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Farm Sanctuary

Posted by tinako on July 14, 2010

We visited Farm Sanctuary this afternoon.  I made the mistake for a couple of years of going on hot sunny days – we were baked and the animals were shagged out in the shade of the barns.  Today was perfect, temperate and so overcast it looked like it might rain.

As members or animal sponsors, I forget which, we have the option of wandering around on our own, off-tour, so we usually do that and really take our time, but that means we can’t go inside the pens unless we glom onto a handy tourgroup happening to be going in.  Last year we were not allowed into the pig barn due to the risk of our giving the pigs swine flu, but that ban has been lifted, so we tagged along with a group going in there.  But the huge adult pigs were sound asleep in the big hay nests they build.  There were a couple of younger pigs outside who came over to see us, so we gave them a pat.  This was the first time I had ever seen a pig on his/her feet.

We spent a lot of time with two roosters (one of them pictured to the right) and a turkey who were in a separate pen.  I don’t know them well enough to know whether they were being friendly  or not, but they were certainly interested in us.

We spent even more time watching the ducks and geese – it is fun to watch their social lives, both friendships and squabbles, and see what interesting things they find to do around their pond.

The cows were way off in a field, as usual, but we saw goats and sheep and the friendly cat Sirella who last summer escorted us all around the farm, but this summer just saw us off with a few minutes of playing before we left.

We stopped for dinner at the Stonecat Cafe in Hector, NY, as suggested in a brochure at Farm Sanctuary.  It was very nice, one of the best meals I’ve gotten in the area.  I think they said everything was fresh and organic.  My daughter ordered two sides as her meal, focaccia and vegetables.  The $2.50 focaccia was OK but nothing special, indistinguishable from Italian bread, but came with some nice olive oil, and the seasonal veggies were overpriced at $6 for a small side dish, but they were very good, very fresh, organic summer squashes sauted in olive oil with salt and pepper.

Stonecat Cafe

I ordered a falafel wrap, which was excellent.  It was a green tortilla shell wrapped around fresh matchsticked carrots, a mesclun salad mix that they might have gathered from the beautiful herb and flower garden the patio overlooked, falafel which was green with herbs, and a lovely tahini sauce.  It came with interesting potato chips and a pickle for $8.50, and I thought that was pretty good.

We had a couple of other vegan choices: a half or full salad, a falafel salad, and a grilled tofu steak that sounded very good but was unaccountably $22, when the next highest entree, among several steaks and fish dishes, was I think $12.  Maybe it was coated in gold, or they hate cooking it, I don’t know.  There were more sides that might have been vegan.  The menu had a key for both vegetarian and vegan items (thanks for making the distinction) but the sides were not marked.  None of the kids meals was vegan, though none were the crappy usual kids meal fare, and at least two were vegetarian, if cheese-heavy.

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