Pitney Meadows’ 2nd Annual Fairy Fest
Post and Photos by Amy Ryan
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Pitney Meadows Community Farm is a local gem. One of the last farms operating in Saratoga Springs, a beautiful green expanse adorned with barns and a silo; Pitney grows much more than food.
This farm helps grow the imaginations of young children as well as reconnect adults to the magic of agriculture and the mystical creatures that reside within Charlottes Web, Peter Rabbit, or Tinkerbell. With a brilliant stroke of marketing genius, Pitney embraces the creative, artistic side of agriculture that allows visitors to expand their experience into a fanciful one as well.
The embodiment of a creative and artistic culture at the farm was on full display during the 2nd Annual Fairy Festival, on Saturday, September 21. Accompanied by my own personal fairy, she and I soaked in all the intricate sights during that beautiful, sunny (surprisingly hot!) afternoon. The front part of the farm was full of vendor tents, games, fresh food from the farm, and games for visitors to participate in; including a very clever Farm Scavenger Hunt which in rhyme, asks the participants to find tiny friends hiding on the farm.
Children and teens alike were blowing bubbles, making necklaces, and wands, and getting face painted by the beautiful and extremely talented Nikki Zumpano of Artsy Fartsy Face Paint, all while donned in fairy wings. It was a fabulous sight to see and hear my youngest, squeal with glee at every fun place. This Festival also really allows the farm to show off two of the many wonderful assets at Pitney – Farmer Aliza and Jess, the legendary sustainable fairy house builder. These two are beloved at the farm for what they do and how they contribute to the community.
It is hardly a common occurrence to visit a fully working farm, managed by a female farmer, enjoy lunch grown on the farm and allow yourselves to imagine the farm’s magical creatures during Jess’s tour of her beautiful, fairy garden (complete with well-behaved bees,) within the city limits of a moderately sized city.
It is through events like this that people can learn more about this wonderful place and what it can provide them. Judging from the large crowd in attendance, as well as a well-attended ribbon-cutting ceremony of local leaders to dedicate the lovely newly constructed visitors’ restrooms, adorned with environmentally sustainable features, the word is definitely out about Pitney. And that word is that it is a unique, precious part of our community.
The Fairy Festival is just one event here that shows that the community is interested, proud, and engaged in what is going on at Pitney. The construction of a children’s greenhouse adjacent to their fairy garden has created this educational alcove where the “fun at the farm meets the science,” and is simply a dream for a school field trip.
As I walk over to the long line for face painting, with a small hand in mine, I’m staring at the rows of corn and felt something wonderful. This space of land in Saratoga allows you to be in the moment and mindful of all that is around you.
I wasn’t being nagged with annoying thoughts and worries about work or the next email to send. I was allowing myself to slow down to the pace and really enjoy what was around me. And when my daughter buddied with a pair of sisters in line, it was as if the three of them have been best friends their whole lives, just like it should be in Fairyland. Simply wonderful.
Contributor Amy Ryan is a mom and musician, avid skier and active volunteer in the community. Originally from Glens Falls, NY, Amy has lived in and out of the area for many years returning home and settling in Saratoga Springs where she resides with her husband, Jim, and two daughters, Zoe and Teagan. Dedicating her career to the protection of the land, sustainability and environment, Amy enjoys picking up a pen and paper once in a while.