Check it out!
“Tour de Farm” is perhaps a slight misnomer, because the ride rolls through areas rich with significant historical influence. ”Tour de Farm and History” better represents the tour, but is also a mouthful! On the tour, not only will you see farms, but also many Revolutionary War historic sites.
In 1777, American soldiers fought two fierce battled against the British and forced surrender on the land which is now the Saratoga National Historical Park. According to Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy’s The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: from Marathon to Waterloo, the Saratoga Battles rank as the 13th most important battles in world history.
On the 35-mile route, you’ll pass through (and stop by) historic houses, farms and, significant sites of the Saratoga Battles, which include:
The Schuyler House
The Schuyler House is the restored country house of American General Philip J. Schuyler, a hero of the Saratoga Battles, both before and after the Revolutionary War. The original house was actually burned by the British; the one that stands today was built in 1777.
Sword Surrender Site
Faced with overwhelming numbers, Burgoyne surrendered his sword to General Gates on October 17, 1777. Burgoyne’s depleted army, some 6,000 men, marched out of its camp “with the Honors of War” and stacked its weapons along the west bank of the Hudson River at the Field of Grounded Arms.
Freeman Farm Overlook
Major fighting took place on the land leased from farmer John Freeman, a loyalists who went north and joined British forces, on September 19, 1777.
The Neilson House
Built by John and Lydia Neilson in 1775 or 1776, the infamous General Benedict Arnold used this house as headquarters in 1777. Today, it looks much the same and will be host to a “Progressive Encampment” during Tour de Farm.
The Saratoga National Historical Park was first authorized as a New York State historical preserve in 1927 and was made part of the National Park Service when authorized by Congress in 1938.
If you’re intrigued by Tour de Farm, but worried about the difficulty of the route, be sure to check out our Ride FAQ page. Here you’ll find all the answers to questions you may have about the ride.
Twenty-four year old Michael Kilpatrick, of Kilpatrick Family Farm, has been farming in Washington County since he was a fourteen. He recently shared his testimony to the House Committee on Agriculture for the 2012 Farm Bill on the National Young Farmers’ Coalition blog. Among many impending issues for young farmers, such as regulation and farmer education, Michael makes a strong case for farmland protection.
As a farmer who leases land on from four different properties, Michael understands the value of making prime farmland affordable. He says,
Part of America’s greatness is in its amazing soil. It fueled the Westward Expansion, and even now its products are a major part of our exports and competitive edge. Good farmland is not cheap and it is being gobbled up by development companies at an alarming rate–over 1,200,000 acres in 2011 alone. That is 1,200,000 acres that will probably never be farmed again, that is forever lost to urban sprawl, shopping centers, or factories.
He also cites the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program as an essential part of farmland conservation:
Protecting our farmland is also vitally important. The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) administered by the United States Department of Agriculture has been a significant partner in this effort. The main goal of this program should be to protect at risk, working farmland for active agricultural production.
The testimony is compelling, well written and worth a read, especially if you’re interested in the issues today’s farmers face. Read Michael’s full testimony here.
In addition to running a CSA, Kilpatrick Family Farm sells at the Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls Farmer’s Market, as well as resturants Beekman Street Bistro, 50 South, and Four Seasons Natural Foods.
Learn what your state is good and bad at! See the maps here!
New York has the lowest per capita energy use! Yay!
Unfortunately, New York is also home to the top health risk from air pollution.
Want to remedy that? Hop on your bike!
Celebrating one’s 40th birthday can be a mixed bag. For Maya Stein, however, a 40th birthday is an excuse to explore a wildly creative project. Cycling with her typerwriter, a folding chair and table, Stein, a poet and caterer, is rapidly gaining noteriety as the “Type Rider” as she travels from her hometown of Ameherst, MA to Milwakee, WI. During her 40-mile day rides, she stops in communities and sets up a writing station in public areas and inviting people to sit and write.