Summer at Ryder Farm
Interns at Ryder Farm in Brewster
Ryder Farm is a secret gem located in Brewster, NY. It’s a certified organic farm that’s also an event space, learning center, and artist space.
The best way to see the variety of produce Ryder Farm offers is to visit one of the three weekly farmers’ markets in Brewster: the Brewster Farmers’ Market held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the village lot, or the Hudson Valley Farmers’ Market held on Sundays on Route 22. Ryder Farm has a presence at all three markets, offering everything from potted plants and hanging baskets to all kinds of naturally raised vegetables, herbs and flowers.
The farm pots up different organic plants throughout the season, like hanging baskets of nasturtiums—which are beautiful and edible—as well as vegetables, herbs and perennial plants. Prices range from 4-inch pots for $4, to 10-inch pots for $10, to hanging baskets for $12—something for any spot and occasion.
Of course, Ryder Farm’s fresh-picked produce—such as leafy greens, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplants, all certified organic—are a big draw at the farmers’ markets.
If you miss Ryder Farm at the farmers’ markets, you can shop at its farm stand, which is open daily at the farm on Starr Ridge Road in Brewster.
Ryder Farm’s CSA started in June, but half-seasons of organic produce are still available for the second half – prorated shares of the growing season remain available until sold out. Soon Ryder Farm will also offer the livestock version of the traditional CSA: community supported animals. Ryder Farm will buy a cow, pig, sheep, lamb, turkey, etc., for customers and raise it locally and grass-fed.
Events on the Farm
The farm hosts some fun (and delicious) events with the help of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a nonprofit artist residency program located on the farm grounds. One such event that is open to the public is Sharing Space, where art and agriculture come together for an afternoon lawn party featuring food, artist performances, and agricultural activities such as herb presentations, flower-arranging workshops and scarecrow making. The event includes barbeque and refreshments for sale. Upcoming Sharing Space dates are July 25 and October 4.
Ryder Farm will also host Seasonal Suppers—dinners prepared with seasonal produce and accompanied by SPACE artist performances—on July 11, August 15 and September 12. For more info, visit SpaceOnRyderFarm.org.
The farm also rents event space for private parties and weddings on the gracious lawn behind the house, with plenty of parking.
Educating Young Farmers
Education is another important focus of the farm, says owner Betsey Ryder. “We host college-age Americans, providing them an opportunity to work a season on the farm. Some are interested in nutrition, some in community building or public gardening,” she says. “We also host international stewards through the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA). Each year we take in a steward or two. Currently we’re hosting one student from Taiwan and one from Grenada.”
And if that weren’t enough, Ryder Farm also hosts one high school student each year from the agriculture program at John Bowne High School in NYC.
Whether it’s plants or people, something is always growing at Ryder Farm.