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Ulster County’s farming community provides access to fresh local food, diversifies the economy, protects the environment, and offers its sublime landscape for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

The staples of Ulster are sweet corn, apples and wine, as well as nursery and greenhouse products. A study by the American Farmland Trust’s northeast office says Hudson Valley farms generate more than $230 million in direct sales with an additional direct economic impact of $300 million.

Agritourism is one of the ways in which farmers have diversified. Visitors can pick their own pumpkins and apples, and there are hayrides, corn mazes and small petting zoos.

Others have experimented with growing niche crops like mesclun and baby vegetables that are desired by regional and metropolitan restaurants and high-end food stores.

Organic farming is a growing market: It shows the region’s commitment to health and ecological responsibility. Ulster’s organic farms are small – growing vegetables, fruit and even Christmas trees.

Ulster County’s numerous vineyards offer tours, tastings and special events like concerts and cook-offs. The wineries all follow the traditions of the Huguenot settlers who perfected the process more than 300 years ago. Today, Ulster boasts of award-winning Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Rieslings and Seyval Blancs.

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