Family Fun In Columbia County

It’s Family Fun Day and off to Columbia County we went!  This time we took my mom along for the ride.  And what a great day it was!

My husband and I LOVE apple picking every year.  We always look forward to it.  Although we have tons of apple orchards not more than 30 minutes from our house, we find that they are way too crowded.  Everyone from the city loves to come to the country to apple pick, which is great, but in Orange County everyone flocks to Warwick.  My husband and I find the prices too high, the crowds too much, and the farms too commercialized.  We prefer a much quieter apple picking experience, away from the city crowds, which is why we tend to head an hour to an hour and a half north to go apple picking.  Each year we usually pick a different apple orchard to explore.  Sometimes we stay with the same orchard for a year or two.  Just depends on our mood.  This year we decided to explore a new apple orchard.

Our Apple Picking adventure took us to Columbia County today.  While researching apple orchards online we came across Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, NY.  We liked that they offered over 70 varieties of apples, not to mention that they charged per pound and not per bag like most places do.  By charging for apples per pound you could pick as much or as little as you want.  And Samascott Orchards turned out to be an awesome find!

Samascott Orchards is different than most.  First off, you can actually drive around the entire orchard (which is HUGE), and just pull over the side when you see the variety of apple you want to pick.  Each row of trees is clearly labeled which is so nice.  My husband and I have been to orchards where there was no labeling or barely any labels, so it was nice to actually know for a change what we were picking.  Because the orchard is so wide open, and it’s more rural in characteristic, we literally felt like we had the orchard to ourselves!  Sure there were other people stopped in different locations, but you hardly noticed the other families.  It was quiet.  It was fun.  It was exactly what apple picking should be.  It was a total get-back-to-nature experience and we loved it!  And Samascott offers so many different apple varieties including ones we have never seen or heard of before!  It was such an awesome experience and we will definitely be back.  I loved how back-to-the-basics it was.

Samascott Orchards also offers fruit, vegetable, grape, berry and pumpkin picking.  But, today, we were just there for the apples.

After Samascott Orchards we stopped at Love Apple Farms in Ghent, NY to check out their petting zoo.  Boy, is that dangerous for my mother and I!  Get the two of us in a petting zoo and watch out!  We are both HUGE animal lovers, and we go crazy when we can actually get up-close with farm animals.  Love Apple Farms offers an awesome little petting zoo, where you can go right on in and play with some goats and a llama.  My mom and I fell in love with the goats, especially the one baby goat that was there.  This little baby goat was all over us, and kept trying to eat our clothing.  At one point he even started eating my hair!  It was hysterical and we had so much fun.

After Love Apple Farms we were hungry, so off we went looking for food.  A quick search online led us to a place called Grazin’ in Hudson, NY.  Located on Warren Street in a vintage diner, is the most awesome restaurant around!  Grazin’ is 100% farm-to-table.

“In December 2002, Dan & Susan Gibson cashed in their corporate lives and started Grazin‘ Angus Acres (GAA) in Ghent, NY (Columbia County). The 500 acre farm quickly built a grass-fed & finished Black Angus herd employing a holistic, synergistic, rotational grazing system combined with numerous egg mobiles to produce great tasting and healthy animal proteins while also restoring the land. Today there are 300 head of pure-bred Black Angus beef cattle and 9 large egg mobiles (1000 heritage laying hens). The farm also pasture raises meat chickens and about 100 heritage Tamworth, Old English Spot, & Bershire pigs per year. All GAA livestock is exclusively fed either clean grass (the cattle), or certified organic soy-free grain (chickens/pigs). Further, GAA was the first NYC Green Market farm to become Animal Welfare Approved (AWA). The Gibson‘s son, Keith, runs the farm and you can see him most weeks at the Union Square(Saturday) or Museum of Natural History(Sunday) Green Market Locations.

In October of 2011, with their son-in-law, Chip, the Gibsons started Grazin‘ Farm-To-Table: Direct, an organic burger joint, in Hudson, NY. Grazin‘ is the first completely Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the world. Every animal protein comes from a small family farm that is pasture based and is held to the highest livestock welfare standards. Most of the proteins come directly from Grazin‘ Angus Acres. The concept has been met with great success.”

I LOVE knowing where my food comes from, and the best part is the owner actually works there as a hostess!  She was so friendly and told us all about Grazin’ Angus Acres farm, and how their cows and livestock are raised.  And their burgers, ohmygoodness!  They are to die for!  Their fries were so addicting as well!  And best of all, mostly everything is gluten-free!  So it was an easy place for me to eat, which I loved.

I highly recommend Grazin’ if you are looking for a true farm-to-table restaurant.  Not only is the food completely amazing, but the environment is so awesome as well!  The entire interior is fashioned as a vintage diner complete with a jukebox and records on the walls.  Oh, and I almost forgot!  They even make their own sodas from scratch and they are so good!

My husband, my mom and I were sat at this really cute booth in the a corner of the diner.  We were told that we were sitting in the “celebrity” booth.  It turns out a few months ago former President Bill Clinton and family stopped on in for lunch and we were sitting in their very booth.  That was pretty awesome to be sitting in a celebrity booth!

After apple picking, playing with baby goats, and an amazing healthy lunch, we were all tired and we headed home.  It was such an amazing day!  Take a look at our Instagram for even more pictures!

Visit Samascott Orchards

Visit Love Apple Farm

Visit Grazin’



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