We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
These elegant stone barns were the dairy operation on the Rockefeller family's Kykuit Manor estate in Pocantico Hills, NY -a charming semi-rural hamlet nestled between the remarkably named villages of Sleepy Hollow and Pleasantville, one which has probably the highest-performing public schools in NY if not in the entire USA. Also, a famous Matisse and Chagall church.
The family recently deeded 1200 acres of their pasture and woodlands to New York State as parkland, now Rockefeller State Park Preserve. It has 20 miles of scenic riding and hiking trails, many overlooking the Hudson River. The parking lot was filled with horse trailers.
This land is only 25 miles north of Manhattan, 8 miles north of White Plains in Westchester County. That's what is remarkable about it.
The stone barns area of the preserve is now operated as a demonstration organic farm (definitely not vegan - they grow their own free-range pigs, beef, chickens, lamb, turkeys and geese), and is the site of the Blue Hill Restaurant. They only cook local, and pretty much all of their food comes from their farm, year-round, like old-timey farmers. They do not make their own Coke or Scotch whiskey, however. We stopped by for a stroll and a late lunch last weekend. Blue Hill has no menu, reservations required, but their cafe is casual.
OK, I think eating local is silly and that "organic" is a foolish fad. Harmless efforts, though. I did happen to notice that the natural gas which runs their a/c is imported from out-of-state because NY still has no fracking. Same for the greenhouse heating system for winter. Local food, imported energy. Guess that passes as "green" these days.
More pretty pics below the fold -
Some of the pastures where they raise steak:
They have 1/2 acre of greenhouses
Free range chicken coops on wheels. Free-range chicken is tough, has to be cooked medium-rare and thinly-sliced, just like pheasant -
In the distance, above the resting steaks on the hoof, the blue hills on the western side of the Hudson River
Pocantico Schools were certainly very good, but I don't think they exist any more. I think the school district merged with Briarcliff Manor, yet another idyllicily named adjacent village. If I am not mistaken there was a pretty intense competition to 'win' the merger with Pocantico...every adjacent district wanted Pocantico in their tax base.
That said, all or almost all of the adjacent districts are probably top 100 public schools in the country, at least if you leave out the magnet schools like Bronx Science etc.
I don't know if the loca-vore movement is entirely benign. I don't think it should be outlawed or anything. But trying to shame those of us who buy the more cost effective and actually more environmentally friendly long distance fruits and veggies can impoverish people and damage good businesses.