The Farmer's Daughter
Our blog is written by Jennifer Shea, Dan and Cathy's oldest daughter. Jennifer is part of the 13th generation of Schoonmakers to work on Saunderskill Farm.

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RVGA Food & Wine in the Orchard
October 4, 2011

  If you are in the area this weekend there is a great event happening in Stone Ridge NY on Saturday October 8th. The Rondout Valley Growers Association will be holding thier annual fall fundraiser. This year the fundraiser will be held to establish a disaster relief fund for Rondout Valley farmers.

     Even though the RVGA was established in 2003, I am always surprised to hear of the number of people that really have no idea who or what the RVGA is. I over heard a conversation one day in our store, a young women was telling a couple that the "Rondout Valley Growers Association is a group of rich farmers that get together and do things." I had to chuckle to myself before correcting her, that is wrong on so many levels. A rich farmer? That's a bit of an oxy-moron!

This is a portion of thier mission statement taken from 


Farms keep land open and beautiful, and protect our natural resources. However, the ever-increasing challenges of farming as a business and mounting pressures from development have made it difficult for many farm businesses to continue operating. For farming to remain an integral part of the Rondout Valley's culture and economy, family farms must be able to survive economically. 
The Rondout Valley Growers Association (RVGA) was organized in 2003 to invigorate the health of farm businesses by undertaking a strong, focused effort to better market Rondout Valley farm products. The survival of the area's farms is essential to the protection of the valley's open space.

In order to accomplish our goals, Rondout Valley Growers works to establish a brand name reputation for the high quality farm products produced in our region. We strive to connect growers, residents, businesses, town governments, federal, state and regional agricultural and conservation agencies with our community's needs, and seek to increase public awareness, establish and improve wholesale promotion and distribution efforts, and increase agritourism potential.

We encourage you to frequent the businesses that support RVGA's efforts. Most importantly, we encourage you to support our growers by asking for and purchasing local products from area farm stands, grocers and restaurants. Locally known, locally grown. What could be better?


  At the event this year The Paper Pumpkin Project will be featured. Like real pumpkins these will be sold by the pound at a price of $1 a pound. Supporters can choose the amount they would like to donate by buying a 5 lbs, 10 lbs or 17 lbs pumpkin. (donations made over $250 are tax deductable) The 'pumpkins' are also available for donation at local farm stands in the area.

For more information about the event check out the RVGA website being sold Tickets are available at Davenport Farms, Stone Ridge, Saunderskill Farms, Accord, Kelder's Farm, Kerhonkson, Barthel's Farm, Ellenville, Stone Ridge Orchard, and Stone Ridge Wine and Spirits.