After a blissful night’s sleep in my cushiony four-poster bed, I headed downstairs at Hudson City Bed and Breakfast, led by some delicious aromas. Our proprietor, Barry had obviously started early, making sure my cousin and I had a healthy breakfast before heading out on our latest journeys:
Thank you Barry!
Fortified, we began the day’s itinerary, hoping that the forecasted rainstorms would hold off. First on the list, a visit to Grazin’ Angus Acres Farm in nearby Ghent in Northern Columbus County. At least it was supposed to take only 15 minutes. Unfortunately the main route was closed due to some rather extension renovations, so relying on Miss Jill, we took a necessary roundabout detour and about 45 minutes later arrived at the farm where we were greeted by many handsome Angus cows.
Why did we choose Grazin’ Angus Acres? Here’s a piece from their website:
In December 2002, Dan & Susan Gibson cashed in their corporate lives and started Grazin‘ Angus Acres (GAA) in Ghent, NY (Columbia County). The 500 acre farm quickly built a grass-fed & finished Black Angus herd employing a holistic, synergistic, rotational grazing system combined with numerous egg mobiles to produce great tasting and healthy animal proteins while also restoring the land. Today there are 300 head of pure-bred Black Angus beef cattle and 9 large egg mobiles (1000 heritage laying hens). The farm also pasture raises meat chickens and about 100 heritage Tamworth pigs per year. Most recently (June 2012) GAA started a micro-dairy of pure-bred grass-fed Jersey cows. All GAA livestock is exclusively fed either clean grass (the cattle), or certified organic soy-free grain (chickens/pigs). Further, GAA was the first NYC Green Market farm to become Animal Welfare Approved (AWA). The Gibson‘s son, Keith, runs the farm and you can see him most weeks at the Union Square(Saturday) or Museum of Natural History(Sunday) Green Market Locations.
In October of 2011, with their son-in-law, Chip, the Gibsons started Grazin‘ Farm-To-Table: Direct, an organic burger joint, in Hudson, NY. Grazin‘ is the first completely Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the world. Every animal protein comes from a small family farm that is pasture based and is held to the highest livestock welfare standards. Most of the proteins come directly from Grazin‘ Angus Acres.
Stay tuned for our visit to the diner – but first walk with us through this bucolic farm:
It turns out that these black Angus cows had just executed a breakout of their pen as this hill was not really on their list of approved grazing sites. Nevertheless the farmers were quite lenient and let them have their freedom – the true definition of “free range.”
The pigs had great personalities – especially the piglets who butted each other and ran generally amuck:
One in particular was practicing for the future:
Mama pig took it all in stride and relaxed in her spa pool::
Daddy was a bit more leery of the human interlopers:
This handsome rooster had a lot to crow about as his harem of hens was chock full:
No fear for this guy:
He was a metal replica set up by the picnic area, I suppose put there for exactly this kind of photo op.
On a gloomy, rainy day this is a pretty view:
The arrival of a heavier rain told us it was time to go and head out to the other side: The Grazin’ Diner:
I suppose I should have felt a little guilt in sitting down to potentially each some of the relatives of the animals we just visited, but I was too hungry. However, since we were going to come back to the diner one more time during our stay I opted for a traditional grilled cheese sandwich with a locally made root beer shown above – it’s the lighter one. My cousin chose the goat cheese salad:
Next up – a visit to the beautiful, large, intricate but still intimate Hudson home of Frederic Edwin Church, who was not only a talented landscape painter, but also a world traveler, family man, farmer, self-made architect and landscape designer. To whet your appetite here are a few of his paintings which show his uncanny use of light. You will also get a good idea of why I love his work:
Until next week.