1 The entrance to Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
2 Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills, utilizes these magnificent interconnected Norman-style farm buildings, which were originally built by John D. Rockefeller in the early 1930s for use as a dairy farm.
3 After his wife, Peggy, died in 1996, it was David Rockefeller's wish to turn the property into a nonprofit center dedicated to sustainable agriculture, a cause Peggy had embraced throughout her life.
4 This is the large education center, which was once the hay barn and to the right, where the cows were once housed, is part of Dan Barber's fabulous Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
5 This is the outdoor eating area where guests can enjoy the food purchased at the cafe.
6 A very pleasant view from the eating area
7 Blue Hill Café offers light snacks, farm-fresh lattes, and other locally grown goodies.
8 Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.
9 As you approach the greenhouse complex, you come upon this introduction sign.
10 Year-round farming is possible because of this 1/2-acre minimally heated greenhouse facility. The retracting roof panels allow for outdoor exposure on nice days.
11 This is the propagation area where a class was to be held.
12 There were several flats of germinating seeds below protective bird netting, since birds are able to fly through the greenhouse.
13 Ryan was intrigued by this method of prestarting peas, instead of direct planting.
14 A more mature tray of peas beginning to sprout
15 Stone Barns utilizes the same rubber tubs that we use at the farm.
16 These specialty tools from Johnny's Seeds were part of a tool demonstration.
17 Johnny's was well-represented at the Young Farmers Conference.
18 These peas in the greenhouse were grown specifically for a pollination demonstration.
19 Every inch of space, every seedling, and every clump of soil is intensely managed here 365 days a year. Plants grow right in natural and cultivatable dirt floors.
20 The entire complex is succession planted throughout the year for a constant crop supply.
21 Beautiful Swiss chard was waiting to be picked.
22 As was this curly kale.
24 The giant mustard leaves were amazing.
25 A generous row of fluffy carrot tops.
26 These two smaller greenhouses move along on tracks. When one crop is finished, the house is pulled over a new plot. This way, the plots are not exhausted from overuse.
27 Betsy and Ryan also took a tour of the barnyard to see the various livestock raised there.
28 There are 23-acres of pasture and Finn-Dorset sheep are the primary grazers. When the grass is growing from May through November, most of the animals are grass-fed and maintained in a rotational grazing system. The livestock is brought indoors during winter.
29 The farm also raises Berkshire pigs, a heritage breed of pork.
30 The meat of the Berkshire pig is darker than commercial pork and has a higher fat content, making for great flavor. At Stone Barns, very little of the pig goes to waste as they also make sausages and delicious charcuterie products.
31 This is the winter home of the White Plymouth chickens. They also raise Rhode Island Reds and have about 1,200 hens that lay approximately 6,000 eggs per week. The hens are also used as broiler chickens.
32 Young farmers gather here at this conference for intensive workshops, demonstrations, business courses, and conversations.
33 The Education Center fills to capacity with farmers eager to learn from experienced thought leaders, creative practitioners, and business experts in the sustainable agriculture movement.
34 This was the seed exchange table where people get to share their shared seeds with others.
35 The seeds went quickly!