Calvin at the coop.

The chicken toss was a hit.

Stone Barns Farm lies less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan near the village of Bedford. Most famous resident: Martha Stewart. And yes, the rolling countryside is really as picturesque featured sometimes in the layouts in Living Magazine.

Tha farm has been the feature of our week. First I had the chance to be a parent chaperone for Calvin’s class on their field trip to the farm. We visited the greenhouses, turkeys and sheep. The highlights were the chickens and hogs.

The class was able to go into the fenced chicken coops and collect eggs. There is something to be said for the intimidation factor of a flock  of assertive chickens when you’re not even 4 feet tall. The chickens approached en masse and proceeded to explore our footwear, which resulted in all but four boys sticking it out to pillage the nesting boxes for fresh eggs. (And one guy who encouraged his friend to stick around and not be scared, yup, you know who it was. Thanks to visits to Ohio,  Little Fox Farm in Virginia and Amakhala in South Africa he’s broken in on the farming side of things.)

The hogs provided a memorable moment of a different kind. First one of the sows emerged from her shelter to take a lengthy and voluminous pee. Then, the massive boar emerged from his shelter and rooted about, displaying the most enormous pair of testicles. This drew many curious questions and giggles.

The brisket boys: Tony, Lucas and Jay

A few days later, we headed back to Stone Barns Farm as a family for their annual Harvest Festival. This time chickens were a hit for a different reason: the Farm Olympics activities featured a chicken toss that Calvin enjoyed thoroughly. We also loved watching the Story Pirates — an amazing improv group catering to youth audiences. After missing the hayride last year, patience paid off and we got to take a comfy ride around the farm featuring fall foliage.

There was excellent food on hand — Luke’s Lobster Rolls, brisket (enjoyed by the older guys in the photo), and pulled pork sandwiches from the farm. The De Leeeuwens ice cream truck was an all-round pleaser. Successfully resisting the urge to take home any more baked goodies than we’d already eaten from Red Barn Bakery, I relented on the most enormous bottle of peanut-free roasted sweet nuts.  Why is this relevant? School is a peanut-free zone due to allergies, so nutty snacks that meet the requirement are a boon. (We’ve also recently made the acquaintance of sunflower seed butter. Like peanut butter, only… not.)

 

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