Stone Barns mission is to be the center for food and agriculture and to create a healthy and sustainable food system that benefits us all. They believe and firmly stand by: fertile soil, healthy people, and vibrant ecosystems. My niece was one of the camp counselors for this past summers kids camp and she really enjoyed her experience. She gave me a private tour of this amazing botanical place!
Stone Barns is 30 miles away from 30 million people! Sitting on 80 acres of land just north of the very busy, bustling, streets of Manhattan, NY. They provide a hands-on learning center for children on farming and growing food. There summer camp brings many city kids in every year to experience what is becoming a lost art. Kids are learning the true meaning of “farm to table”–literally, from seed, to harvest, to plate.
Stone Barnes is pridefully all organic; because they use a highly integrated method of composting, mineral balancing, plus crop and animal rotation they have no need for chemical fertilizers or pesticides. You can actually purchase some of this nutrient dense soil from their online store. Plus they are very selective in which plants to grow based on season and the soil regeneration. Their crop selection has more the 500 varieties each season!
The animals here at Stone Barnes are humanly raised. During my visit I had the pleasure of meeting chickens, baby chicks, and teenage chicks, as well as, bees, turkeys, geese, sheep, & piglets. Oh, the piglets were too cute! I almost gave up pork, but then bacon showed up and that thought went right out the window– it’s New York, the foodie haven! They also have goats, but I did not see any on my tour, since Stone Barnes also supports wildlife, I thought maybe the coyotes came down for a snack. Hey, it’s called the “food-chain.” Interestingly, some of the animals are heritage breeds–that’s like old money in farm life! These animals have been bread over time, before the industrial agriculture phase, and are very adapted to the local environment. Who knew there was a legacy of pigs?
Stone Barnes is truly magical! The original building–which looks straight outta of Downton Abbey–was built in the 1930’s as a dairy farm. Then later taken over by the Rockefeller family, who restored and donated to form the nonprofit Stone Barnes Center for food and agriculture, to honor the memory of Peggy Rockefeller.
I’m a very lucky girl to have gotten to visit this place! There is so much to do here at Stone Barnes. You can become a an apprentice, you can take classes, you can ship your kids off for summer camp, tour, shop, have lunch and even have dinner at the famous Blue Hill restaurant by executive Chef Dan Barber. Truly an amazing experience for anyone, especially us foodies. You can join also the Stone Barnes CSA starting at $90 and up to $2,500–that one comes with some nice perks though and all tax deductible!