the bustle of city life, and a chance to pack up the kids and enjoy a down-home night or two on the farm. Children can stay busy getting eggs from the chicken coop, watching the ducks paddle around the pond and climbing into the hay loft of the barn while grown-ups may enjoy picking their own peas, herbs and tomatoes from the garden and walking through the wildflowers admiring the gorgeous views of Gore Mountain. At the end of the day, visitors will sleep well in an authentic Adirondack camp built in 1910 by Leslie’s great-grandparents which Leslie has restored “hands on” over the last four years.

“Less than a hundred years ago, about half the population was involved with farming of some kind, and the rest of the folks who weren’t farmers had cousins or grandparents who were, and they took Sunday drives out to visit them. Today there are few places for non-farming folks to go home to,” says Clement. Urbanites who have an urge to embrace the country life can get out of the city, enjoy real food, see how food is grown and wake up to the sounds of farm life --- chickens and ducks, mules and a pony --- and at night see stars that aren’t dimmed by city lights. Participation in farm chores is not required, however, an extra hand is always welcome.

In an increasingly mechanized world in which many people have lost touch with how their food is produced, or the region where it originated, “agritourism” offers tourists a chance to reconnect with the land, providing a “hands on experience” with local foods. Agritourism activities include picking fruits, tasting wine, tending bees, milking cows and other educational pursuits while immersing visitors in the heritage of a particular culture and to discover local people who offer intimate knowledge of the history and traditions of their region.

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