Ever heard of Stone Barns? It's a working farm with a mission to educate - check it out at www.stonebarnscenter.org I've been to the Blue Hill restaurant in New York, but have always wanted to make it up to the farm to check it out. It sits on 80 acres of land donated by the Rockerfeller family to promote awareness and discussion regarding farmland and the food supply.
Well, after a long, hard semester, a group of food studies friends and myself set the date to visit Stone Barns the first Saturday after finals. We took the insider's tour of the farm and the restaurant, and stayed to have lunch in the main building. The Rockerfeller's asked their architect to build the farm in an old Norman style, and that they did, as you can see here. The big building is the hay barn, complete with a silo. The cafe is behind the glass in this picture, and we sat and had lunch next to it. Duck panini, goat cheese and asparagus sandwich, salads of beans, celery root, and turnips, and ice cream sandwiches. The duck, asparagus, and salad ingredients all came from the farm. The ice cream and creamy farm milk we had was from a nearby dairy.
This is Bruno the pig. Stella, if you can see her head sticking up from the grass where she's lying, diligently watches over the sheep. The bees are new arrivals, too, and are carefully monitored by the state for signs of mite infection, and if they do, the entire hive must be destroyed. Daphne, our tour guide (who hails from Copia out in Napa), pointed out it usually happens to bees that are stressed. Stone Barns has been careful to make sure that doesn't happen to their bees.
The greenhouse grows all sorts of herbs, salad greens and vegetables such as carrots and turnips that supply the restaurant and the weekly farmer's market.
The kitchen staff in the restaurant are the happiest-looking team I've ever seen. It's also spotless and sunny, which is rare in restaurant kitchens. Usually there are few, if any, windows, but this place has walls of windows along each length. The farm cures its own meats and makes it own pickles and jams. You can see an example of the charcuterie hanging here.
Stone Barns is also a great place to go just for a nice walk and a meal with your family on the weekends. There are lots of hiking trails that run around the farm - maybe I'll find the time to check them out this summer. It's such a relief to get away from the city.
Posted by MooCow to Bumbling Bees - Food at 5/13/2006 06:09:00 PM