Family Farming Vacation in New York State

I am enamored with people who live on farms.  I want to live on a farm.  However, I want to live on a farm with people who know what they’re doing;-) I have no clue.  One of my favorite shows was the Fabulous Beekman Boys who bought a beautiful farm in upstate NY to raise goats, pigs, a llama (love me that Polka Spot). I digress.


Photo Credit

Well, you can vacation on a farm and experience the real deal, complete with animals, plants and professionals!  I’m so excited.  I’m really considering doing this with the kids this summer.

Here are 3 vacation farms I have found so far:

Hull-O-Farms, Durham, NY (about an hour south west of Albany)

Stoney Creek Farmstead, Walton, NY (about 1 hour east of Binghamton)

Country Cousins Farm, Jefferson County, NY (near Watertown)

There are hundreds of them all over the country. There are vineyards and ranches too! To find a vacation farm near you, go to Farm Stay U.S


So…how was summer camp?

How was 7 weeks without my oldest son?  Not bad.  For either of us.  Camp Treetops was EVERYTHING I expected!  My son loved it.  I will definitely be sending my second son the summer between 6th & 7th grade.  This was the perfect transition.  And check out how great he looks after!

Day we dropped him off at camp

Day we dropped him off at camp


These are the cabins they sleep in. Maximum 4 campers per cabin.

These are the cabins they sleep in. Maximum 4 campers per cabin.



Private lake at camp where he swam everyday.


Vegetable gardens (one of many gardens they have)

Vegetable gardens (one of many gardens they have)

Taken after 3 weeks at camp.  He's looks great.

Taken after 3 weeks at camp. He’s looks great.


He wove that himself on a loom.

He wove that himself on a loom.


End of Summer

End of Summer

He sent me letters quite often in the beginning, but it petered out as he got more comfortable.  He doesn’t want to go back this summer and that’s ok.  It did what I wanted.  It gave him more self confidence and that’s all I could ask for. This year I think I might send him to Supercamp. It is a one week motivation/study skills camp held in various locations.  The closest for us would be held at Brown University on Rhode Island.  I think he could gain some skills to help him succeed in middle school.  He’s done great this year and he is a very responsible kid – but I think this would give him a boost.  I have my other son, Nick, already signed up for a couple of ID Tech classes.  He wants to learn how to make games for the iPhone.








Top 10 iPhone Apps Recommended by my Kids


As rated by my 9 year old boy who spends WAY too much time on electronic devices!


10) Monopoly Hotels (Free)


9) Money Pig (Free)


8) Smurfs Village (Free)


Cut the Rope

Cut the Rope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7) Cut The Rope – Holiday (Free)


6) Geared (Free)


5) Tiny Monsters (Free)


4) Pocket God ($1)


3) Doodle Jump ($1)


2) Moron Test ($1)

Angry Birds

Angry Birds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1) Angry Birds Space ($1)


As recommended by my almost 12 year old, who’s favorite past time is Strategy Games, classical music and watching the History Channel:


10) Life ($1)


9) Magic Piano (Free)


8) Cut the Rope ($1)


7) Angry Birds Space ($1)


6) Pocket God ($1)


5) Where’s My Water (Full-Version)

Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4) Doodle Jump ($1)


3) Money Pig (Free)


2) Geared (Free)


1) Monopoly Hotels (Free)


Farm Fest 2012, Verona, NY

Farm Fest 2012

Photo Credit

I recently visited my cousin in Buffalo. She’s about 10 years my junior, but I can’t help admiring her. In a space behind her home they have this lovely raised bed garden complete with deer fencing. It’s not huge, maybe 50 square feet of planting space. See, I don’t know how to grow anything but mold on bread.  I tried…half heartedly, I admit…but honestly, it’s no fun alone.

The  year before last, I literally went to Home Depot, bought 4 bags of top soil, emptied them onto a patch of sun in the yard and proceeded to plant squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumber….and maybe something else…but I forget.  And would you believe…they all grew.  Now, I will admit it got pretty nasty looking in late July and the squash and the cucumbers seemed to have a sexual bent towards one another which created a scary greeny yellow hybrid thing, but the moral of the story is….I grew stuff.

I have higher hopes this year.  I’ve long since written my sons off as garden helpers. They only want to know when they can use the watering can- then their otta there. My daughter is different.  She’s super curious but she also has patience (probably more than me) and I suspect she will truly enjoy the process throughout the summer.

So, with this project looming in my mind, I happen to come across Cornell Cooperative Extensions Farm Fest 2012 to be held rain or shine, Friday, June 1st from 4:30pm to 9pm at Brabant Farms in Verona, NY. Looks like there will be music, games, BBQ and a chance to meet local farmers.  I’ve noticed a huge move towards local fare seeping into our collective consciousness over the last couple years.  Even last night, I was eating a Pink Lady apple (my favorite with unsalted Walnuts) and I said to hubby, “I know this apple put out a huge carbon footprint to get to my mouth this evening, but it taste sooo good!”

Tailor & The CookIt looks so NYC…doesn’t it? Photo Credit

Utica even has a new restaurant based on the eat local trend, The Tailor & The Cook which is getting rave reviews in the blog world and from everyone I talk to – I hear reservations are impossible right now.  I am soo freekin happy for them! I’m so glad they had faith in the area to produce a high quality restaurant.  “If you build it, they will come!”

Maybe I should get to know the Cooperative Extension a little better.

Kids Sailing Camp, Cooperstown, NY

From the Otsego Sailing Club website,

Junior Sailing Program

The Otsego Sailing Club is once again pleased to offer sailing lessons for juniors (ages 10-17) this summer. The program costs $275 for the session; a $50 non refundable deposit is required with registration. Class size will be limited to 20 students. The course will be taught at the Otsego Sailing Club. Sessions start at 9 a.m. and end at 11:30 am Monday through Friday. Students will need to be picked up promptly after class as there may be no supervision. The advanced session will begin at 12pm and end promptly at 2:30 pm.  Students who are interested in the advanced program must complete at least one year of junior sailing.

Note: As with the adult sessions, program costs can be attributed to a membership within the first year.

Session Dates

Junior 1 and the Advanced Session: June 25th – July 6th excluding July 4th and including Saturday June 30th

Junior 2: July 30th – August 10th

Kids Summertime Evening Egg Hunt

Photo & Idea Credit: & Kim

In the summertime, I always have a boat load of kids running around my yard after dark (this is what happens when you have a pool).  I think this would be a freekin awesome! All you do is go to the Dollar Store or Family Dollar and get those glow in the dark bracelets and put them in the eggs. And you’re repurposing, so you can feel good about it too!

Top 10 Best and Worst Games for PC

Top 10 Best Strategy Games for PC as recommended by my almost 12 year old son:

10) Glory of the Roman Empire

9) American Conquest

8) Railroad Tycoon

7) Risk

6) Anno 1503 AD

5) Stronghold Collection

4) Anno 1701 AD

3) Sid Meier’s Pirates!

2) Sims Medieval

1) Anno 1404 Venice

Top 10 Worst Strategy Games for PC:

10) Birth of America

9) East India Company

8) Sid Meier’s Civilization III

7) The Oregon Trail

6) Great Battles of Rome (by The History Channel)

5) Secret of Margrave Manor

4) Hidden Mysteries – The White House (but he like the Titanic)

3) Age of Empires (all of them)

2) Patrician III

1) Port Royale 2

2012 Upstate NY Psychic Fairs

Psychic Fairs, Upstate New York, 2012

If there is an event I am missing, please let me know!

April 14-15, Earth-Spirit Expo (Buffalo), Michael’s Banquet Facility, 4885 South Western Blvd., Hamberg, NY 14075, 10-4

April 21st – Wingate Griffiss Park, Rome NY, 10am – 3:00pm (Fundraiser for the Humane Society)

April 21-22, Depew, Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Road, Depew, NY

April 28 & 29,Waterloo, Holiday Inn, Route 414, Waterloo, NY

May 5 & 6, Clayton Psychic Fair, Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, Clayton New York 13624, Sat 11-8 & Sun 11-7

May 20th – Beardslee Castle, Little Falls NY, Sun 10:00a – 6:00pm

June 2-3, Rochester, Radisson Hotel, 175 Jefferson Road, Rochester

June 3rd – Mystical Dragonfly’s Pyschic Fair, 8 West St, ILION NY 13357,  Sun 10-6

July 14 – 15, Onondaga Community College, Gordon Student Center, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215, 10-8

June 16 -17, Moravia, Filmore Glen State ParkAug 11-12, Rochester, Radisson Hotel, 175 Jefferson Road, Rochester

August 18-19, Erie Canal Village Psychic Fair, 5789 New London Rd. RT.49 Rome, NY

Aug 25-26, Depew, Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Road, Depew, NY

Sept 8-9, Holiday Inn, Utica Business Park, Burrstone Road

TBA – Watertown, Hilton Garden Inn

October 13 -14, Cortland Psychic Fair  and Holistic Living Expo, Ramada Inn, 2 River St, Cortland, 13045 Sat 10-7 & Sun 10-6

October – TBA, Beardslee Castle, Little Falls

October 20-21, The Dome (Rochester) , 2695 E. Henrietta Road, Henrietta, NY 14467, Sat & Sun 10-6

TBA -Canton, NY, Best Western

Nov 3-4, Depew, Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Road, Depew, NY

Nov 9,10,11 – Lyons Falls, Edge Hotel

Nov 17-18, Rochester, Radisson Hotel, 175 Jefferson Road, Rochester