Star Farm... A Peaceful Paradise with Blueberries Galore
Star Farm’s beautifully restored 1937 International D-50 vintage truck greets visitors.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family this summer—something that gets you out in the country and immerses you in the beauty of Nature—why not go berry-picking at Star Farm Blueberries in Galway? Situated one-half mile off the beaten track on a peaceful, wide open parcel of land with five ponds, wooded hiking trails, a farm store, and several lovely wedding sites, Star Farm truly is a Saratoga County ‘must-see.’
“We grow seven different varieties of blueberries, one of which grows to be the size of a quarter,” says JoAnn Pulaski-Fetter, who runs the farm with her husband, Chuck Fetter. “The varieties bloom in different intervals, too, so we have early, mid, and lateblooming berries. If we only had early berries, we’d only have a one month season. This way, we’re able to stay open from about the second week of July through the second week of September.”
The Farm Store is the heart of all Star Farm operations. “Upon arriving, customers enter the store to get their buckets and their picking directions,” JoAnn explains. “Then they go into the berry field to the designated rows that are ready to pick. Afterwards, they return to the store where we gently transfer the berries to paper bags and weigh them to determine cost. The buckets are then washed, dried, and reused.”
The Farm Store carries many local goods, including honey harvested from hives located on the property, maple syrup, Smith’s baked goods, and a unique selection of jewelry handcrafted by JoAnn. The store also sells quarts and pints of blueberries, fresh-picked that morning.
After the Farm Store closes for the season, the space is transformed into a Saturday morning yoga studio. Yoga classes are offered year-round. During berry season, however, classes are held in another part of the property known as The Boogie Barn.
“The Boogie Barn is a wonderful space for all kinds of events,” JoAnn says. “It has a brand new wood floor, a sound system, a large stage, and stage lighting. That’s where we have many of our weddings. It’s located in a very wide open area beyond the pond, so there’s plenty of space and privacy. The barn itself isn’t thatbig, but people rent tents. At one wedding, the guests even made time to go fishing in the pond.”
When blueberry season isn’t in progress, the Farm Store is available for smaller weddings. This rustic structure—built largely with weathered wood from old barns—offers a small stage, a kitchen, and all the climate-controlled comforts of home. Ceremonies often take place in the blueberry field’s picturesque gazebo. Star Farm even has its own iconic Honeymoon Suite for couples wishing to spend their wedding night in a tranquil woodland setting.
Given the thriving rows of blueberry bushes at Star Farm today, it’s hard to imagine that just five years ago the field consisted of clay, shale, truckloads of rocks, and a soil pH level that was anything but blueberryfriendly.
“Neither of us had any farming background,” JoAnn admits, “but Chuck and I knew we wanted to put our land to good use.”
After deciding to grow blueberries, the industrious couple set about removing rocks and reconditioning the soil with sand, peat moss, and nutrients.
“You have to know this about my husband,” JoAnn says. “Chuck is a true believer, and he doesn’t give up once he comes up with a plan. He is a visionary. He took down five old barns on our neighbor’s property and then used some of that beautiful wood to build our Farm Store. Chuck does it all!”
“Blueberry farming involves a lot more than just planting bushes and watching them grow,” says Chuck, who abides by the timeless quote: ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ “Being a farmer means being resourceful and creative. With vision, determination, common sense, and a lifetime of practical mechanical knowledge, I was able to design and build many helpful things that allowed me to do most of the work myself.
“But I couldn’t have done it without JoAnn. We’re a team of two. JoAnn can drive and operate any tractor. When she isn’t running the Farm Store, she’s mowing eight acres of grass weekly and putting hours in on social media doing farm promotion. Like I said, it definitely takes two.”
In the spring of 2016, after receiving a delivery of 2,817 blueberry bushes from Michigan, Chuck and JoAnn and a handful of friends planted every single bush—in just one day! Two years later, Star Farm Blueberries opened its doors for business. The rest, as they say, is history—or rather, history in the making! Because when it comes to Star Farm, the Fetters, undoubtedly, will always be dreaming up new and exciting plans.
More than anything else, Chuck and JoAnn enjoy meeting the many amazing people who visit their farm. “It’s usually so quiet around here,” JoAnn reflects. “It just fills our hearts to hear the happy laughter of children.”
Chuck recalls one day when he was waiting on an elderly woman at the drive-thru store. “At the end of our conversation, she said to me, ‘God bless you for being a farmer.’ For me, that was the greatest compliment.”
For more information, visit www.starfarmblueberries.com;
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