More Than a Berry Farm
Story by Karen Fredrickson
Photographed by Jackson Summers
As I drive through the roads of Columbia County, I’m not really sure where I’m going. I have GPS, but this is definitely more rural than what I’m used to. I see a sign that reads “Berry Farm” and pull into the gravel parking lot. It’s a small-looking store that turns out to be deceptively large, and as I walk inside I see an old-fashioned-styled place filled with berries and all sorts of produce, as well as baked goods.
I have an appointment with Ally Baker, who has worked at the farm for 14 years. Baker is the manager of the greenhouse and cut flowers, as well as head of social media and advertising.
We begin the tour in the store, where Baker tells me about the different produce, which they buy locally from other farms to supplement what they don’t grow themselves. This is a theme that runs throughout the farm—which is very focused on providing for the local community. If a particular type of produce isn’t in season, Chatham Berry Farm will order it from farms in other parts of New York State before they look out of state, making it easier for the community to still shop locally rather than at a big-box grocery store.