Farm Fresh FAM Tour with Dutchess County, EscapeMaker, Metro North #distinctlydutchess #hosted

3 Jul

I’ve always dreamed of moving into a big house having a farm and lots of land. I love the quiet life. New York is fine but it’s overcrowded. Who knew my dream was just a train ride away? If you hop aboard the Metro North you would think you have traveled to another world. Well that’s how I felt. It’s perfect. 

I was invited to the Farm Fresh FAM Tour with Escape Maker, Dutchess County and Metro North. 

I started my day early and met other journalists at Grand Central Terminal and we boarded the Metro North to Wassaic. From there we took a shuttle to our first stop on the tour to Harney & Sons Teas in Millerton, NY. If you appreciate a good cup of tea then I suggest you check out this shop. The company, which sources, blends, and packages their product from start to finish has grown from their original six teas, to more than three hundred. We sampled some of the teas and my favorite was the Hot Cinnamon Spice. Harney & Sons Teas gave us a nice variety of teas to take home. I absolutely fell in love with this town. So many cute shops and all the locals know each other and in no way is it overcrowded like Manhattan. Check out @harneyteamillerton on Instagram and http://www.harney.com for more info. 

Stop #2 was Irving Farm Coffee Roasters also located in NY. If you know me you know I love coffee. Iced, hot, cold brew and an occasional coffee ice cream and can’t forget coffee cake. Wait is there coffee in coffee cake? Don’t know, but it’s still good. Coffee samples were great. Coffees from Guatemala, Brazil and Columbia to name a few. I also purchased a coffee mug and bakery treats. Head to @irvingfarm on Instagram. 

Stop #3 the McEnroe Organic Farm. They produce premium organic meats, vegetables, and soils & compost. We took a tour on the shuttle through the farm and oh my did we smell the compost. I spotted chickens and sheeps. I also went inside my first greenhouse. There were tomatoes everywhere. We enjoyed the best organic, fresh, healthy lunch from the farm. Roast beef and chicken salad wraps, green salad cucumber water or iced tea and cookies were amazing. We were given time to shop in their market and McEnroe was nice to give us more cookies to take home. If you have kids or even if you don’t this can be a fun tour to take and learn all about McEnroe Organic Farm. Please check out their page on Instagram @mcenroeorganicfarm http://www.mcenroeorganicfarm.com

McEnroe Organic Farm has been NOFA-NY Certified Organic for over 25 years; it is one of New York’s oldest and most diverse certified organic farms and stands at over 1,100 acres of fields, pastures, and greenhouses.

Their Market has grown from a small roadside stand to year-round market, offering local, seasonal, and organic groceries. The talented kitchen staff uses the produce and meats from the farm to create healthy. delicious, and sustainable meals.

The farm’s methods include crop rotation, biological pest control, composting, careful cultivation, and cover cropping. They grow certified organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and feed for their livestock. With green houses and cold frames, they extend the season for organic tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, field greens and herbs, enabling them to grow as early as April and as late as December.
Established in 1683 as one of the original counties of New York. Bestowed in the Hudson River Valley midway between New York City and the the capital of Albany it is easily accessible by car, train, bus, air and boat. With its abundance of historic landmarks, restaurants, festivals and natural scenic beauty, Dutchess County is 800 square mikes of fascinating sits, lively events and breathtaking vistas. 

Dutchess County is a year-round vacation getaway so there are plenty of events and activities for all tastes and styles. Listings are subject to change so it’s a good idea to call ahead. Check out the calendar at DutchessTourism.com for current listings. 

EscapeMaker.com, NYC’s guide to local getaways since 2000, announced earlier this year that it was selected by Dutchess Tourism, Inc. to administer the operations of their successful Dutchess County Farm Fresh Tours program through 2017 with Metro- North Railroad.

For 10 years, Dutchess Tourism, Inc. has operated the Farm Fresh Tours program, which offers guided day trips to local farms and producers in and around Dutchess County by providing bus shuttle service to train passengers arriving at Metro-North Railroad stations in Poughkeepsie and Beacon, among others. 

Many Dutchess County farms are family-owned and welcome visitors to “pick-your-own” produce, make purchases from their farm stands, or join them during family-oriented festivals. Apple picking, wine making, visiting breweries and learning about cheese making are all examples of agritourism, which supports local farmers and producers.

Stop #4 Taconic Distillery. If you’re a bourbon whiskey fan this stop is for you. Yes you get samples of spirits here. I’ve been in Distilleries before but if you see all the land that the Taconic is on you won’t want to leave. It’s breathtaking. I learned quite a bit about how the bourbon whiskey is made and how long is has to rest to become Straight Bourbon Whiskey. (2 years in case you wanted to know). I wrote my name on a barrel and will check it in 2 years. There’s also Founder’s Rye Whiskey, Dutchess Private Reserve, Rolling Hills Rum, LIMITED EDITION Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup and Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey. We also tasted pure maple syrup. I purchased a bottle of the Barrel Bourbon Aged Maple Syrup which is enhanced by the hint of their Dutchess Private Reserve Bourbon. My pancakes and waffles won’t know what hit them!!! There was also a raffle and I won a cool tshirt. Instagram: @taconic_distillery and http://www.taconicdistillery.com for more info. 

Our final stop was at Crown Maple. This is where magic happens. Pure, organic maple syrup is made at Madava Farms. Lots of syrup tasting going on here. I also love the shop where I made sure to take home Madagascar Vanilla syrup for the kids. You can find them on Instagram @crownmaple https://www.crownmaple.com/visit-madava-farms

I really enjoyed myself on this Farm Fresh FAM Tour. It was great meeting new people and exploring for the day. Everyone on the tour was great!! 

Farm Fresh Tours will officially kick off for the season on Saturday, September 2nd and will run through the end of October 2017. Packages will go on sale via Metro-North Railroad in July 2017 and can be purchased from full-service ticket windows and ticket vending machines. Attendees will be required to make reservations beforehand at EscapeMaker.com/FarmFreshTours 
EscapeMaker .com will continue to offer many of the existing farm and destination itineraries from past seasons, which include Metro-North transportation. All itineraries transfer from the Beacon, Wassaic and Poughkeepsie stations and highlight artisanal eats, craft beverage tasting, apple picking, eco-friendly and organic farming, festivals and more. Following the 2017 season, EscapeMaker.com will be exploring ways to expand in other seasons, including working with GrowNYC’s Greenmarket and farmers to educate their shoppers about trip options.

Metro-North Railroad, is a suburban commuter rail service run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a public authority of the state of New York. The service also offers packages, special fares and deals to area local attractions and weekend getaway destinations.

Disclosure: This tour was hosted by EscapeMaker, Metro North and Dutchess County. Swag , tickets, transportation and lunch was given. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

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