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Who needs a grocery store? Timeshare a tree and charter a chicken!


Billiam Von Roestenberg
Billiam Von Roestenberg

Got back-to-the-land urges? Head 90 minutes north to Highland, New York, to pick apples from your own tree, then stop by the hen house to say hello to your chicken.

Your bounty broker is Billiam Von Roestenberg, owner and farmer of Liberty View Farm, who created the farm-share concept as way to help give city folk a taste of country life. Fifty dollars buys you exclusive picking rights to a Cortland and Empire tree (your choice) for the entire season. (Von Roestenberg even gives you a personalized, artfully drawn lease for your tree.) Each apple tree yields 80-120 pounds of fruit, making this about a quarter the price of supermarket apples at roughly 50 cents a pound.

Earn even further farm cred by learning about the “certified naturally grown” program, a non-profit alternative to the expensive and bureaucratic USDA organic system. (Billiam’s apples are applespesticide free—with the imperfections to prove it.) Also planned for picking days are music and potlucks.

Over at the hen yard, you can watch your hen run free, then collect eggs at the hen house. Chicken charter is also $50, but it’s a one-shot deal that comes with just two dozen eggs, so it’s more of a feel-good purchase. In fact, Billiam is setting up a web-cam so you can watch your sponsored chicken run around, enjoying the good life, while you’re running around the city.

Do you have a favorite apple picking spot near the City? Tell us, here!