1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 The two silos originally were used to store feed for the cows. Today, one is a sitting area, or reading room, and the other is sometimes used as a coat closet for the restaurant. Their architecture and acoustics are amazing.
5 The heart of Stone Barns is the farm, itself. The farmers there grow over 200 varieties of produce year-round. Outdoors, they farm 6.5 acres of vegetable fields and gardens.
6 The produce, like these heirloom tomatoes, grow beautifully without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical additives.
7 In their quest to create a healthy and sustainable food system, the primary amendment to the soil is nutrient-rich compost made right there on the farm.
8 Stone Barns is a place where farmers are scientists and researchers, cultivating promising new seeds and heirloom varieties of vegetables.
9 Working with the seed division of Cornell University, they are experimenting with a type of corn called New England 8-row flint corn.
10 It is very similar to an ancient Italian variety called otto file which, when ground, makes excellent polenta.
11 Upon the hillside, they are growing hops for local beer brewers and also a selection of table grapes.
12 The grapes were just beginning to ripen.
13 The Apiary - Bees see in the ultraviolet spectrum and at Stone Barns, the hives are painted bright colors, which may help the bees to identify which hive is theirs. The bold colors also reduce solar gain, keeping the hives cooler in the summer.
14 This location for the hives provides early morning sun, afternoon shade, wind protection, and proximity to water. It's also right near the vegetable field, where the bees can busy themselves and pollinate the crops.
15 There are 23-acres of pasture and Finn-Dorset sheep are the primary grazers. The sheep are rotated to fresh pasture every few days to help keep the grasses healthy.
16 There are about 1,200 hens at the farm that lay approximately 6,000 eggs per week. They raise Rhode Island Reds and White Plymouth varieties for eggs and for broiler chickens.
17 Summer camp was in session and the eggs from this hen house had already been collected that day by the children.
18 Bourbon red turkeys are being raised for Thanksgiving birds. They take orders in advance.
19 Stone Barns Center harvests their poultry in a state-inspected slaughterhouse and butchering facility just feet from the pastures where they lived. This is easier on the birds than a ride to a slaughterhouse.
20 The farm also raises Berkshire pigs, a heritage breed of pork. They’re hardy, reproduce well, and thrive outdoors, both on Stone Barns pastures and 40 acres of woodlands.
21 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.
22 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.
23 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
24 Seeds are started in flat trays and are set upon little black hoses that have warm water circulating through them, making for speedier germination.
25 A very serious compost tea brewer
26 Adjacent to the green house is the garlic drying room. These are mostly hard neck varieties and have quite a pronounced aroma.
27 There are also many varieties of onions being cured after harvest for better storage.
28 And there's even a special room where herbs are dried for the Stone Barns' tisanes, or herbal tea infusions. The aroma was incredible here!
29 Baby chicks are hatched and raised here.
30 When they are mature enough, these pullets will join the rest of the flock.
31 This is the Dooryard Garden, a hands-on teaching garden that demonstrates growing techniques practiced at Stone Barns Center. It helps to educate visitors how to create beautiful, healthy, and productive gardens of their own.
32 Right next to the Dooryard Garden is the Farm Market, held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
33 If you don't bring you own reusable bag, you can purchase an attractive burlap one, like this.
34 You can visit the farm and buy just-picked Stone Barns produce.
35 The Farm Market is very popular and draws a large weekly crowd.
36 This week there were beautiful chiogga beets and cabernet onions
37 There was also a beautiful salad mix, carrots, and French filet beans.
38 Peppers, potatoes, and basil
39 And, of course, farm-fresh eggs!
40 Beautiful sunflowers for sale
41 Fragrant and soothing tisanes
42 There is also quite an assortment of meat to choose from.
43 And delicious baked goods form Red Barn Bakery, who is committed to baking with the freshest local and organic ingredients.
44 Pies both sweet and savory
45 And lots of cookies
46 The Stone Barns Center gift shop offers many fantastic items, like this locally grown wool from their own sheep.
47 And these warm woolen socks made with wool from their Finn-Dorset sheep
48 They even sell their very own Stone Barns Center mulch and compost.
49 Blue Hill at Stone Barns is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday and for lunch on Sunday.
50 But, you can grab a bite to eat at the Blue Hill Café Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
51 You can order from an assortment of delicious daily offerings.
52 Fresh Hudson Valley fruit
53 The shelves are filled with Blue Hill products.
54 Honey from their bees
55 And wonderful baked goods to take home with you.