This experience is designed to reflect our strong commitment to food justice and sustainable agriculture. Participants will engage in a variety of hands-on and thought-provoking activities to expand their understanding of how food is produced and consumed. During your stay with us, your group will work on Stony Point Center’s one-acre organic farm, visit and volunteer on nearby partner farms, watch films that examine our current food systems, participate in interactive learning activities, and much more.
Food Justice and Sustainable Agriculture Retreats are perfect for alternative spring break groups, youth groups, or any group of people who are interested learning about how food is grown AND want to participate in the food-growing process. Please contact Will Summers to sign up or if you would like more information including pricing.
Lodges at Stony Point Center are simply furnished and have shared bathrooms. To learn more about our accommodations, click here.
Meals at Stony Point Center are homemade, delicious, and include seasonal produce from our farm. We can meet special dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.). To learn more about dining at Stony Point Center, click here.
Seasonal Farm Work
Springtime activities may include preparing gardens for planting, seeding in the greenhouse, or light construction projects such as building raised garden beds. In the summer and fall, weeding, irrigating, and harvesting crops make up the majority of our work.
We raise chickens for egg production on our farm. During your retreat, you’ll meet and interact with our chickens, help us gather and wash eggs, and learn all about our feathered friends.
Maple Syrup Production
Maple syrup season typically begins in late February and usually ends in early April. If your stay coincides with this time period, you may help us tap trees, collect sap, boil it down into syrup, and enjoy a pancake breakfast with us to test the quality of our work!
At Stony Point Center, we believe education is an interactive experience rather than a one-way discussion. Our educational activities are designed to inspire thoughtful discussion among your group and broaden their understanding of food-related issues at the local, national, and global levels. Your group may decide to participate in a Hunger Banquet, learn about the journey of a tomato from seed to plate, or watch a documentary film about food systems. Our staff will work with you to decide what educational activities are most appropriate for your group.
Compost is one of the most critical ingredients to any farm. We compost nearly all food waste from the Stony Point Center dining room and then spread it out all over the farm to improve our soils. A visit to our compost piles is a must during your visit, and if you’re lucky, you might get to dig around in them.
Cooking & Food Preservation
Perhaps your group would be interested in cooking or preserving some of our home-grown crops during their stay. Most preservation is done in the summer and may include preparing foods from our vegetables like tomato sauce, pickled foods or salsas. We also make fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchee. Making kale chips has been a popular cooking activity among our guests.
Local Farm Visits
Stony Point Center is located in the Hudson River Valley, an area that has a rich agricultural history. We partner with a variety of independent farmers and non-profit organizations that participate in food justice and sustainable agriculture. During your stay, we can arrange a visit to neighboring farms to gain perspective on the diversity of work that farmers are doing to enact food justice.
Outdoor Recreational Activities
Stony Point Center is nestled between two beautiful New York State Parks. When you are with us, we can arrange a canoeing or kayaking trip in the lakes of nearby Harriman State Park or a hiking expedition at Harriman or Bear Mountain State Park. Wild edible hikes may also be a possibility during your stay.
Preparing for your Retreat
During your Food Justice and Sustainable Agriculture retreat you will need to supply your own water bottles, hats, sunscreen, and related items. Please bring clothing that can get dirty: it will. Summertime is generally warm in our area and spring and fall can bring cold weather, so please pack accordingly. Dressing in layers during spring and fall is usually best.