On August 4th, the Foodstand team was invited up to Stony Point Center in upstate New York to see, among the center’s other activities, the progress the center has made with farming and sustainable food in general.
We set out from the Upper West side bright and early in the morning, but not before first stopping at Absolute Bagels on Broadway, near Columbia University. Fresh reached a whole new level of meaning when we saw this batch of egg bagels piping hot out of the oven as soon as we stepped through the door:
If only we could embed smells in blog posts…
Anyway, off we went to Stony Point, enjoying the gorgeous day. When we arrived, we met Kitty Ufford-Chase, co-director of the center, gave us a warm greeting and immediately took us on a very cool tour of the center, while also narrating its storied history.
Today, the center is a subsidiary of the Presbyterian Church of the USA, “offering delicious, locally sourced food, simple accommodations, sustainable values, and a spirit of hospitality.” Stony Point “welcomes people of all faiths and nations to discern, discover, learn and lead…to create pathways to peace, nonviolence and justice.” It’s a unique place – part conference center, part natural getaway, part spiritual retreat, part social justice activism hub.
Towards this vision, Stony Point is also home to what is called the Community of Living Traditions, a multifaith residential community dedicated to nonviolence. Every summer, the CLT holds a program for Muslim, Jewish, and Christian college students interested in sustainable living, interfaith dialogue, and social justice. When, on our tour, we stopped by Stony Point’s farm, we found the students in the summer program hard at work weeding and watering.
Stony Point also has a small chicken coop, and we got up close and personal! We also visited their gorgeous greenhouse.
Shortly there after, we headed to the mess hall for a delicious lunch, many of the ingredients of which were home grown. Check it out!
We spent the rest of the day working outside on the lawn, and taking some time out to relax, meditate, walk, do some yoga, walk the on-site stone labyrinth, and more. We absolutely loved our trip, and went back to the craziness that is New York City with heavy hearts, but also, with recharged batteries and a renewed resolve to mainstream good food awareness for all.
If you’re interested in visiting Stony Point, or learning more about their work, please visit stonypointcenter.org.