Lindsay and I, along with our friends Pete and Cynthia, spent a lovely weekend in upstate New York at Flying Pigs Farm. Why spend a weekend on a working pig farm?
- We like to learn about our food and where it comes from. For the past year we have purchased pork products almost exclusively from Flying Pigs, both directly at the greenmarket and through the restaurants that they supply.
- Our hosts, Mike and Jen (the purveyors of the farm), were wonderful, as was Morgan, the farm manager. They spent a good amount of time with us discussing the farm, the animals, food policy, cooking… it was worth it just to meet them.
- The farm is situated in a picturesque region between the Hudson River and the Vermont border, near both Saratoga Springs, NY and Manchester, VT. Unfortunately, the weather was very unpredictable.
- Mike and Jen have renovated a barn into an apartment with a killer kitchen. We like to cook, and this was a cooking vacation!
- It was for a good cause: we bid on the weekend as part of a fundraiser for Slow Foods NY.
- As part of the fundraiser, the weekend included Flying Pigs products – yum!. We would have gone anyway and paid for all the food, but what a bonus!
We have a lot of photos and recipes to sift through. We are planning to post about our weekend as a running series interspersed with our normal posts over the next few weeks. Here is how we think it will play out:
- The food: a rundown of what we cooked; every dish featured pork (Iron Chef: Pig!).
- The animals: About the farm environment, the animals, and how they are raised.
- The people and policy: About our hosts, their stories, and the challenges of running a small farm (in an industrial farm world).
We’ll also break out one or two detailed recipe posts from our time on the farm. In the meantime, here is an introduction by way of some pictures:
Flying Pigs Farm is a working pig farm. The pigs have a wide breadth to roam, including back into the wood.
The farm is located in upstate NY, near the Vermont border. Saratoga Springs, NY is about 45 minutes away. Manchester, VT, is about 35 minutes away. The picture on the right is the view of Vermont from the top of the farm’s hill.
Flying Pigs raises three rare heritage breeds of pigs, as well as chickens (for both eggs and meat). The chickens are quite literally free range. They have no boundaries.
The apartment has a dream kitchen: a six-burner gas stove, two ovens (one gas, one electric), a large refrigerator, a modern (silent!) dishwasher, a KitchenAid stand mixer, a compost bin, an enormous island, ample (granite) counter space, and terrific modular cutting boards:
There is also a covered porch with a picnic table, and a BBQ for grilling. * May include a lazing feline.
We had a mixed experience with the weather. It would be glorious out one minute, pouring the next. This is the view off of the back porch within 5 minutes from sunny to monsoon.
We had such a great time! Thanks, again, to our hosts for the amazing weekend!
P.S. Their website has information on booking your own weekend trip.