For NYC city it’s easy to feel the need to escape, even if just for a day. New Yorkers rejoice: Your sanity is just a short ride away.
North AmericaUnited States1 day / June 2018
Highs & Lows
Supporting local farmers while eating your way through upstate New York!
It was during the pandemic so restrictions were still in place.
This Hudson Valley trip is, of course, a refreshing escape from the city, but perhaps more importantly, it is an experience that showcases how food tourism can empower the communities/destinations we visit. Local agriculture is a driving economic force and way of life in the Hudson Valley, and exploring the region through a food theme is a great way to support local farmers and entrepreneurs.
McEnroe Farm originally began as a dairy farm in the 1950s, and has since grown into a beautiful example of how a holistic business benefits both our local community and world. Beginning in 2000, the farm began to diversify to develop compost productions, and acts as a supplier to many neighboring farms. A community resource, the farm also offers farm-based learning opportunities and fosters support for organic agriculture. Rooted in tradition, the farm practices innovative models to grow the best organic crops, including trip cropping, rotations and amending it with compost.
The team at Taconic Distillery looks to Hudson Valley history – from Lewis & Clark to George and Martha Washington – for the inspiration to craft barrel-aged distilled spirits made from corn, rye and barley. A small, craft distillery, Taconic Distillery is located on a beautiful plot of land (which was actually set for the location of a landfill before Taconic moved in). Visitors will be welcomed by Paul and Carol Coughlin, a husband and wife founder + mixologist duo with a wealth of knowledge and welcoming energy.
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters has locations all over New York City, and their coffee beans are available for purchase online as well. Stocked with speciality blends and single-origin coffee, sustainability is rooted deep within the Irving Farm Coffee Roasters methodology. The company has developed a green coffee buying program that focuses on direct relationships with farmers, sustainable practices and a philosophy of quality over quantity.
Harney & Sons Teas sources, blends and packages their craft teas, and offers more than 300 varieties. Family-owned and managed, their vision is to not only deliver high-quality teas, but also to educate consumers on the world of tea history and taste. Harney & Sons is headquartered upstate (their 90,000 square feet of warehouse space and a new bottling plant in Hudson, New York, employs more than 200 people), and New Yorkers will be pleased to know that there is another tasting room in Soho in Manhattan. The tea is also available for purchase online, and it’s easy to spot at many bodegas in the city if you keep an eye out.
Crown Maple Estate, a relatively new contender to the maple syrup business, is quickly setting the standard for high-quality syrups – their philosophy is to shift the perception about maple from a sweetener to a defining ingredient. The team looks to the history of maple syrup for inspiration, and then pairs artisan craftsmanship with state-of-the-art production technology. Crown Maple syrup is crafted in sustainably-managed maple groves and with organic practices.
Q & A
What would you have changed?The pandemic has given rise to the popularity of domestic travel, and for New Yorkers looking for a safe, socially distanced getaway, Dutchess County offers quite the respite. That in mind, for any type of travel during the pandemic, make sure to keep safety precautions in mind (such as avoiding travel if you don’t feel well as well as well as respecting social distance etiquette). You can either opt to rent a car, or start your day from Grand Central station with a relaxing and scenic train ride upstate on Metro-North. From there, take a car to explore different destinations within the beautiful Dutchess County region.
Anything go wrong during the trip?Smooth sailing! Great escape for New Yorkers who are familiar with upstate or looking to travel for the first time – it's all pretty easy to get to and navigate.
Tips you would give a friend?Take the Metro-North up from the city! It's a budget-friendly and scenic ride, and you can rent a car once you're upstate.
Booking details?You shouldn't need bookings for anything, but call ahead and double check just in case any hours have changed due to limitations from the pandemic. If you want someone to help plan your trip, this post was inspired by EscapeMaker, a local tour company for day trips and weekend getaways from New York City, and you can look to them for more in-depth information on places to go and ways to support locals.