Organic Farms | Farmers Pledge
Find the best Farmers' Markets and
organic farms in Albany County. Visit U-Pick farms, also known as pick-your-own farms in Albany, NY and the wider Hudson Valley. There are many local farms and Farmers' Markets offering the best organic apples, berries, fruits, and vegetables; and they need your support!
"The National Standards on Organic Agricultural Production and Handling (NOP rule) was issued on December 21, 2000, by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The standards in the NOP rule are similar to most of the standards organic producers and handlers currently use, and are intended to be flexible enough to accommodate the wide range of operations and products grown and raised in every region of the United States. The Organic Foods Production Act and the NOP rule require that agricultural products labeled as organic originate from farms or handling operations certified by a state or private agency that has been accredited by USDA." The Organic Foods Production Act does not address food safety or nutrition.
"Food labels must be in compliance by early 2001.
"The NOP rule prohibits the use of genetic engineering (included in the list of excluded methods), ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge. The rule includes the following:
While some farms are completely organic, others use synthetic components to assist with the growth of crops and livestock.
Many farms practice organic and/or sustainable farming in Albany County and the wider Hudson River Valley, where you can buy fresh and healthy local produce. For fun things to do with the kids, pick-your-own fruits and vegetables at one of many U-Pick farms listed below.
Local farms offer fresh and healthful produce; while organic farms also contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment. Enjoy selections of fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other farm fresh products. Buy produce at one of the Hudson Valley markets, or pick-your-own fruit and vegetables at an organic farm in the Hudson Valley.
Visit one or more organic and local farms in Albany County. Find farms in Altamont, Berne, Guilderland, Schaghticoke, Schodack and Westerlok in the Hudson Valley of New York State.
Farms in Albany County sell a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including delicious New York apples, berries, pumpkins and U-Pick produce. In addition to pick-your-own fruits, many local farms have acres of delicious vegetables available for you to pick; or you can buy picked produce at the farms market stand or market store.
Many farm markets offer a wide range of fresh jars of honey, jams and chutney. Many pick-your-own apples, offer fresh apple cider or a hot cup of coffee to go with the delicious freshly made donuts . . . Yum. You can also find local crafts, cheeses, soups, and other specialty items that are charming and made locally.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is available at some farms in Albany County. Community Supported Agriculture is when people agree to purchase a share of the anticipated crop at a farm. If the farm is organic, the farmer agrees to supply the members with a fresh assortment of high quality certified organic produce. The shareholders commitment implies a willingness to share with the farmer both the bounty from the land and some of the risks of its production.
Organic products meet stringent standards. Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.
Organic food tastes great.
It’s common sense. Well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.
Organic production reduces health risks.
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.
Organic farms respect our water resources.
The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.
Organic farmers build healthy soil.
Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.
Organic farmers work in harmony with nature.
Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.
Organic producers are leaders in innovative research.
Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.
Organic producers strive to preserve diversity.
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.
Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy.
USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.
Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike.
Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way.
Source: Organic Trade Association.
Select one or more farms to visit at local farms in Albany County and go apple, berry, or pumpkin picking in Albany County. Farmer's markets and pick-your-own farms are available throughout the county of Albany in the upper-Hudson Valley. Find farm markets for all seasons offering many wonderful items including homegrown seasonal fruits & produce such as apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, pears, plums, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes & corn. Some farms are open through late December selling Christmas trees and other seasonal items.
Many children enjoy going to a local pick-your-own farm where the kids can pick seasonal fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, blueberries, apples, and pumpkins for Halloween. Many pick-your-own farms offer additional outdoor activities for the kids including:
Corn Maze - free for all ages
Farm animals to pet and feed
Pick winter squash / pumpkins
Visit organic farms in Albany County. Some farms offer healthy organic produce with more farms working toward becoming organic or getting a Farmers Pledge certification. Organic farms offer healthy produce including fruits, vegetables, organic meats, poultry, eggs, and more.
Several pick-your-own farms have beautiful views of the hills and mountains of Albany County, offering kids a wonderful time outdoors "picking their own food". Pick-you-own farms are great fun for children and kids of all ages.
Farmers' Markets are one of the oldest forms of direct marketing by small farmers. From the traditional "Mercados" in the Peruvian Andes to the unique street markets in Asia, growers all over the world gather weekly to sell their produce directly to the public. In the last decade they have become a favorite marketing method for many farmers throughout the United States, and a weekly ritual for many shoppers.
In a Farmers' Market, farmers sell their products once or twice a week at a designated public place like a park or parking lot. Some Farmers' Markets have live entertainment. Shopping at a Farmers Market is a great way to meet local farmers and get fresh, flavorful produce. Many farms have set-up farm markets on their own farm. In addition to fresh picked fruits and vegetables, Farmers’ Markets often sell crafts and other locally made products.
Farmers' Markets provide a means for local producers of agricultural products to sell those products directly to the consumer. Many communities throughout New York State view Farmers Markets as a positive avenue for supporting local agriculture, providing a source of fresh fruits and vegetables to the residents of their community, and as a means of drawing people into their community aiding in the economic redevelopment of an area.
The Farmers’ Market Federation of New York is a statewide not-for-profit organization designed to both promote and provide support services for the Farmers' Markets within New York State. The Federation was formed through the collective efforts of market managers throughout the state, Cooperative Extension, and the Department of Agriculture & Markets, and was initially funded by a Federal State Marketing Improvement Grant in early 1998.
Large-scale chemical agriculture continues to poison our soil and our water, and weaken our communities. Buying directly from a family farm can help put a stop to this unfortunate trend. By purchasing organic produce from your local farmer, you are working to maintain a healthy environment, a vibrant community, and a strong and sustainable local economy for you and for your family.
Organic and Local Food
The freshest, healthiest, most flavorful organic food is food that is grown locally. Organically grown food is free from exposure to harmful chemicals; but that is only one part of the importance of organic products. A larger part of Organic Agriculture involves the health of the soil and of the ecosystems in which crops and livestock are raised. Organic Agriculture is born from the idea that a healthy environment significantly benefits crops and the health of those consuming them. In addition, organic practices are also viable in the long term, since they are efficient in their use of resources. Unlike large scale "chemical agriculture", Organic Agriculture does not damage the environment and our local community.
Visit your local Farmers' Market and experience the colorful abundance of nutritious, high quality locally grown foods, the aroma of fresh produce and the friendly banter of farmers and customers, neighbors and families. A visit to a Farmers' Market is an adventure, and among the fun things to do in your own community. Bring the children. Children love visiting their local farmer's market where they can meet the farmers, ask questions, and learn about the food. Farmers' Markets also provide a lesson in supporting your own community and the environment.
Both economic and health factors have resulted in the growth of Farmers' Markets across the country. Not only is a completely new generation of farmers seeking retail outlets that increase their profitability and viability thus preserving agriculture for themselves and future generations, but also, consumers are discovering that Farmers' Markets are a fun, reasonably priced, alternative to supermarkets. At Farmers' Markets they have direct access to fresh, healthy local foods and to the farmers who produce the foods. The experience inevitably includes developing relationships and friendships with the farmers and gaining an understanding and appreciation of where their food comes from and how it is produced.
Use the Local Harvest website on the Farmers' Markets & Local Farms page to find Farmers' Markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy organic produce, grass-fed meats, and many other delicious and healthy foods.