Now that I’ve been hiking less on the weekends, I’ve filled my Saturdays with work at the shop. And although I do love the added hours and slightly larger paychecks, I’ve been missing time off. Time spent with the beau not at the shop or in bed while we both sleep. He suggested that we drive down to Woodstock and I must admit, I wasn’t sold on the idea at first. I then reminded myself that the (dirty) apartment would be there when we got back and that I’d have the rest of my life to clean it. So off to Woodstock we went!
But first, breakfast at Carmen’s. No photographs because it was a cell phone free breakfy, but I had toasted quinoa with sautéed zucchini and squash noodles, a sautéed mix of onions, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and asparagus with two scoops of baba ganoush, and a side of pickled fennel, chard stems, carrots and cabbage. It really was a plate of everything veggie but everything was delicious! I knew it was going to be a great day because during our walk home, the temperature was perfect and the skies were blue.
We then drove up to Engelke Farm to pick strawberries! I miss out every year and was happy we could easily fill two-quart containers full. One for me, one for the basket…
After a quick drive down 87, we were headed toward Woodstock. This time instead of hiking or walking the cute town, we were looking to visit the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. And let me tell you, this place is like heaven on Earth! I could go on forever about this place but I’ll leave you with these few simple facts:
- Admission is only $10 per adult! They are non-profit organization, so they run entirely by donations and WFAS purchases. You can stay the whole day, long enough to take a walk around the farm, or as long as the guided tour; you aren’t committed to a specific schedule. Not bad for ten bucks.
- The tour is educational. You will learn about factory farming and the living conditions in which many of the animals had to endure. You’ll notice that many of the chickens have clipped beaks, the turkeys lost their toes, some of the sheep are missing tails and the pigs have notches in their ears. These are not natural occurrences and you’ll learn the reasons why previous “farmers” altered their appearances. I did learn a little something myself.
- You get to go into the pens with the animals! My favorite were the pigs and I could lay there in the hay with them all day. Come and get your free belly rubs! But seriously, I’ve never seen pigs that big before. They surely were happy pigs.
It was a wonderful experience to hang out with all of the animals, no matter how big or small they were. I loved hearing their names and the stories of how they became a member of that farm family. The beau enjoyed being near the cows; there’s just something about their size that puts things into perspective. Each animal had it’s own personality.
We stayed for the tour and left shortly after 3 o’clock. After hopping in the car, we both looked at each other and I could tell that we were both thinking the same thing: an early dinner at Garden Cafe on the Green!
We both love this little gem and wish it were closer to us in Troy. The last time we visited was New Year’s Eve, when we dodged a freak snow storm to eat some good, vegan food! This time around we shared the sweet pea guacamole served with wasabi lime rice cakes. I also sampled the black bean soup and the beau had the curry mushroom soup.
Paired with a pinot noir, I had (and sorry I can’t remember the exact description) pasta with a cashew basil cream sauce, tempeh and sauteed greens. It was delicious! With every bite I took a sample of all three and had enough to take home as leftovers… which were devoured once I got home, let’s be honest. The beau tried their homemade sweet potato and black bean burger served with salsa, guacamole, and vegan cheddar with a side of potato wedges. I tried a bite- it was good but I was happier with my decision. Do you ever regret your choice because your partner’s meal is better? Well, I didn’t feel that this time around, ha!