Sunday, October 4, 2009

Harvest Fest at Stone Barns

This weekend I traveled about 45 minutes north of the city to Pocantico Hills, home of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. The occasion was their sixth annual Harvest Fest. It was my first time attending the event and I looked forward to spending the day on the farm with some friends. The weather was overcast and eventually the rain came, but Stone Barns is always glorious, even in foul weather.

Stone Barns was founded in 2004 by David Rockefeller to honor his late wife, Peggy Rockefeller. She was a founder of the American Farmland Trust and a farmer herself.

The spectacular 80-acre property, part of the Rockefeller estate, includes the Center’s namesake Norman-style stone barns that were once used by Peggy for her cattle operation. Now these structures house the SB offices, gift shop, event space, and Blue Hill restaurant and cafĂ©.

There are also 22,000 square feet of greenhouses,

3 acres of vegetables and fruits, as well as many acres of pasture and forest for chickens, sheep, turkeys, and pigs.

Walking from the car to the Center we first passed a Berkshire pig roast, which would later make its way into tasty sandwiches for sale at the farmers market.

The farmers market was just up the hill and filled with people buying food from regional farmers, producers, and purveyors like

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Irving Mills Coffee, Balthazar Bakery, Red Jacket Orchards, Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Hudson Valley Wool, and Murray’s Cheese, to name a few.

In addition to the marketplace, there were live bands, hayrides,

farm Olympics, cooking and gardening workshops,

and farm demos like egg collecting and sheep moving.

I went home tired, a little wet, and very happy. It was a fun, educational, delicious day in the country.

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