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My own farming practices have been heavily influenced by organic Maine farmers Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, and their mentors, Helen and Scott Nearing. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hearing Barbara and Eliot speak at a lovely picnic luncheon for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the oldest organic agriculture organization in the country.
Here I am with farmer John Bunker. John is a very passionate apple farmer and preservation pomologist. He was featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine.
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My plate was so scrumptious -- everything was delicious and very fresh.
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Having friends and many dinner guests at my Skylands home requires a great deal of advance menu and meal planning, as well as lots of grocery shopping, picking from the garden, and lugging produce, eggs, and berries from my Bedford Farm to Mount Desert Island.
Meals are decided upon, and table settings planned. Generally, I have Pierre or Thomas accompany us, so there is a “professional” to mastermind the cooking.
The rib eyes were highly seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh thyme. Here they were ready to be cooked.
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Everyone helped with the meal -- it's always fun cooking with friends and family. Here I am with Geoffrey and those delicious rib-eye steaks right off the grill.
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Split lobster tail, halibut, mussels, and lobster claws.
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At my home in Maine, flowers are always used as decoration in most of the rooms. We grow all of the flowers used there in a large cutting garden amongst the vegetable garden.
Kevin Sharkey has taken on the pleasurable chore of flower arranger and cutter, and he does a magnificent job of bringing the outdoors inside and creating extraordinary flower arrangements that make everyone oooh and aaah!
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The finished arrangement was the perfect scale for this giant faux bois table in my living hall -- absolutely beautiful.
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On another occasion, Kevin made this lily arrangement for the living room.
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On this day, a spectacular show of lilies and ferns lined my dining room table.
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Today, my chow chow puppy is 12 weeks old, and I am happy to share her name: It's Peluche, pronounced peh-LOOH-cheh. In Spanish, it means fluffy or plush. My granddaughter, Jude, picked it out, and it’s perfect.
In the few weeks since she’s been with me, Peluche has traveled to New York City and Maine, and she’s even flown in an airplane. This is a critical age for good, positive socialization, and I’m pleased to report, Peluche continues to be a confident, curious, and stable young dog.
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My peahens are nearly a year old!
As many of you know, I added three peahens and one peacock to my Bedford flock. They live in a very safe and comfortable pen near my stable.
I’ve been following their progress closely, and am so happy to report that all are healthy, thriving peafowl. Here are some of the latest photos.
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Hay is an important part of every horse's diet, and my Friesians, ponies, and donkeys depend on me to provide them with the best quality hay possible.
My hay comes from Adam's Hay, right here in Bedford, New York. When examining a supply, my stable manager, Betsy Perreten, looks at many factors including freshness, texture, smell, and coloration.
A load of hay was delivered to my farm yesterday. Take a look at my photos...
Each bale was placed onto the elevator, which carried it straight into the hayloft where our crew was waiting to unload it and stack it in neat piles -- it is a fast-moving process.
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Rutger watched with great interest as the hay was delivered!