Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series
What they do: Queens County Farm Museum is comprised of 47 acres dating back to 1697, making it the largest continuously farmed site in New York State. It includes historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard, and an herb garden. They provide a unique setting where visitors can explore the farm, discover its history, and learn about sustainable agriculture in the past as well as the present. They also have seasonal farm stands where visitors can buy fruit, vegetables, flowers, honey, eggs, and yarn directly from the farm.
How they do it: Visitors can explore the farm year-round. Guided tours are available on weekends from April to October, and seasonal programming for school groups are offered from October to June. The programs for students focus on inquiry, observation, and hands-on activities to introduce students to the colonial way of life. Programs include What’s the Buzz? Queens Farm Honeybees!, Compost Explorers, and Colonial Kids: Apple Cider Pressing. Additionally, students learn about the elements of a small-scale, urban vegetable and livestock operation. The museum also holds seasonal adult education courses on topics such as colonial cooking and wreath-making.
Mission: “The mission of the Queens County Farm Museum is to preserve, restore, and interpret the site. Through educational programs, events, and museum services, we educate the public as to the significance of Queens County’s agricultural and horticultural past and heighten awareness of present-day agricultural and horticultural practices.”
Latest project/campaign: There is a comprehensive outdoor tour exploring the many aspects of the historic, working, and sustainable farm. Students learn about what crops they are growing, how they integrate livestock into their practices, and how they recycle food scraps! This program includes a hayride and students have to opportunity to feed a snack of alfalfa to their goats!
Major Funding: Membership dues, paid events, educational program fees, rental of space
Annual Budget: $2,800,000
Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: Their fresh, nutritious farm products are sold only in New York City with their honey, eggs, herbs, and vegetables traveling no farther than fifteen miles. Their main retail location is their Gift Shop, located in the greenhouse complex of the farm. In addition, they sell vegetables, bouquets, and herbs at the Union Square Greenmarket on select Fridays throughout the year. Their produce is also featured on the menus of various prominent restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn that focus on locally-grown, seasonal vegetables. Any overflow produce is distributed to City Harvest and community food banks.
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, NY 11004-1129
Core Programs: They offer a broad range of programs and services including classes for children & adults, public events, tours, and corporate & private site rentals. Farmers Market.
Number of staff: 8 full time, 24 part time year-round and 112 seasonal
Number of volunteers: 92
Year Started: 1975
Executive Director: Amy Fischetti-Boncardo
Photo credit: Queens County Farm Museum