Yesterday we took a drive up the Hudson Valley to a small town called Pocantico Hills, NY. The barns have become a popular destination for people looking to for the essential 'farm-to-table' experience. We thought it would be interesting to see how they source their restaurants: Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Blue Hill New York (located in Greenwich Village) with crops and livestock grown on their land.
We took a tour of their facilities including their state of the art greenhouse which was filled with winter's crop of a variety of species of kale, spinach, chard, ginger, turmeric, lettuce, and radishes. We learned many things on the tour about how winter crops grow. We learned that even in a greenhouse the crops are constantly being monitored with temperature controls that log the air and soil. Another unique feature of the greenhouse is that the crops are planted in-ground. There are no beds that sit above the surface. A number of farmers tend to this just over an acre plot.
We learned about a fabric called 'reme' which they use to keep the plants warm. They stretch this white fabric across the entire house to help control the exposure to the cold. This fabric can also be used to stop the infestation of pests like beetles that damage the plants.
While also at the farm we ate at the cafe which offered delicious dishes prepared with the lands crops. We also experienced the 'moving of the turkeys' and explored the barns that housed the centers livestock.