We met our tour guide who was in charge of all of the vegetables at Stone Barns. We started off by going through Blue Hill Restaurant. The kitchen was of a good size and there was a class going on about Thanksgiving cooking. The dining room was casual and elegant without being fussy.
Next, we went to all of the vegetables. The land was choppy and there was some rocks in the land so it was not the ideal farming conditions, but they are still able to work with the land and get amazing products. After every harvesting season the vegetables rotate in the farm. If you keep one vegetable in the same place every year the soil will lose it's high quality and the vegetables would be very prone to getting wiped out by a disease. The farm was growing garlic, lettuces, cabbages, root vegetables, wild herbs, and much more. They have about 100 different type of vegetables growing in the farm.
The geese were also running around and were very happy. I asked the tour guide if they ever tried raising geese for their liver (foie gras). He said that they had a farmer come from Spain who taught the farmers about raising humane foie gras. You have to trick the geese so they think they are about to go migrate. When they think they are going to go migrate they start stuffing themselves for the journey. When the geese start to stuff themselves you feed them fatty foods, like nuts or corn, and the liver gets engorged and delicious. However there first go with the wild foie gras did not succeed, but hopefully they will try again.
Stone Barns breeds their own type of lamb. The lamb's are used primarily for their meat and secondly for their wool. The lamb are let to graze and eats all different types of grasses, bugs, and worms which brings happiness to there life because they experience diversity (This is the same with all of the animals at Stone Barns).
Stone Barns also breeds Berkshire pigs. The pigs are usually slaughtered at 9 months old. Every animal with two legs gets slaughtered at Stone Barns, while all four leg animals have to get sent out and get gutted. Then the gutted four legged animals come back to the restaurant where they are butchered in house.
After the tour it was time to eat at the Cafe. I wish I could have gone to eat at Blue Hill, but they did not serve lunch. We waited about 30 minutes on line to get food. I got foccaccia with caramelized onions and squash, Ronny Brooks chocolate milk, and two hard boiled fresh farm eggs. The eggs had bright orange yolks and with salt were absolutely delicious and creamy. The foccaccia was also good but needed some salt and acid.
The whole experience was great. I learned a lot and cannot wait to come back and go to Blue Hill and maybe meet Dan Barber.