BINGHAMTON, NY – Tonight’s Food Farm Showcase takes us to a nearly half century-old farm market whose motto is buy local, eat healthy.
Lone Maple Farm on Hawleyton Road in the Town of Binghamton is open from mid-April through the end of October selling a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, wine, plants, meats and cheeses.
The market is run by Mike and Evelyn Harris.
It began in 1972 with Mike and his grandfather selling apples out of a roadside wagon.
Today, it grows 18 varieties of apples in an orchard made up of 6 to 8 foot tall dwarf trees.
Harris, who runs a drone business on the side, uses the small aircraft to inspect and spray his trees.
He says this season started with a weather scare.
“When the bloom was just coming out, it got down to about 23 degrees. The bloom will usually tolerate about 28. So, at one point we didn’t think we would have any fruit. The good news is that somehow Mother Nature pulled through all that. And while we didn’t have an excessively heavy crop, we did end up with apples,” says Mike.
Due to COVID concerns, Lone Maple no longer offers tractor wagon rides, asking its guests to make reservations and then walk themselves up to the orchard.
Harris says about 85% of what is sold in the market is grown on site, with much of the rest coming from other New York State producers.
Lone Maple grows 22 varieties of vegetables inside its greenhouses.
“As the climate changes and becomes more extreme, it becomes more difficult to grow things in a predictable manner. By growing things in a greenhouse, using organic growing practices, we’re able to give the plants the nutrients that they need. And they, in turn, give us, the people who eat them, the highest nutritional value,” says Mike.
Lone Maple Farm presses its own cider, bakes its own doughnuts, pies, cookies and bread and ferments its own wine.
The apple-picking season is winding down but this weekend the farm will open its annual pumpkin maze.
It’s open from noon to 6, 7 days a week through October 31st.
For more information, go to LoneMapleFarm.com.