Stepping Out

Crossroads Farm at Grossmann’s welcomes all to its annual Season Opening

Cultivating the future at Crossroads Farm


With the growing season now upon us, Crossroads Farm at Grossmann’s is ready to welcome visitors again. The historic 5.5-acre site hosts its annual season-opening event, next Saturday, April 27. It’s a day to enjoy being outdoors, and partake of family-friendly activities, delicious eats, farm-fresh items to purchase, and, naturally, a wealth of information on planting.

Crossroads Farms at Grossmann’s has a long tradition that’s been shared by generations of folks from throughout Nassau County and beyond. Since 1895, it’s been a go-to for produce, plants and related agricultural products. Owned and cultivated for more than 100 years by the Grossmann family, it was purchased by Nassau County through the Nassau Land Trust to preserve the acreage as an open farm space. It’s one of the closest farms to New York City.

“One of the big things for the Grossmann family was that Long Island Rail Road runs directly through the back of the farm,” Crossroads operations manager Michael D’Angelo says. “Back in the early 1900s, that was huge. Instead of having to use a horse and cart to go to Manhattan to sell their produce, they were able to load up onto the train that would then go right into the city.”

With more than 75 products offered, the farm produces diverse and beloved selection of organic produce for its loyal patrons. This includes best sellers like tomatoes and greens, along with turmeric, and even loofas — among the many items you’ll find here.

Crossroads also showcases its crops at the Long Island Fair. Its tradition of excellence is evident with strong finishes in the agricultural competition.

“We put in like 50 entries last year, and 90 percent of our crops placed first, second or third,” adds Peter Notarnicola, Crossroads’ field manager.

This year, Crossroads is doubling its production by planting on twice as much of its land. Anything that can’t be grown or produced in-house is obtained through a barter system with other farms and sold at the farm store.

Another popular product is the result of a collaboration with millions of special farm workers — worker bees that is. Their buzzy effort supplies the farm with rich tasty honey.

“We got about a million ladies that work on the farm, and they’re the bees,” D’Angelo jokes.

D’Angelo and Notarnicola are always on the go, planning and moving forward with new ideas — and crops. They maintain a close dialogue with visitors.

“We have customers from all different backgrounds, some who either are first or second generation, or are foreign-born themselves. They ask for specific products that may be hard for them to find,” D’Angelo says. “And that is always exciting for us. We love hearing and catering to the way people cook different things.”

Crossroads also has a presence at local establishments. You’ll find Crossroads products incorporated into the menu at Malverne eateries such as Uva Rossa Wine Bar and Kookaburra Coffee Co.

While the season is just beginning, there will be no shortage of activities to occupy everyone on opening day. A ribbon-cutting ceremony kicks off the festivities, followed by entertainment, farm tours, hayrides and food vendors on hand with some tasty bites. Check out Rockin Roots, South Shore Brewery and Beach Barbecue, among the participating vendors.

Kids can keep busy visiting farm animals and taking in an ATV ride, along with puppetry and face painting. The youngsters can also gather around a maypole and chase down colorful ribbons.

“It’s a family fun day to come down and just enjoy the farm,” D’Angelo says.
Crossroads is so much more than simply a place to visit. Its valued community partner can be relied up to support many endeavors.

“Fresh produce, fresh flowers, educational opportunities and entertainment space truly make Crossroads Farm unique” Maria Casini, Malverne Chamber of Commerce co-president, adds.

Among the projects she’s involved in with Crossroads, the farm has partnered with LIJ-Valley Stream Northwell Hospital to introduce a”Food is Health” program tackling nutrition and hunger.

The farm also offers an interactive Sunshine program to introduce kids up to 11 to agriculture.

“A lot of people don’t know the process that it takes for food to get to their table,” Notarnicola says. “To see that hands-on, I think for someone who didn’t grow up with planting, is eye-opening.”

From a tiny seedling to your dinner plate, it’s a team effort to get it all there.

Interested in become a part of the farm family? Crossroads Farms welcomes volunteers to help out. Various volunteering options include working in the fields planting and harvesting, or participating in education and fundraising programming.