November 18, 2009

Blue Hill at Stone Barns - Part I: Exploring the Grounds

To celebrate a multitude of different occasions, we decided to head out to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the acclaimed restaurant by Chef Dan Barber that is known for its effective use of local products.

But before we sat down to dine for this much-anticipated meal, we ventured out earlier from the city to tour the grounds of Stone Barns.

Stone Barns is a non-profit farm that was built on the former Rockefeller estate.  The actual stone barns were originally built by the Rockefellers to be a dairy farm.  It was developed into the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture which was opened to the public, along with the restaurant, in 2004.
The farm uses its natural environment and does not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides in growing its crops.
The only addition to the soil is a compost made of manure and organic materials.
The kale, which would later end up on our plate!

Despite the late Autumn weather, we still managed to find a few beautiful flowers.

We loved walking through the vegetable garden, especially the signs that encouraged us to touch rub fresh herb leaves between our fingers to capture their fragrance.  (There is a small farmers market where you can purchase local vegetables, meats, and baked goods)

The Greenhouse allows the farm to produce vegetables all year round.  Even in the winter, when outside temperature can reach below zero, the greenhouse will be producing up to 35 different kinds of hearty crops (many of them rare or little-known).

The livestock are free-ranging on the farm.
We loved the dog, who seemed to be smiling while watching over the sheep.
These were the hens who laid the eggs we later ate that day!

The animals, including pigs, ducks, and wild turkeys, are part of the farm's ecosystem.  The animals feed on the grounds and their manure fertilizes the earth.

Yes, we were a couple of city slickers who took tons of photos of lettuce in the garden and ducks on the field.  More than anything however, Stone Barns gave us a greater appreciation for the food we eat.  We will definitely return in the spring, hopefully with family and friends, for one of their Saturday guided insider tours

Look for our next post (Stone Barns Part II) where we'll discuss our fantastic tasting menu at Blue Hill at Stone Barns!

Stone Barns is located at 630 Bedford Road in Pocantico Hills, NY. It's just a 40-50 mins train ride from NYC to Tarrytown, and then a short taxi ride to the farm.


  1. Loved it the last time I went.... would def go back again spring time!

  2. Love visits to farms.. kids also enjoy a lot and they contact with the nature :)



  3. Can't wait to hear all about the tasting menu, I've heard so many good things about this place!

  4. This looks great and now my tastebuds are wanting to read about the tasting menu!!!


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