It’s no secret that I love Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Last year, I visited the farm and center twice. The first visit, in March, also marked my first time at the property. Even in March, when the buds were barely peeking through the ground, I felt an instant connection to the land, animals, and friendly staff.
Justin and I traveled back to Tarrytown last July, to visit and to eat at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. In direct contrast to March, everything was in bloom last July: bees were buzzing, tomatoes were bursting off their vines, and the turkeys were past chick size, growing to become someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.
Several days ago, we trained up the Hudson line to visit Stone Barns again. We sought an escape from the city’s omnipresent humidity—a chance to be away from traffic noise and breathe in country air. We started our visit at the Stone Barns Café. I’ve eaten at the café several times now and I’m always impressed with the speed of the food coming into the café from the main Blue Hill kitchen and how quickly it leaves again in an eager customer’s hands. The line was long, allowing us time to look at everything available and debate what to get: we settled on getting a little bit of everything!
While we thoroughly enjoyed the pasta salads and open faced sandwiches, I spent most of our picnic rhapsodizing over the strawberries. They were perfect! Perfect color, perfect shape, and most importantly, perfect taste. As I finished the last berry, I felt certain these would be the best strawberries I’d eat all year. Before the Stone Barns’ berries, we’ve eaten good berries from several New York and New Jersey farms…but how can you top perfection?!
After finishing up our lunch, we wandered the property at our own speed, neither of us needing a guide at this point. It was fun to see the turkeys at a younger state than they were last July. The hens were all buried under their mobile coops to stay out of the hot sun. The piglets alternated between sleeping and eating so aggressively that they knocked their feeding tray 4 feet from where it originally started.
I’ve now visited Stones Barns at three different times, but never in the Fall--my favorite season. Hopefully we’ll make a return trip back this year and crunch orange and yellow leaves as we walk through the woods.