Courtesy Queens County Farm Museum
Queens County Farm Museum
Floral Park, New York
Just outside New York City, the Queens County Farm Museum occupies 47 acres that have been farmed continuously since 1697. The original owners of the farm, the Dutch Adriance family, maintained a small sustenance farm for 111 years over five generations.
Severe drought in the early 1800s caused the farm to change hands twice before Peter Cox brought it to prosperity and greatly expanded the house and acreage. By 1900, it was Queens County’s second-largest farm.
For groups, the education team coordinates a sustainable agriculture program including a tour with a farmer that highlights sustainable practices and heirloom produce.
“We have two Brown Swiss cows, sheep, a couple pigs, goats, chickens and two alpacas,” said Ali Abate, director of education. “We used to have more animals here, but we’re very careful to make sure the animals have the right amount of space so they all have very happy lives.”
Expert historical guides lead tours of the orchards, outbuildings and farmhouse, where the rooms, which include 18th- and 19th-century parlors, are each renovated in a different period. The Colonial hearth kitchen, which is included in the house tour, is used for the Colonial cooking class and a cooking demonstration, and the farm tour culminates there with a lunch of soup, cornbread and fresh salad.
Signature annual events, including the Celebrate Queen Farm festival in May, with sheep shearing, and the County Fair in September, pack the farm’s calendar. “For the Native American powwow at the end of July, dancers come from all over the world,” said Abate.