Amawalk Farm, located in Katonah, NY, is part of a budding trend of startup farm enterprises opening in suburban areas. The old 1825 farmhouse and farm buildings sit on land that was farmed from the early 1800s--most often dairy farming-- the terrain rocky and the area being as far from New York City that milk could be transported before the advent of refrigerated trucks.
Marian and her first husband bought the main house and thirteen surrounding acres in 1969 from Ralph Saward whose family was in the coal business. They used it as a weekend retreat-- plenty of vegetable gardening was involved- for their extended family. They were able to add additional surrounding properties in the 80's some of which are under conservation easement.
In 2005 Marian and husband Larry Cross converted six acres of the property into an intensively cultivated certified organic farm. Famous for their raspberry U-Pik, which attracted hundreds of families from miles around, they also became known for their Arugula, lettuce mixes, garlic and heirloom tomatoes. The raspberries tragically succumbed to two rare viruses in 2010 but have been replaced with a variety of other vegetables including sugar snap peas, pole beans and specialty onions. Produce grown on the farm is sold to local restaurants and stores including Ms. Green's in Katonah and Mt. Kisco, Mt. Kisco Seafood, Table Local Market in Bedford Hills, and Glen Arbor Country Club. It is also sold at the Farmers Market held every Saturday beginning in late June at the John Jay Homestead in Katonah.
The Crosses have established a relationship with the Mount Kisco Day Care Center which purchases vegetables for their operation and brings children to work and learn on the farm every week during school summer vacation.
Amawalk farm supports local, sustainable agriculture every way it can.
"It's a lot of work-but very satisfying. There's nothing quite as good as a well grown, sun warmed,
fresh picked tomato."
- Marian Cross