Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard
Boldly led by first-generation farmers with new ideas, an old vision and a canny ability to adapt.
Story by ML Ball
Photographed by dKol Photography
Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward. Or put another way, sometimes the people who can best help you plan for the future are the ones who remember the past.
This seems to be the case with Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard, a family-owned and -operated fruit and vegetable farm in North Salem, NY. Yet for a true picture of this multifaceted, multitasking establishment, “fruit and vegetable farm” is woefully inadequate.
As well as growing plants and crops, the hard-working folks at Harvest Moon (most of them related to each other) raise antibiotic- and hormone-free turkey, chicken, pork and grass-fed beef. They bottle their own hard cider (Hardscrabble Cider) and harvest their own free-range eggs and honey. They run a country store. And bakery. And farm kitchen. And did I mention a Fall Festival? And a patio party Friday and Saturday nights? And weddings? And Christmas trees?
Yes, just when you think you have a handle on everything that’s going on there, more things are added. But to truly appreciate where Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard is going, it’s helpful to know where it started, which was with an older farmer who had fallen ill.
In 2007, Rob and Ursula Covino, owners of a commercial nursery down the road from Harvest Moon, bought a 65-acre apple and vegetable farm called Outhouse Orchards whose owner believed he was not long for this world. (Turns out he’s alive and kicking—and still farming.)
Then in 2011, the Covinos (who had been leasing the farm to its original owner), along with their four children—Corinne, Alex, Kevin and Ben—took back the property, renamed it Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard, and spent an entire year cleaning it up, getting rid of rusted tractor trailers, abandoned trucks and vacant campers.