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stone barns.

6 Oct 2010

 

Last summer, Daniel and I went up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns for an extraordinary dinner.  After we got to town via MetroNorth, we went straight to Stone Barns to walk around the pastures, greenhouses, and meandering paths down to where giant sows stared at us indifferently.   After snapping dozens of photos, we headed back to the hotel to change for dinner — and oh what a dinner it was! 

There’s a time and a place to sermonize about the importance of knowing where you food comes from; I don’t think this site is necessarily where I’d like to elaborate very much on that point.   I will say this: I do think at times that locavorism comes across as high-minded self-righteousness, that somehow local trumps all other considerations when it comes to food and nutrition, that if you just grow some fruits and vegetables in your garden, you’re all set.  Or that if you can just get to a farmers market and buy locally, you’re good to go.  But of course it’s not as simple as that, especially if you’ve got a family to support and you don’t live in, say, Boerum Hill, and the idea of travelling an hour to wander around a working farm and then spending upwards of $125/person for dinner comprised in large part of freshly-picked vegetables is a laughable notion at best.  I fully recognise that my ambivalence about the locavore movement comes from a place of privilege.  But I do believe in Stone Barns’ mission with regard to food education for elementary school kids: getting them to think about food as having a point of origin, of having a journey, and how that journey unfolds, from soil to truck (to hopefully no planes) to market, impacts each of us, as individuals, and as part of a larger community.  And how individual and collective knowledge can hopefully change local and global practices, such that local and affordable are no longer mutually exclusive categories when it comes to food production and consumption.

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