Posted on 11/04/2006

Photo taken on September  1, 2006

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The Amazing Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum Fair, Sept. 2006

The Amazing Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum Fair, Sept. 2006
The Queens County Farm Museum is a remarkable historical landmark. Part of the fascination that makes our farm site so historically enticing is its impressive endurance. This site has been farmed through four local wars and two world conflicts. Think of the agricultural strides required to survive those events while meeting the agricultural needs of a geographic area that grew from a new colony to a teeming metropolis. The development of the farm was not only linked to the growth of New York City but also to the growth and development of the United States as an agricultural and industrial giant. The farm is a dynamic entity, ever changing, ever evolving, ever refining. The romance of the farm site draws one back to the early years of the new colony while providing a view of modern-day agriculture.

This 47-acre tract of farmland exemplifies the 300-year history of agriculture and farming as a way of life and livelihood in Queens County. The restored Adriance farmhouse, the centerpiece of the farm complex, was first built as a three-room Dutch farmhouse in 1772. The farmhouse and surrounding 7-acre historic area mirror the evolution of this unique tract of land from a colonial homestead to a truck farm that served the needs of a growing city in the early twentieth century. The historic outbuildings, orchard, planting fields, vineyard, herb garden, and farmyard animals bring history to life for our urban visitors.

The founders of the museum obtained landmark designation for the structures and the surrounding land and worked diligently to open this valuable site to the public in 1975. Public response to the activities of the farm has led to the rapid development of a broad range of activities of educational programs for young and old to enjoy. The important task of restoring the Adriance farmhouse was completed in 1986. In addition, a master plan was prepared in 1986 to chart the course for future restoration and development of the site. An interpretive planning study, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts, was conducted in 1988. Both these initiatives are being actively carried forward, using a team approach, with qualified outside professionals working closely with our staff and Board of Directors.

As the only remaining vestige of New York City's agricultural past, the farm museum provides urban audiences with graphic evidence of the process through which farm products move from soil to table. Other important elements of the farm's interpretation include our barns and outbuildings, livestock, an orchard, honey bee hives, herb garden and a greenhouse complex.

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