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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
All about autumn
Malverne, W.H. ready for fall festivities this year
By Emily Webb
Emily Webb/Herald
Mums are in full bloom this season at Crossroads.

With temperatures finally beginning to drop toward a brisk autumn chill, local businesses in Malverne and West Hempstead have started turning up the heat on their biggest offers this season.

In the weeks leading up to the Malverne Merchants and Civic Association’s annual Fall Festival on Oct. 19 and 20, the staff and volunteers at Crossroads Farm at Grossman’s have welcomed growing numbers of visitors — about 170 people a week — who stroll in the farm’s pumpkin patch, shop for fresh mums and hitch a ride on the farm’s newly refurbished hayride, courtesy of Crossroads volunteer and Malverne Police Reserves Capt. Brian Lewis.

As part of its jam-packed schedule this month — the Malverne Civic Association hosted its annual Night Under the Stars wine-tasting event on Oct. 4 and a cat adoption fair with Courageous Cats, the Malverne-based animal rescue group, last Sunday — Crossroads Farm directors Meaghan Corcoran, 34, and Elizabeth Schaefer, 31, said they are planning their own activities for the festival, including pony rides, face painting and a petting zoo for kids and some Oktoberfest fun for grownups.

While harvesting this season’s food staples — tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cabbage, potatoes, kale, beets, carrots, basil and bok choy — Crossroads, at the corner of Ocean and Hempstead Avenues in Malverne, is now partnering with Island Harvest and receiving funds from Long Island Cares to supply local food banks with fresh produce and vegetables. Corcoran also said that the Crossroads staff has started delivering fresh butternut squash to the Barrier Brewing Company in Oceanside so that it can brew its seasonal squash ale.

Crossroads recently acquired two 4-year-old goats, named Zeus and Coco, and is working with Malverne Mel’s owner, Andre Ricaud, who belongs to the event planning group Party Pets of New York, to welcome more four-legged residents to the farm.

“I think that our regular customers are very enthusiastic about the changes that they’re seeing,” Corcoran said, “and I think it’s attracting a new group of customers that just might be driving by and just want to see what we have going on. I feel like the community is really embracing us at this point.”

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