Bright Green Spotlight: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

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Where can you find a sustainable agriculture paradise, family farm activities, and award-winning cuisine within an hour of Manhattan?

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., is all of these things and more on 80 acres of farmland, gardens, pasture and woodland. Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant, led by executive chef Dan Barber, is a jewel in this crown of the local and organic food movement. The center itself is housed in a stone barn complex built by the Rockefeller family in the 1930s in the rolling green hills of the Hudson Valley.

Everything at Stone Barns is intended to help eaters make the connections from farm to table, and to celebrate community through food and food production. Each week brings new seasonal activities at Stone Barns; there are author talks and garden walks, cooking instruction, tastings, sheep shearing, expert dialogues on food issues, weekend tours, and my favorite, the current Five Senses Dinner Series at the restaurant.

To celebrate Earth Day, Dan Barber and Stone Barns board president Fred Kirschenmann, an extraordinary agricultural visionary, philosopher and farmer, will speak on the morning of April 26. There’s even a summer camp for kids.

Visit Stone Barns Center online for current activities, restaurant hours, and information on group tours.