Stone Barns

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Last summer I naively questioned if I was a country girl or a city girl.  This summer, the answer came to me loud and clear as I collapsed into tears on the front lawn of Elmwood when it was time to drive home. If kicking and screaming were permissible grownup expressions of emotion, I would have gone that route. Sometimes it feels like New York is only good for 3 things- making money, spending money and eating Thai food in bed at 2am. After 10 years, it wears thin.

I've developed a new city life coping mechanism and it's called Stone Barns. A non-profit farm and education center located 25 miles north of the city on a former Rockefeller estate- Stone Barns and its partner restaurant Blue Hill are famous for their commitment to sustainable agriculture and local food. When I got an invitation to visit from Shannon Algiere, who started the growing operation with her husband 9 years ago, I jumped out of my skin.

UntitledShannon is the head of the flower and herb program at the farm while her husband manages the produce (200+ varieties). We talked and toured the farm, smelling scented geraniums and popping sungolds into our mouths off the vine. When it grew dark, we scooted into the legendary Blue Hill to eat, me looking like I had rolled up in a beat up pickup truck, with muck boots, messy hair and a work coat. (I had.) Fancy florist, what?
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There are, of course, no words to describe the dinner that may have stretched into the 3 hour mark. I had been to Blue Hill several times before but never to eat, mostly to work on weddings, peering at plates like a starving Oliver Twist-type. To sit down and eat with one of the farmers who's work sustains the restaurant was incomprehensible. Course after course, I was in awe. I mean, they slowcooked our potatoes in the farm's vegetable compost, 160 degrees overnight. Really.
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To meet Shannon and dream up ways to collaborate through flowers was beyond inspiring. Stone Barns is the one bright spot on my city horizon, and I'm already scheming to drive up and become Shannon's number one flower farming volunteer and fan club president. Please stay tuned for more gushy details about our future projects together and in the meantime, drool over what they do here.

28 comments:

  1. Wow. Gorgeous photos. Seems like a lovely place!

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  2. I love your blog, it makes me happy.

    I was never long enough in the country to become a country girl, but I grew up in a city with lots of hills, woods and open views to the sea. Nowadays I live an hour away, in a tiny apartment in a metropolitan kind of city, surrounded by a jungle of buildings, with no nature in sight. It is necessary because I am finally close to the university, but I feel slightly suffocated.

    So it is wonderful to be able to live vicariously through your photos. Thank you and keep rocking!

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  3. I want to repeat the sentiments from the comment above. Your blog makes me happy. Thank you.
    This place is a dream. x

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  4. This sounds like such an amazing place and it's apparent it's going to hold a lot of wonderful memories for you. This place looks so dreamy I want to go there!

    xoxo Sarah
    theantiquepearl.blogspot.com

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  5. It looks beautiful and whimsical and homey all at the same time.. Sounds like the perfect getaway from hustling and bustling city life.

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  6. What a gorgeous place, and so so green. What a welcome respite from the city. I enjoy following your instagram pics and seeing all your adventures! I know no matter where you are, city or country, you make it beautiful!

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  7. Sooo incredibly beautiful. I know I always have it on the brain, but what an amazing place to get married!!!

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  8. Miss Amy, I have been a silent fan of your blog/instagram and general aura for a long time. I agree with everyone here who says your blog makes them happy. And your writing - it sort of sends you on a little fantasy and the vibe is so warm. Thank you for sharing your life for us! -Lauren http://littlebrooklynvintage.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/prologue/

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  9. beautiful pictures! i always look forward to your posts! i work for a wedding florist and seeing all the food while working is torture, especially when i haven't' eaten since breakfast! glad you got to finally indulge in some of the food

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    1. Nobody ever feeds the florist! Whyyyy.

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  10. No Way! Baked potatoes via compost?! Love it!

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  11. i'm glad to know i'm not the only one who cries when she thinks about how desperatley she wants to live in the country while stuck in the city.

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  12. What a great post! I totally understand why you don't want to leave your beloved Elmwood, it's so pretty out there!

    Stone Barns looks wonderful, a beautiful place

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  13. I have to try so hard not to be jealous of your life and fluency in sharing it with us. I'm simply grateful to have a peek. I spent about 14 years of my 20's and 30's in NYC (Manhattan & Brooklyn), and I certainly felt that was enough, but the path you are carving between city and country seems to be leading you on a beautiful journey. Again, thank you for sharing.

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  14. Hi Amy, if you like Stone Barns, you should check out Hollyhock - www.hollyhock.ca. It's a mini stone barns of the pacific northwest. And while you're at it, come to my farm. I can't promise slow roasted potatoes on the compost...but then again, why not. We could at least get our fingers dirty in the flower garden...

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  15. What a lovely, important concept. I have a good amount of green around me now, but I'm still in suburbia vs. country, and I pledge to get back to the GREEN green some day.

    Great blog! :)

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  16. Lovely. Every time I come across your blog I want to live inside it for a while. This post makes me want to pack up and move to the country immediately. Love love love it.

    http://tribeoftwo.blogspot.com/

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  17. i have a big crush on stone barns. love it there. you've captured it beautifully!

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  18. Beautiful foto!!!
    Amazing look!!

    http://blondeandvanilla.blogspot.com

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  19. wow, our daughter is taking a class there this weekend- now even more excited to go. those colors!!

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    1. Aww have so much fun! You guys should walk all over and see the livestock, too.

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  20. looks like a beautiful place...I love the countryside too!

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  21. It is so great to be able to see some beautiful locations, I will probably never see in person, through your eyes via this perennial favourite blog.
    Always delighted by your posts and news of your continuing success!

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  22. that caterpillar's colours are amazing! What a lovely place...

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  23. glad you made it up! shannon's a good one, for sure.

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  24. Thanks for sharing...

    here is one of the good Online Food Deals site in india: Online Deals in Delhi at Khaugalideals.com

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