Friday, June 09, 2006

a grand day out continued

After the Kykuit tour/forced march, I decided that we needed to head up to the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture. Last fall we took a tour of the facility and met the bourbon red turkeys that were busy growing for Thanksgiving. The turkeys were all accounted for already, but I decided that we should try to get one this year. So that was my justification for wanting to go, but it was really so we could relax in the bar at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and sample one of their unusual cocktails.
They couldn’t help with the turkey waiting list, so we headed for the bar. The list, unfortunately, was pretty similar to what I remember from last summer. I decided on a sorrel margarita, which was grassy and green green green. Nice and tart; a little too much salt. Last summer I was crazy for the rhubarb martini. I’m supposed to get a batch of rhubarb from a friend this week, so I will try making my own rhubarb syrup for special concoctions.

After drinks and nibbles, we visited the farm's sow, who is now so big that she can't move. They use a little crane-like device to move her around. Normally I would feel bad for an animal that's so large it can't move, but I think this pig might have it better than me, so I'm not so sorry for her.

On to the chickens, who live in mobile pens, with hen houses that move with them. When the grass is less than fresh, they just move the chickens and their home. The pens are more like suggestions to the chickens. We saw lots of chickens wandering around outside the tiny fence. When we did the official tour last summer, our guide took us into the pen, and one chicken tried to eat my toes. You might want to avoid the sandals if you visit. Or keep your distance.

From the chickens' perch we heard lots of adorable bleeting, and I had to go tramping through the fields to find the sheep.

You can see that the fences for the animals aren't a big deal. A few strings does not a Robert Frost-type fence make. Also, the sheep-dog's name is Stella. (Because if you are going to be yelling a name frequently, why not exercise your Brando impersonation skills at the same time?)

There were lots of little lambs scampering about, chasing mommies, and bleeting like crazy. The scene was so precious that my face hurt from smiling so much. We will certainly have to go back for another visit before too long. One wonderful thing about the Stone Barns Center is that you can just show up and take a walk through the fields. I imagine they don't recommend visiting the cows and larger animals close up, but the chickens, sheep, and pigs are totally friendly, and happy to visit for a while.

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