While there are plenty of farms in Westchester, a select few offer visitors a chance to learn about the food they grow and how a farm works. Educational farms give a firsthand look at all the work that goes into growing the food we eat every day. Hands-on learning can foster a new appreciation for healthy food and the animals that are part of the process.
Here are some family-friendly educational farms in Westchester.
Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture
630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills
The Stone Barns Center is a nonprofit farm and educational center with a mission to create a healthy and sustainable food system. The farm operates year-round and grows nearly 500 varieties of produce each year. Livestock farmers raise animals like chickens, turkeys, sheep, and pigs who graze on the pastures. The farm features lectures on food and agriculture and programs in cooking, gardening, and composting. Visitors can experience seasonal, hands-on activities and tours of the farm year-round. The nonprofit also works in partnership with Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an award-winning restaurant that has no menu and creates dishes based on what is harvested from the fields and pastures at Stone Barns Center and other sustainable farms.
51 Route 100, Katonah
Muscoot Farm was a working farm dating back to the 1800s until it was acquired by Westchester County. It is now an open-air interpretive farm museum and is free to the public. The original buildings are open to explore, including the ice house and blacksmith shop. The large red barn now displays the collection of antique farm machinery. More than 50 animals live on the farm, including goats, pigs, and cows. Hayrides around the farm are also available. In the summer, first- through eighth-graders can attend the Young Farmers camp during which they help take care of the farm animals, in addition to other activities. Throughout the year, Muscoot hosts various workshops and programs, many of which teach children how a farm works.
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Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center
121 Hanover St., Yorktown Heights
Hilltop Hanover is a working crop farm and environmental education facility that strives to teach kids where their food comes from. The farm dates back to the 1600s and was previously a dairy farm. Now, visitors are free to explore the farm’s hiking trails and learn about sustainable farming, composting, cooking, and making preserves. In the warm months, you can pick your own vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the crop fields and gardens. The Junior Farmer summer camp lets kids spend time in the crop fields and greenhouses and explore the trails while learning about how food is grown.
Main image: Visitors plant lettuce in the vegetable field at Stone Barns Center.
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