Gratitude Journal: Travelling More Deeply

Backyard Tourist

The summer of canceled vacations and postponed plans has officially (dare we say, finally) come to an end. Reflecting on backyard Barstow burgers with local sweet corn, hours in the pool, milkshakes on the porch at Barstow’s, campfires in the pasture, hey, maybe this summer wasn’t so bad after all?

Here at Barstow’s Longview Farm, we’ve fallen in love with the idea of “travelling more deeply”. What better place to become an expert tourist than the place you call home? We pulled together a few ideas to help you enjoy this 2020 New England autumn, despite COVID19.

And obviously, we’re starting right here in the Hockanum Rural Historic District of Hadley! Hockanum Village has been home to Barstow’s Longview Farm for 214 years. Explore this beautiful hamlet, the school house which generations of Barstows attended from 1840 to 1933, and the Village cemetery established in 1767.

The Skinner State Park auto road is open into mid-October and hiking is available at this gorgeous state park year round – have you gotten up there yet this year? The Summit House has been drawing visitors for over a century. Read more about it’s history on the Barstow Blog. With over 40 miles of hiking trails, spectacular views, and amazing geology, this mountain range is a Pioneer Valley gem.

Nearby Mount Holyoke College also has deep ties with our favorite range. Mountain Day, typically held on a lovely autumn day, is announced with the surprise ringing of campus bells at 7am. The women of Mount Holyoke make their way up the mountain for ice cream and memories. Mountain Day will be held virtually this year but MHC students, staff, and faculty can still get some of the experience at Barstow’s; we’ll be offering 10% off your order with a MHC ID.

Take in the autumn colors with a summit picnic lunch from Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery, or visit us after your hike for a much deserved ice cream cone or pumpkin whoopie pie! We are equipped with all your fall décor needs: local mums, cornstalks, pumpkins, and mountain foliage to fill your senses. Traditions matter! Especially when so many things are still not normal.

Farm Learning

We’ve restarted farm tours, by appointment, for groups of 5 or less with all adults wearing masks. Check out our website for pricing and email us to schedule a visit. Not ready to leave the house yet? Or just want to keep your boots clean? Check out this video farm tour Denise put together for the end of her service year at Kestrel Land Trust. You can also join Denise on a virtual farm tour Tuesday, October 13 at 10am.

This tour is geared toward students in third to fifth grade, but we think all audiences will enjoy! Registration is free and easy and right here. Here’s a teaser video to get you amped for your dairy tour! And here are a few other virtual farm tours for other age groups. Looking for more ways to integrate local farming into your homeschool lesson plan? Checkout this wonderful website.

Eat the Season

Fall in the Valley also means harvest time! The drought caused local farmers some issues this season; the Gazette wrote about our plight and others in this recent article. But some crops, like butternut squash, did quite well in the unseasonably dry climate. Pick up local butternut, apples, apple cider, Cabot cheese and dips for game day, and yummy, fall inspired baked goods like apple pie bars, pumpkin cheesecake bars, apple cider Bundt cakes, pumpkin raisin cookies, and so SO much more from your neighborhood dairy farm!

We have two upcoming, autumn inspired, take-out events this month. Pre-ordering is required but easy for both our Eat the Season: Apple Crisp event on Thursday, October 15 and for National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day on Wednesday, October 21. Full, delicious details on our website, here.

Even though we are hurting from the loss of Mount Holyoke College catering, platter, and lunch orders, Barstow’s has started off fall with many farmstand visitors. If you keep coming for loaves of pumpkin bread and keep finding us sold out, do not hesitate to place a pre-order! As always, we are delighted to whip up special orders for pastries, baked goods, pies, cakes, quarts of soup, or pounds of picnic salads.

This is something to keep in mind for spooky treats this Halloween, football games with the family, and holiday pies this Thanksgiving. Looking for corporate gifts for your hardworking team this holiday season? Pre-order pies for your office – more info here.

Barstow’s porch and picnic tables are available for outdoor seating, the inside is open for shopping, and our drive thru window remains open for low contact pick-ups. We are grateful for your continued support! Our community is pretty awesome (here’s some proof!) and we hope you enjoy a memorable and safe autumn this season!

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