Skyland Farms - Hector

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Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Matt » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:09 am

http://www.skylandfarm.net/

Shana and I went there for the first time. She had what I have dubbed a "shopgasm" - where she was overwhelmed by the many sparkley things the wanted to buy. Just when I thought she couldn't get any more excited by the various trinkets, she met the cat that hangs out in the store there.

I was impressed with the layout and creativity of the store. There's a lot of good stuff there for gifts, and the owners have it all presented in a way that flatters each individual merchandise. The cafe looked great too (though I'm not sure about the freshness of their gelato- it didn't look all that great).

Needless to say, we ended up buying a few things and Shana would like to go back when we have more time to browse. The Seneca wine trail needs more shops like this if it wants to continue growth. The industry needs distractions from "driving to the next winery" to draw non-regulars in, and have them buy beyond the category of agriculture-based products. This is the perfect example of that.

It's good to see that the owners aren't just selling art, but are artists in the way they present their products. I am both impressed and inspired by the store setup. It's certainly a memorable store.
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Brenda » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:43 am

It's certainly a memorable store.


Isn't it though! I shop there for gifts all the time, because it's only 15 minutes away and you can't find that quality/variety of unique items any closer than Ithaca. Isn't the new room upstairs, off the back of the barn awesome? I will have one of those fountains! :pirate: Have they sold the Zen table yet? I was seriously considering replacing my kitchen table with that, because it's the only place that it would fit in our cabin. :lol:

My only complaint is that they're not open long enough/often enough! The hours and days of operation change throughout the year, and they're closed from Christmas until June(?), so you should definitely check the website before you make a special trip. It's absolutely worth the trip when they're open during extended days/hours before Christmas! I do most of my Christmas shopping there, and I always end up with a few of their ornaments in my Christmas stocking too. They serve warm cider at that time of year, and between the warmth and the smell of the wood stove, the music being played and several furry shopping companions who are always willing to be carried around while you browse :kitty:, you can't help but be swept up in the spirit of the season.
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Matt » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:24 am

I didn't see the Zen table. I did see some things I could use for prizes on this website. I just have to wait for next year's budget.
I love that back room. I saw some metal art I want (and I rarely want art).
I will be returning for Christmas shopping, that's for sure.

is there more than one cat?

Are there any other gift shops in that area?
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Brenda » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:58 am

I've seen different cats at different times, so I'm not sure how many they have, but I'm pretty sure there are several. Did you see the goats?

There's one more gift shop south of there on the same side of 414, but I've not been there. I can't remember the name off hand (Chickadee something?), nor could I find any info about it on the chamber site. You're right that the wine trail needs more places like Skyland.
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Matt » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Yeah we drove by that Chickadee place.

We didn't see the goats... it was raining and we were already running late.

To the north there was a farm that sells "homestead" cheese and also gelato. We didn't stop but were wondering about that place.
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby hit_thetrails » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:39 pm

Does "Cowlick Farms" sound familiar, Matt? We stopped there on Saturday and I got some gelato. Having never had it before, I thought it was very expensive, but I don't know what the going rate is. It was delicious, though. A "small" was about half a cup $3, and a "large" was maybe 3/4 to 1 cup for $4. He had five flavors: strawberry, peach, chocolate, pistachio and (I think) lemon or vanilla. I had the peach, with some strawberry. Yummy! Poor Chris; I had him pulling into every gift shop I saw. Had I seen Skyland Farms, I may have had my "shopgasm" and have been satisfied. ;)
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby cbobcat49 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:01 pm

I did not purchase any gelato. I had a scoop of Julie's. Very interesting. I'd never tried that before.
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Matt » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:20 pm

OK, a little of topic, but worth mentioning.
Gelato can be great if it is made right. There's a lot of crappy gelato out there (usually made form mixes)
There is one place in Syracuse, Geddes Gelato that will have you hooked.
http://www.geddesbakery.com/
It's on Rt 11 in North Syracuse.
The stuff is all-natural, smooth as silk, made fresh, a bargain for the size, and served in homemade waffle cones.
If you love fruits of any kind you will love the fruit gelatos they have. These are like sorbets that mimic the perfect taste of their namesake fruit- with a soft, light texture. They are incredible. It beats all ice cream- hands down. I have taken several people there and all have become gelato lovers.
The blackberry, raspberry, mixed berry, apple, orange, and lemon are amazing. I'm glad I don't live near there because I would weigh 400 pounds.
If you are in that area, you have to stop in for a double scoop (with two flavors). Heck, anyone up for a pratt's falls/chittenango falls/gelato trip?
They aren't open all year - probably shutting down at the end of October. They open again just before Christmas so people can pick up gelato for the holidays. I have to get in a few more trips to get my fill and pack my freezer.
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby hit_thetrails » Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:50 pm

That pretty much describes the taste and texture of the gelato I had. It was very good; I just don't know if all gelato is that expensive. I don't know if it beats out icecream just because I can't imagine putting Heath bars and hot fudge on gelato any more than I can imagine putting it in sorbet or jello. But I am a rookie gelato-eater, so what do I know?
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Brenda » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:29 pm

I had a bit of cabin fever this afternoon, so I decided to drag Mike down to Skyland Farms to see what was new. I was a good girl--I only spent $4 on a package of grape twists (Twizzlers). There were a ton of people there. I counted five cats today, including several kittens that were up for adoption. I carried around my usual shopping companion, the little torti. A lot of stuff had been moved around. The only fountain left in the new room upstairs was the ceramic pedestal sink with the grapes. I'd love to have that. A new item that I noticed since my last visit was the collection of metal benches out front. There was a butterfly bench where the wings formed the back of the bench. Beautiful!!! For a mere $2,775(?) you can have one too, delivery included! Oh, to have money...They also now have some high end jewelry in the display case in the new room upstairs. I forgot the name of the artist, but it was some very nice stuff. They've also expanded the deck for the cafe since I was last there. I did at least get some ideas for Christmas.
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Matt » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:44 pm

Those grape twists are great aren't they?
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Re: Skyland Farms - Hector

Postby Brenda » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:10 am

They were until I read the ingredients/package info. It was pretty disappointing. Not only are they not made in Naples, as one might be led to believe by the packaging, but they don't contain anything that might even resemble grape juice! There was a bowl of pieces of them on the counter, so I just tasted and bought (not typical of me). I ate two or three on my way home and then sat down to read the package later on. I felt like I had just ingested a box of birthday candles.

I can't believe that there wouldn't be a way to make them a little more wholesome by boiling down real grape juice instead of using artificial flavoring and food dyes. Sounds like a project...Mill Creek Grape Twists coming to stores soon (along with my maple syrup when I get my sugar shack built). :lol:
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