Stone Barns Center: Raspberry Picking

Venturing out of the city without a car takes planning and patience. I'm not a planner and Rob lacks patiences. My kids are kids -- completely oblivious and somewhat ungrateful for the absolutely wonderful life we are trying to give them. All this combined makes for massive amounts of tension while we travel and lasts until we get to our destination.

Once we get to our destination we're usually happy and content, but it's the getting there that brings out the worst in us. I finally came to this realization last weekend on our way to Stones Barn Center. While it doesn't solve anything now that I know this, it puts things into perspective the next time we go out.

We eventually got to the farm in time to enjoy lunch with friends (see their experience here). So bummed we missed out on the chickens! Then we went to the gift shop (Ah! Gift shops! I'll dedicate a  post to gift shops later) and said goodbye to our friends. Finally we ventured off to the raspberry fields.  We probably spent over an hour here. The kids picked fruit while Rob and I layed under a tree.

The whole time my kids were picking raspberries, I was wondering: Who's in charge here? What's the fee for all of this? Aren't there rules that need to be unnecessarily enforced? Where are all the people? It's Saturday afternoon after all. All this freedom to do whatever we want is madness! No one is telling us how many raspberries to pick. No one has a stop watch. There's no cashier collecting the fee. Where are we?

I remember when I first moved to NYC, I was shocked at all the rules.  This field is closed. No strollers aloud on this path. This is a quiet zone. This free activity suddenly costs a bagillion dollars. Obviously, I've learned to somewhat deal with it. Now the minute I'm given freedom, I assume we must not be doing something right. Are we in someone's backyard?  

It turns out that having a break from the NYC rules was my favorite part of the trip. More than the fresh air, the wide open spaces, the peace and quiet, the delicious food, or our even our friends!  Well, I take that back. Toby steals my heart every time. His cheeks. His signature scarf!

I'll conclude with this: Sometimes I forget what it feels like not to be herded like cattle. NYC does a really good job of making me feel like that. All it took was a trip to the farm to remember it's quite nice to be free!

4 more pictures of our raspberry adventure after the jump. We picked a lot!!


  1. I love this and have added it to our summer "to do" list! Fresh air! Open fields! Sounds awesome! We are also a City family and struggle with the process of getting from A to B. We recently joined Hertz on Demand. It's certainly more expensive than the train, but sometimes I find the convenience to be worth it, especially when traveling with kids. The membership is free! And the cost varies depending on the car you want, but can be about $10/hour and up. Again, the train is much cheaper and totally doable most of the time. But sometimes it's so nice to load the kids and put the AC on... ;) Happy Summer!

  2. love the pics! Your kids and Toby- adorable!

  3. We're Zipcar members and love it. You can rent all types of cars - even minivans or trucks. Maybe something like that would be worth it?

  4. freshly picked raspberries are just so much better than those from the store! some of my favorite memories involve berry picking. Also, I very much agree with you regarding the free feeling of leaving the city- it is so easy to go for months without leaving and once you do it just feels so good

  5. these pictures are seriously amazing. love 'em!

  6. "completely oblivious and somewhat ungrateful for the absolutely wonderful life we are trying to give them"

    After taking my kids to this awesome little private airport all Monday morning, I thought I deserved a nice, quiet afternoon. But I didn't get it. I told me kids (5 and 3) I couldn't understand why they weren't more grateful for the awesome outing I took them on that morning and couldn't they show me their gratitude by playing nicely together and refraining from shrieking during the baby's naps. Blank stares.

    Here I am in No. Cal., and I've never taken my kids anything-picking.

  7. Great pictures! Stone Barns is right next to my town and I love love love going there! Totally buying those nets!

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