Sunday, March 8, 2009

Living History For Sale

(Note that the title of this post is not meant in any way to be critical.)

Today, I'm looking at the Queens County Farm Museum, which is located right in Queens, a thirty minute drive from the Empire State Building (on a good traffic day). March 3rd's New York Times had an article about this museum, but not in its Arts section. In its Style section, specifically Dining & Wine! This is because the museum, which has long been a destination for school field trips, has recently expanded its operations and begun selling its crops & manufactures at a NY farmer's market.

I think this is very cool. The museum has the authenticity thing down, as it explains on its website:
The Queens County Farm Museum's history dates back to 1697; it occupies New York City's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland and is the only working historical farm in the City. The farm encompasses a 47-acre parcel that is the longest continuously farmed site in New York State.
Yet, its farm manager has also had the vision to realize the value of tying the museum's mission into more contemporary social and economic trends like the homesteading
phenomenon, the Slow Food movement, and the trend towards eating local. And hopefully, since daily admission is free, sales of their farm products are helping to support the museum's mission a little.

Because what a mission it is:
The mission of the Queens County Farm Museum is to preserve, restore, and interpret the site. Through educational programs, events, and museum services, we educate the public as to the significance of Queens County's agricultural and horticultural past and heighten awareness of present-day agricultural and horticultural practices.
Tying the values and practices of the past in with the realities of the present. I love it.

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