When lifelong friends Lucy D. Rosenfeld and Marina Harrison set off on their outings in the region, they are always on the lookout for the gifts that nature offers. Exploring Nature's Bounty, their ninth collaboration, invites us to share the rich array of agricultural delights they've discovered within a two-hour radius of new York City-from beautiful vineyards to the latest in hydroponic greenhouses to peach-filled orchards to community farms and historic sites.
The places chosen all welcome visitors who will see first hand the art of agriculture, pick their own produce, help out on the farm, or simply enjoy being outdoors so close to the city. Many of them are off-the-beaten-track locations where readers and their families can walk among rows of grapes, cornstalks, apple trees, and so much more. The sites range from traditional fruit orchards to greenhouses filled with water-grown tomatoes and basil to neatly ordered herb gardens in historic settings. Local vineyards make wineries fun and glamorous places to visit, whether on the north Fork of Long Island or in the Hudson valley. Some venues focus on crop preservation-the American chestnut, for example-while others introduce readers to honey making and maple sugaring. Those interested in taking classes or seeing demonstrations will find places to do just that, and many activities are geared toward children, from corn mazes to hay rides to pumpkin picking.
Rosenfeld and Harrison provide a list of festivals featuring local produce and, at the end of the book, a guide to choosing an outing that will best fit readers, their families, and their taste buds. Directions are provided in each write-up as well as information on schedules, guided tours, and walks within many of the sites. Exploring Nature's Bounty focuses on the natural, the organic, the sustainable, and the close-at-hand. By avoiding places overrun with commercialism, it helps readers create their own adventures, enjoy time with family and friends, and connect to the farms that nourish us all.