Slow Food Metro North efforts have been focused on building farm to table relationships with the culinary professionals in the Metro North areas. Mimi Edelman and Kathryn Dysart, co-chairs of Slow Food Metro North, put together a tour of twelve local farms, and Chefs were invited to visit as many of the local farms in Putnam, Westchester, and Fairfield counties on April 15, 2013 as time allowed.
This mid April morning was a particularly beautiful morning to venture out and I selected three farms to visit. It was a difficult choice. I had to choose between 12 different farms in Fairfield, Connecticut, Putnam and Westchester New York.
Even though I have lived in Connecticut for many years, I jumped at the chance to visit several from my hometown of Bedford NY thanks to the kind invite from Mimi. It was all I could manage in a morning, and I was going to end up in that area anyway for lunch at Hilltop Farm in Yorktown Heights NY.
The photographs were taken in mid April, and captured the beginning of what looks like a thriving farming season which will enable many to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
My first Farm was Amba Farms. Certainly not your typical farm as I found when I pulled up to the formal wrought iron gate. I peered through the entrance way to see a stately home. I was intrigued at the git-go, but more surprises were to be discovered within.
Amba Farms, founded by Elizabeth Taggart, is a delightful small-scale, family-operated, organic business in Bedford Hills, New York. They are a privately owned farm that sells primarily to local restaurants but also to the public at local farmers markets.
They focus on growing a wide variety of produce from every vegetable family, as well as fruits and herbs, with particular emphasis on exciting lesser-known heirloom species.
Have your ever heard of or seen and/or eaten Blue Potatoes? Well apparently you should try one as they have a delicious, earthy flavor when baked, steamed, mashed or roasted. To learn more, visit: Amba Farms
I And Me Farm is a small scale organic/biodynamic farmstead cultivating just under four acres of agriculturally preserved land in Bedford Hills, NY.
Established by Eileen Zidi and Mimi Edelman five years ago, the farm is now tended solely by Mimi. This parcel of land is a beautifully kept piece of property that shows the true original beauty and landscape of this breathtaking area that still stands and is preserved from the days of old.
The farm’s niche is to serve two chefs in the local community. Chef Jeremy at Bedford Post Inn and Chef Eric of Restaurant North. I & Me Farm has an RSA-Restaurant Supported Agriculture-relationship with the Farmhouse at Bedford Post Inn. The fields are planned and designed with both the Chef’s and the Farmer’s vision for the season. The extended season crops are heirloom and Slow Food ARK of Taste varieties reflecting global food cultures.
The farm is open for culinary students and young farmers by appointment. The best way of reaching Mimi Edelman is at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be patient during the growing season for a response.
Cabbage Hill Farm and Foundation is a non-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of historic farm animals and small farm practices.
Cabbage Hill Farm is dedicated to the practice of sustainable agriculture and aquaponics and are committed to increasing awareness through an educational model built around a successful working farm.
The Swiss Chard growing in the aquaponics greenhouse is used to produce high quality greens and fish year round.
Aquaponics is the practice of circulating the nitrogen rich water that the fish are reared in to grow vegetables.
The aquaponics system is a closed system that uses very little water and land to yield a high amount of protein and vegetables. The farmed fish include Tilapia, Sunshine Bass, and Rainbow trout.
The farm also grow vegetables and greens in raised beds, fields, and hoop houses using their own compost along with organic compost from a local farm. The farm does not use any pesticides or genetically modified seeds.
They also raise pastured, naturally bred Narragansett, Bourbon Red, Maran chickens, Shetland geese and ducks. Pasturing poultry helps keep the harmful insect population at bay and ensures a traditional flavor not found in commercial birds. To learn more, visit: Cabbage Hill Farm
All were invited afterwards for lunch at the stunning setting of Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center.
Chef Quint, Executive Chef of Stamford Yacht Club greets us by his impressive mobil wood-fired oven, ready to delight the pallet with mouth watering pizza toppings.
Chefs, Farmers all gathered to enjoy each others company and talk about the days events and to network.
A round of applause was given to all and of course to the notables below for an incredible day, great company and delicious food!
Over 60 Chefs, Farmers, Restaurant owners in the surrounding area, gathered for a group photo to remember the successful day with the back drop of the beautiful Hilltop Farm. To learn more, visit: Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center.