out and about: stone barns center for food & agriculture

June 2, 2015

out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves James and I are working on putting our heads together for a little family vacation later this summer, but in the meantime, we’re determined to live up our weekends spent closer to home.

On Sunday morning we made our way up along the Hudson River to the tiny village of Pocantico Hills near Tarrytown to spend the day at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. I worked as public programs manager at the Center right after graduate school, and it was such a treat to go back to the farm smack dab in the middle of spring. The sheep were freshly sheared, the chickens were grazing in knee-high grasses, and the sweet peas were going positively bananas in the hoop houses in the terrace garden.

Stone Barns—a nonprofit with a mission to create a healthy and sustainable food system—operates a four-season farm that’s open to the public. They recently shifted their weekend visitor experience to ticketed entrance that includes drop-in programming throughout the day and the team at the farm invited us up to check out the changes and generally frolic about. Having missed our first (two!) train(s) (don’t even ask how we managed that), James and I were especially grateful for the shift in programming. We were able to drop-in to visit the hens and collect eggs on a more flexible morning schedule and afterward we could wander about and find staff members stationed throughout the farm to answer questions. In the afternoon we also had the chance to opt into more formal tours and other hands-on activities.

I took too many photos, really. So I hope you’ll indulge a little photo-heavy post in the name of fresh air and sunshine.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves We participated in the morning farm chore—helping the farmers to collect eggs from the Rhode Island Red laying hens. 
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Stone Barns laying hens are rotated around the front pasture in moveable hen houses called egg mobiles so that they always have fresh pasture for grazing.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Egg mobiles out to pasture!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Curious little women.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves If you decide to head to the farm, be sure to go prepared with closed-toed shoes—and even pants—that you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Thirsty hens.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Some of the Center staff, finishing up the farm chore.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Next we made our way down to the terrace garden, greenhouse, and barnyard. 
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves The terrace garden is one of my favorite spots on the farm. Right now it’s filled with poppies, sweet peas, nigella, and larkspur, just to name a few.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Sweet peas!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Poppies!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Sweet peas and poppies!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Tomatoes!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves We were too busy chatting with farmer-friends to catch all of the greenhouse tour, but here’s a shot of visitors learning about the goings-on from a staff interpreter.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves
Edible chrysanthemum, or Shungiku.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Greenhouse beds filled with basil seedlings.out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves A view of the barnyard from the back pasture.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves A just-sheared Finn-Dorset sheep.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Just-hatched Freedom Ranger chickens in the brooder barn.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Goslings!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Turkeys!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Geese, oh my!
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Guests recieve a print-out of daily activities and blackboard signs indicate what’s happening where.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Outdoor seating in the dooryard garden got caught in an afternoon shower, but made for the perfect spot to enjoy a little lunch from the Blue Hill café in the courtyard.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Border plantings along the dooryard garden.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves Spring lettuces and summer squash starts outside the farm store, where visitors can also purchase farm eggs, meats, greens, and flowers in addition to all kinds of tempting books and gardening supplies.
out and about: stone barns center for food and agriculture | reading my tea leaves In case you’re in the neighborhood:
Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture
Directions & Visitor Information.
Weekend Tickets: $20/adults, $10/children, free for under-2s & members
(If you’re planning a weekend trip, make sure to order your tickets in advance online—tickets sell out!)
More reading about the farm.
An upcoming program I have my eye on.

More Out and About posts, RIGHT HERE.

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7 Comments

  • Reply Corey June 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    This place looks like a dream!

  • Reply Erin Oliver June 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I've followed your blog for awhile, but didn't know you ever worked there! When I was in high school/college I worked there as a camp counselor for six summers. Definitely some of the best summer memories I have. You definitely captured it perfectly on camera!

  • Reply carlyn greer June 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I posted today about a national park that I worked at during the summers in Ontario. Not sure what type of family vacation you are planning or where you plan on visiting, but you might like to check it out 🙂 They have cabins you can stay in!

  • Reply thefolia June 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Wow a coup on wheels…what a concept! Happy Nesting!

  • Reply ariana June 3, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    oh my gosh I love this place so much. so cool you used to work there!

  • Reply primjillie June 3, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    What a wonderful place! I wish there was something like that near me.

  • Reply Nancy Cavillones June 4, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Love Stone Barns! We used to live in Riverdale, in the Bronx so I would take the kids all the time for a walk around and to eat at the cafe. We'll be there for the summer solstice celebration later this month. We live a bit further away now, in Connecticut, but still so worth the drive! (I still dream about the dinner I had at the restaurant for my 30th, and I'm dying to go back for brunch.)

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