Despite being far removed from the throws of Wall Street and the financial district, Abbott Farms Manager Mike Blair knows that farming is all about making money.
“We are in this to make money,” said Blair. “We could have accountants or astronauts, or opened a gym, but we chose to be farmers.”
Even though the bottom line is important, the way that the money is made is just as important to Blair.
“Yes it’s a farm, yeah we are selling produce and apples, but what we are really selling is the experience of produce and apples, and being out in a place like this, being outside, and having those unique experiences,” said Blair.
What is even more unique about Abbott Farms is that 90 percent of its sales are direct to consumers, meaning it does not look to sell to supermarkets.
Blair emphasized that there is a method to what he and his co-workers are doing on the farm. They are looking for a specific product.
“That’s what we as farmers are trying to do. We’re not just throwing plants in the ground and hoping for the best. We are trying to create marketable fruit,” Blair said.
Abbott Farms embraced the summer-like weather hitting Central New York in the first few days of fall, attracting several hundred visitors to come out to pick apples, check out the recently added winery or wander through the farm’s corn maze.
Blair said that between the beginning of September and the end of October, about 30 thousand people visit Abbott Farms for the various attractions it holds.
Even though the nice weather makes it great to go outside, but Blair said that he does not notice a difference when the temperature drops.
“When people want to pick apples, they come out if it is cold, rainy or whatever,” he said.
At the heart of it all though are apples. Abbott Farms sells them in all kinds of forms during the fall including donuts, cider and butter.