Josh and I had the privilege to visit Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York where we worked alongside the farmers and dined a few weeks ago. It was refreshing to see how another farm operates, especially since their day doesn’t start until 8 in the morning (a pleasant surprise because we’re usually milking by 5 AM)! The following is a series of photos that Josh took while I worked with Rich, Adrian, Sam, Meg, John, Maggie, Chris, and Craig.
Maggie stepping out of one of the coops after unloading feed for the layers.
My first time herding turkeys. Sam (right) and I trying to keep them together with cloth flags.
Using flags to guide them along the road towards green pasture.
It may look chaotic, but it was surprisingly easy herding them especially with three people working together.
Getting closer to their designated pasture.
Stone Barns Center’s prized Bourbon Red turkeys.
Sheep waiting to be moved.
Running with the sheep! It was also my first time working with these fast runners.
Running back to new pasture.
Blue Hill Farm’s co-owner and Blue Hill at Stone Barns’ executive chef Dan Barber (along with Stone Barns Center farmers) speaks to the staff and farmers during Family Dinner, which takes place every Thursday. Dan asked us to say a few words about our blog and our experience at Blue Hill Farm in front of everyone. I admitted that Josh and I had no idea what a big deal Blue Hill was until after a few weeks working at the farm. I realized the strong connection and influence the farm, restaurant, and the Stone Barns Center had on each other and the food movement. We are honored to be part of the family.
To complete the experience, Josh and I had a wonderful dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Our introduction to the staff during Family Dinner made our meal even more special. Matthew, our server, presented our plates and the story of its ingredients superbly. One of the main characters of the night was the heirloom tomato. Matthew brought out a plate of tomatoes of different varieties. I was a bit giggly recognizing the persimmon, green zebra, cherokee purple, black krim and Aunt Ruby’s green tomatoes that we harvested for the restaurant the day before. It was definitely a special night, a different atmosphere than what we were used to at the farm. It was a farm to table meal, but we were the farmers at the table observing the other diners around the room enjoying the fruits of our labor. I did love the food, but I loved the people the most. I definitely felt welcomed and everyone we encountered was so warm, seemed genuinely excited to meet us and treated us like rock stars. Matthew even brought us outside of the restaurant towards the back of the kitchen to meet one of the chefs. We also caught a glimpse into the kitchen to watch the harmonious chaos of plates clanking, chefs bustling, and servers rushing in and out. Everyone in the kitchen was busy but still took the time to smile and shake our hands.
During our drive back to Great Barrington, Josh and I couldn’t stop talking about how perfect it was. We will never forget it.