Each year Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County hosts an Open House on the Farm. This year the 30th annual Open House, featuring the Pennings Sisters, will be held at the Pennings Orchard, located at 169 Rt. 94 S. in Warwick on Sat., Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cornell Cooperative Extension, along with numerous volunteers, uses this event to teach and share their knowledge about agriculture in Orange County. The Open House will include guided tours of Pennings Dairy and parts of Pennings Orchard. There will be plenty of activities for the whole family, including hay rides, visits with the calves, a calf naming contest, a petting zoo, and free cheese samples. Lunch and ice cream will be available for purchase.
Pennings Farm is home to about 35 cows and heifers (female cows under the age of two years old). The farm consists of 150 owned acres, plus about 300 rented acres. The Pennings family started off running a dairy farm in the 1950s and then changed it over to an orchard in the 1970s, while continuing to own cattle at other locations. They kept the original lineage alive and showed them at fairs. This year they are bringing the cows home and are working towards adding a milk bottling facility to the farm. This is one example of the way local farms are expanding and diversifying to meet the needs of the public.
Open House on the Farm is coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County and sponsored in part by Farm Credit East. For more information call Rachel Moody at 344-1234, visit www.cceorangecounty.org or www.penningsorchard.com.