Kelder’s Farm has history, holding the fort on its ridgeline between Accord and Kerhonkson since 1836. More recently it has been drawing families by dint of its giant gnome and bountiful harvests, plus such added draws as a mighty fine Mini-Golf course, a petting zoo and such mighty fine special events as the Jennie Bell Pie Festival set for this Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24.
Giant gnomes? Jennie Pies? What gives along Route 209 these days? The former pie fest, it turns out, started as a celebration of the mother of a local businessman who became known in the community for her pie-making. Now, her legacy and a host of original and comfort-food pies center both an annual harvest fest that serves as one of the region’s first this time of year, and also a growing Jennie Pie Wall of Fame inside the historic Kelder Farm main barn.
As for the gnomes, that’s a reference to Gnome Chomsky, who held the title of World’s Tallest Garden Gnome up until some upstarts in Iowa and then Poland beat out the 13.5-foot dwarf created by local artist Maria Reidelbach. She is now planning a tour of similar giants up and down the Rondout Valley, including a massive cement worker in Rosendale, a blueberry girl in Ellenville, a Ukrainian forest peasant for Solyinka and a dozen other landmarks in a dreamy “Valley of the Giants.” For now, though, Chomsky will be but one of numerous kids-oriented activities accompanying the long wait for the pie arrivals this Friday evening and Saturday, including hayrides, a talent contest and a corn maze.
There will be veggie and fruit-picking fields, food and craft vendors, music, a carnival and fireworks to end each evening, with the big pie contest taking place on Saturday from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Best of all is the way that the farm’s situated, with grand views of the Shawangunk range on one side and the Catskills on the other.
Parking for the Jennie Pie Festival, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 23 and from 12 noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, is by donation to benefit a local organization. Kelder’s Farm is located on Route 209 just north and east of Kerhonkson. For further information call (845) 626-7137 or visit www.kelderfarm.com.