While the event is intended to be a fundraiser to help fund the farm’s mission of supporting local agriculture, that is ecologically sound, community orientated and economically viable for all residents, it is free to the public.
The day’s festivities feature farm tours, live music and storytelling, nature trail walks, beekeeping demonstrations, pumpkin painting, a bouncy castle and of course, fresh food, including pizza made to order directly from the farm’s outdoor oven.
The live auction begins at 1:30 p.m. and will be led by one of the area’s most renowned auctioneers, Fred Mayo. The auction features paintings and photographs from some of Hudson Valley’s most popular artists including Kevin Cook, Shawn Del Joyce, Hardy Truesdale, Lynn Friedman, Jeff Goldman and many others.
There is also a silent auction that features more than 80 items from New Paltz businesses, artists, crafts people, including spa treatments, meals at local eateries, quilted items, pottery, jewelry, rounds of golf and signed books.
The auctions help to support Phillies Bridge’s education and outreach programs, which among many other things host more than 1,000 school children to the farm each year, summer camps, parent-toddler programs and programs for at-risk youth and families.
“The farm is a magical place and a community treasure,” said Kimiko Link, a New Paltz resident and member of the CSA. “Phillies Bridge education programs and public events have made our summer and helped my whole family connect to local farming and healthy food.”
The emphasis of farm visits by children, families and educators is to provide a “hands on” approach to understanding how a farm works, how food is grown and the ways in which Phillies Bridge and other farms are able to achieve a sustainable form of agriculture.
“You can literally see learning and wonder come alive for children as young as two all the way up to teenagers and adults,” said Jill Rubin, the CSA’s executive director.
Not only does the annual Farm Fair and Art Auction serve to help fund the mission of Phillies Bridge educational programs, but it also spotlights local artists and businesses, introduces community members to many programs that the farm project has to offer, and has become a signature festivity in the early regional celebration of an autumn harvest.
For more information, contact the Farm at 256-9108 or visit them online at www.philliesbridge.org.