About 4 years back when I was living in Asbury Park, I received a brochure in the mail for a place called Feather Down Farms. I remember asking Shawn if he had requested information, but he hadn’t so I kept wondering how this beautiful pamphlet ended up on my doorstep. I think it was a sign. Since then, I have been dying to get there. Years passed and I had forgotten about this magical place, when once again I received yet another brochure at my new home in Atlantic Highlands. I knew I had to book a weekend then. Shawn and I have been big supporters of local and organic produce for many years which lead us to start a food blog, learn to cook numerous vegan & vegetarian recipes but also striving to buy only grass fed meats, plant a big garden each summer, pick our own fruit and frequent local farmers markets. We’ve also visited great farm to table restaurants on the east and west coast and have become enamored with cleaner eating, fresh ingredients and just knowing where our food comes from. We moved to our new home almost 2 years ago which is on the same property as a horse stable that also houses pigs, a goat and 2 chicken coops. We fell in love with our semi-farm life here, and wanted to see what a real working farm would be like, since our future plans are leaning towards a simpler way of living. Summers being my busiest time of year, I had to really plan ahead, and ask my closest friends to join us, of course.
We picked a weekend in July, and drove to the Catskills with minimal things (wine & beer of course) our dogs and high hopes to just be disconnected for a few days, live and eat off the land. We arrived at the stony creek farm and were welcomed by a massive fluffy white dog, Anakin (whom I fell head over heels in love with) and Kate, ready to help us get settled for the night. She showed us the honesty shop, where we can come and grab what we need through out our stay, jot it down on a sheet and settle up at the end. Perfect. She had a few steaks and sausages ready for us (which came from their livestock) and we grabbed enough kale for a fresh salad and bread that was made that morning (unreal) for dinner. We got to our tent, which had no electricity, lit our lanterns, made a fire, opened our wine and listened to music under a candlelit chandelier for the evening. It was honestly wonderful. The tents were dreamy, with soft white linens, a rustic table, just the basic kitchen necessities, 2 bedrooms and a cute canopy bed.
Our weekend was spent hiking at nearby Bear Spring Mountain, swimming at East Sidney lake, eating fresh produce from their garden, collecting eggs from the chicken coop, witnessing baby cows being bottle fed along with dairy cows getting milked. On Saturday night, we partook in pizza night, where Kate and her family whipped up homemade dough with local cheese, veggies from the garden and some sausages for a tasty combo to make your own pie. Just slide it into the wood burning oven and within minutes we had some of the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. We sat under the stars and around a campfire, enjoyed our wine and the crickets. In the morning we made big omelettes with our fresh coop eggs, herbs we picked from the guest herb garden and yummy local goat cheese. Breakfast = amazing. We explored the farm and met adorable pigs, cows, sheep and even a few barn cats. My frenchie, Maude, was in heaven. We also headed into town for some antiquing, obviously, and went on abandoned barn hunts. Fun to mostly only me, but it was awesome.
I highly recommend taking a trip to this beautiful place if you truly want to flee from your hectic lifestyle, dig your hands into the earth, and learn about local and organic produce, farming & harvesting or to just breathe in some fresh air, it is out of this world worth it. The Marsiglio family shared so much knowledge with us and we felt an instant warmth when we met them, we will most definitely return.