On a sunny afternoon last Saturday, Crossroads Farm, in Malverne, held its annual opening day, kicking off its Barnyard Event Series. From face-painting to live music, the celebration featured activities and entertainment.
“What’s great about the farm is that it gets the community together,” said Carl Prizzi, a Crossroads Farm board member. “We want this to be a community center for the village.”
The farm, which is operated by Nassau Land Trust — a nonprofit that preserves land throughout Nassau County — has undergone several renovations in recent years. The most recent was the painting of the barn by Boy Scout Troop 24 of Malverne along with Elite Painting Services, as part of an Eagle Scout project.
“I know the volunteers and the people that work here are very dedicated to keeping this farm up and running,” said Malverne Mayor Patti Ann McDonald, who cut the opening- day ribbon, “and you could see all the hard work that was put into it.”
Liz Bustamante, an event planner with Fun Intended Events, said there were many moving parts in preparing the event, but it was all worth it.
“It’s invigorating just to see the great volunteers here,” Bustamante said. “I hope they can just thrive, because they’re the only organic urban farm here, which is something the community is thirsting for.”
County Legislator William Gaylor, who has been a part of the opening-day festivities in recent years, said the farm has become a central hub for the village. Since Crossroads is one of the few active farms in Nassau County, he said, Malverne is blessed to have this “educational tool” in its backyard.
“I hope the farm keeps operating as a working farm, and helps teach our young folks the importance of the farming community, the farming industry and what it was like in the community when it was all farmland,” Gaylor said. “I’m just proud that it’s here, and I’m proud to be a supporter of it.”
The celebration, which also recognized Earth Day, gave residents a chance to learn more about the farm’s educational programs. Prizzi said that every week, students from Malverne and Valley Stream visit the facility to take part in its environmental programs, which include Sow to Grow, in which children learn how to block soil and plant seeds.
“One of the key elements of this farm is education,” Prizzi said. “Our mission is to preserve the land, but also provide education so that kids know exactly where their food is coming from.”
With several events planned for the rest of the year, Prizzi said he hoped the community would take part in the family-friendly activities.
“I’m excited for all the new blood here, to go along with their passion for keeping this place alive and thriving for the community,” he said. “People donating their time is what makes this place special.”