Business Profile: Business of the Week: Harvest Moon, North Salem
By Nancy Sorbella – Harvest Moon is the percent example of a business living the local farming dream, with a
North Salem family enlisting the next generation to bring their fresh produce, flowers, sweet and hard cider, and locally sourced New York State products to your table.
This “destination”, Harvest Moon, is located on 64 bucolic acres in North Salem and was purchased by Rob and Ursula Covino, owners of the adjacent Hardscrabble Farms in 2006 from the Outhouse family who had farmed the land since the nineteenth century. The two properties actually connect on both sides of Hardscrabble Road. While the purchase was completed in 2006, the Outhouse family continued to run it until 2011 and that is when the name officially changed.
A family business, it is now a “multi-family business”, according to store manager and Covino family daughter in law, Christine. Kevin Covino, one of the Covino’s sons is the Farm Manager and also manages the hard cider business, Hardscrabble Cider, with brothers Alex and Ben. Christine’s sister is webmaster and handles marketing and “when things get busy (as they often do), it’s all hands on deck”, Christine shares, and the staff swells to include extended family and close friends.
The Hudson Valley is a hotbed for hard cider and the Covino’s are very much a part of the scene. They envision great growth and opportunity for all area producers. All cider production takes place at Harvest Moon from the careful planting of new trees (4,000 already) to hand bottling, capping and labeling.
“Local farming creates a great sense of community”, says Christine, “and we love what we do. Connecting with the Earth and at the same time to the people that you’re feeding is a big responsibility.” Farm manager Kevin Covino’s “passion and devotion to the fruit trees and vegetable crops is inspiring and really motivates the family and staff to work hard and love what they do.” Kevin is well known on the farm for his patience and ability to face the challenges of farming ( often insects, disease and weather) with optimism and creative solutions.
Generations of children have been coming to the orchards for hayrides, visiting the farm animals, apple picking, and apple cider donuts. Families have fond memories of pumpkin picking, apple cider and friendly faces. The Covino family continues these traditions and continue to add more:
The Tasting Room is stocked with a wide array of New York State craft beer and spirits including wine, mead and whiskey. There is an outdoor patio sitting area where they also host live music seasonally on Saturdays.
Yoga at the Farm is another great addition. Offered every Saturday in the summer among the apple trees from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for $15/class, which includes coffee and a donut. Beginners are welcome and you must sign up in advance online at HMOrchard.com/yoga.
The Farm has a robust CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture) and is now taking reservations for 2017.
The Market also features unique local products and gifts. Christine “tries to be eclectic and offer many different choices”, sourcing from Etsy wholesale and customer recommendations. Fresh farm raised turkeys are popular for Thanksgiving–orders are taken beginning in September. Harvest Moon’s grass-fed beef products are in high demand.
Harvest Moon’s signature upbeat and friendly vibe is evident everywhere you turn. Helpful and engaging staff members are ever-present; always willing to offer helpful tips, answer questions and suggest recipes and food pairings. The homegrown hanging flower baskets pop with color and texture and are visible from the road. Speaking for the entire family, Christine expresses gratitude for the opportunity to farm and provide sustenance and joy to visitors to Harvest Moon.
“We are so grateful to have the chance to contribute and be part of keeping the local farming dream alive,” she said. “The farm gives us a connection to the Earth, which is an essential part of life in general, and also an undeniable sense of community that we never could have imagined.”
Visit Harvest Moon at 140 Hardscrabble Road North Salem, and its number is 914-485-1210 and website is www.harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com
It’s open: Monday-Sunday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Tasting Room is open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Winter hours are Saturday only 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
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