Cute Overload: Stone Barns Edition

On April 8, 2013

For the last year and a half, every Saturday I’ve woken up, hopped in my hoopty and headed up to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown, NY (just a 45 minute drive from the lower east side in NYC) 

What started as a coveted volunteer position turn into a part time job that has brought be immeasurable pleasure.

To me, and most people who spend time on the farm, Stone Barns is a magical place.

It was built in the 1930’s by the Rockefeller family as a dairy farm and operated as such for a good 20 years.  With the advent of the grocery store, they no longer needed a private dairy operation for the family and their employees so in the in 1950s the farm fell dormant.

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In the 1970’s David Rockfeller (youngest son of John D. Rockefeller Jr.) inherited the farm and he, along his wife Peggy, completely brought it back to  life.  They were huge supporters of organic agriculture (and clearly way ahead of their time) and began raising prized Semental cattle.

When Peggy passed away in 1996 her family wanted to do something to honor her memory so they donated the land.  In 2006 Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture opened its doors to the public.

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Their mission is threefold: to connect people to their food so they can understand how it was grown/raised, to connect children to their food and instill that farm to table connection at a young age, and to educate young farmers so they can go out into the world and create similar vibrant, sustainable farms to feed their local communities.

I could go on and on and on, and if you come up on a Saturday I just might be your guide for an Insider’s Tour–at which point I will go on for a solid 1.5 hours 🙂

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Spring is an especially exciting time on the farm because it’s when everything becomes new again.  Mid-March is the start of lambing season and we already have about 60 little lambs on the farm!  I could literally stare at them all day and luckily it’s sort of my JOB to do just that!

Hurry up to the farm and visit because these babes grow SO fast you can’t believe it.  As of today Saturday we only had 2 ewes left to pop!

It’s beautiful to see the love and care that these animal receive.  Just know, this is not your standard farming operation.  Our animals are looked after and cared for impeccably.  For instance, I’ve heard through the grapevine that the head of livestock hasn’t slept through the night in a month because he is constantly up to check on the lambs. I mean, that’s love.  These animals have a wonderful life and you can taste it in their meat.

Check out these insanely adorable pics I snapped while hanging out in the sheep barn over the weekend…

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Some of the mama ewes aren’t able to produce enough milk to feed their young so their lambs need to be bottle fed, like my little buddy here.

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This is the 2nd black sheep ever born at Stone Barns.  It’s a super rare recessive gene that was bred out simply because you can’t dye black wool.  But how stinkin’ cute is this little lady???

 

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Mama and baby.  Look at those eyes!  This little lamb is a stunner.  And you can sort of see on the mom that sheep have rectangular pupils

 

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Lambs, doggies AND adorable children.  That’s who I roll with on Saturdays.  Pictured here is Stella.  She’s an Italian breed called Maremma.  Stella and her comrade Stanley live with the sheep 24/7 and guard them from any predators.

If you have any questions about the farm please reach out!  Or do one better and come up for a visit!  I’m there every Saturday but there are great events all the time.  Peep the calendar here.

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