For fourth generation farmer Dave Fleming Jr., the best part of working at Shady Brook Farm in Yardley is seeing the seasons change and all the exciting things each month brings to the farm.
“Winter means time for all our Christmas lights, and in the fall we have haunted hayrides and pick-your-own pumpkins and apples,” Dave said. “The spring brings our garden center with mulch and plants, and in summertime, there’s pick-your-own produce including peaches, strawberries and blueberries.”
Families come to Shady Brook Farm, one of the last working farms in historic Bucks County, for the experience of picking their own fruit.
“There’s something special about having that experience, picking your own food and holding it in your hands, creating that memory… it’s what we’re all about,” said Dave.
The newest thing at Shady Brook Farm is at their Rose Bank wine shop, open for 15 years expanded this past October to sell Pennsylvania brewed beers and spirits.
The pub area at Shady Brook is called the Stone’s Throw Pub, located right in the middle of their farm store and suitably named because, as Dave says, “Everything comes from no more than a stone’s throw away.”
The Stone’s Throw Pub allows Shady Brook to showcase locally brewed beers and spirits in the midst of serving the famous Uncle Dave’s Ice Cream®, Maria’s Guacamole and other community favorites.
“We recognize the experiences and the food we offer, both grown and prepared, are important to people in our community,” Dave said.
Shady Brook Farm was founded in 1913 and has existed for 105 years. It first dug its roots in Northeast Philadelphia as a wholesale farm growing crops for markets before picking up and moving to Lower Makefield Township in the late 1960’s to take advantage of Bucks County’s abundance of fertile farmland.
Since then, Shady Brook Farm has grown and expanded to be so much more! Over the summer, Dave looks forward to Shady Brook’s exciting Summer UnWINEd events, beginning the first weekend of May and running into August.
“Our beloved summer concert series outgrew the farmers market and has since moved onto our festival fields,” he said. “It’s a special event where you can bring the whole family and don’t need to find a babysitter – adults can relax and enjoy the evening while kids play nearby.”
Each Friday event offers a different food theme for some extra fun. In early June, Dave anticipates the strawberry season to be in full swing. Strawberry picking, strawberry festivals, strawberry pies – everything strawberry will be going on at the farm!
Food never stops growing at Shady Brook Farm. At any time of year, there will be plants growing in their greenhouse or in the fields. Tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers and radishes are just some of the delectable veggies that bud in the greenhouse starting early spring.
Dave works with his younger brother and sister on the farm, his brother spending much of his time growing food and planning special events while Dave’s sister works in human resources and marketing.
Shady Brook Farm is located at 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley.
PHOTO CAP: The party’s at Shady Brook Farm all summer long and you’re invited – check out the list of bands at shadybrookfarm.com/summer-wine-concert-series/.