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Nora Rose Mueller

Stone Barns Center Has Farming Fun For The Whole Family

Though it has been around twelve years, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture has established itself as a leader in sustainable farming and cuisine. An easy New York City day trip away by train, the farm’s 80 acres boast a variety of idyllic pastures, gardens, and greenhouses, and at the back adjoins the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.

It is a beautiful place– fun to walk around in and easy to enjoy– but it is also very serious. There is a sense of hard work underlying everything Stone Barns does, from the sandwiches in the cafe to chickens in their coop. Nothing is decorative; it is very much a working farm. But it is also more than a working farm: change is being tilled in their fields, between the fat cucumbers and plump cherry tomatoes.

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The non-profit’s mission is simply to “create a healthy and sustainable food system” and their activities and undertakings have a deeply focused quality about them; many non-profits’ failings in this sphere have to do with setting themselves up to accomplish too much. Stone Barns has centered their attention on improving the farming portion of the food cycle– a lofty goal, but one they have confidently taken on, with measurable steps to improve. They experiment with and implement sustainable farming methods, training new generations of farmers in these improved techniques; their successes and inspirations are shared through their online Farm Lab blog and their on-site events, which bring together different voices to speak to farming and food.

The other component to Stone Barns’ work is making sure that everything their farm produces is enjoyed. With a particular attention given to inspiring and engaging children, Stone Barns seeks to “improve public awareness of healthy, seasonal, and sustainable food”; towards this end, a typical selection of their daily offerings includes garlic harvesting and egg collecting, tasting kohlrabi and meeting a chef. Each corner of Stone Barns’ world is represented and open to the public– a welcoming space that nurtures both figuratively and literally.

To reach Stone Barns Center, take the Metro-North train to Tarrytown stop on the Hudson Line Line or Philipse Manor on the Hudson Line, and then call a taxi for a short ride to the farm.

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