"Aunt Annie's Fruit Stand in Hillsdale, NJ." There was a time when any piece of mail marked with this destination would find its way to Demarest Farms. In the early 1900s, Annie Demarest set up a roadside stand to sell the fruit that her brother, Lincoln, had begun growing in orchards on their family's farm. The orchards were a new addition to land originally purchased in 1886 by the Demarest family, who had been farming American soil since the 17th century. Demarest Farms started out with mostly cattle and chickens, but Lincoln's orchards soon became famous, attracting visitors from around the region for juicy peaches, strawberries, apples, and other fruits.
The fruits helped Demarest Farms blossom into what it is today: a farm with a large onsite market offering just-picked produce and complimentary fresh air. In the 1970s, Lincoln's grandson, Peter, introduced pick-your-own adventures, which are still popular with visitors today. After trekking out into the orchards or pumpkin patches to pluck fruit so fresh the paint might still be wet, guests return to the market, where they can visit the ice-cream parlor, delicatessen, or country bakery. The market has a few modern features as well, including a salad bar and a shop with seasonal and gourmet foods.
Plant Shed New York Flowers, a family-owned-and-operated business for the past 30 years, bedecks its 10,000 square feet of halls for winter-foliage shopping during the holiday season. Normally known as a premier floral shop, the Plant Shed staff puts on their stocking caps and jelly-bowl stomachs to moonlight as holiday horticulturalists. Christmas trees of the Balsam fir persuasion, one of the finest topiary pelts available, come in a range of shapes and sizes to create the ideal present cove. Those opting for the holiday décor option can gaze eggnog-glazed eyes over a wide selection of ornaments ($4–$14/box of four), lighting ($10–$35), garlands ($2–$70/yd.), and tree trimmings ($10–$100). Other holiday décor includes velvety red poinsettias ($5 and up) and beauteous wreathes ($12 and up) worthy of hanging around Rudolph, last year's Triple Crown winner.
Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design specializes in garden design, installation and maintenance services for rooftops, terraces, street plantings, backyards, townhouses and estates. Our brilliant designs and attention to detail transform outdoor spaces into relaxing retreats. We excel in providing unique solutions for small spaces.
The definition for “raw beauty” may be found in Chelsea at Libra Leather, a 12,000 square-foot leather fashion house, the largest in the city. Operated by the Alfus family since 1977, the company houses about 100 European tanneries under its roof and supplies designers and celebrities like Alexander Wang, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Lady GaGa and Prince. In addition to coloring, cutting, perforating, stretching and distressing of skins, Libra also sells finished products such as handbags, vintage clothing, pillows, rugs, throws and leather-bound journals. Even if not actually shopping, the warehouse-sized space creates enough magical ambience with its combination of textiles, metalwork, antiques, drapery and statuary to earn a visit.