With the advent of tremendous interest in locavore lifestyles and sustainably-sourced cuisine, Millbrook agents Bill Bonecutter and Ann Dyal created Farm To Table Talk, a public radio program educating and advocating artisan enterprise and mindful “agri-ventures” north of New York City.
What started as the search for the perfect weekend retreat turned out to be one of the most unique and successful culinary enterprises in the Northeast.
If you've followed the Hudson Valley cuisine scene these past few years, you've probably crossed paths with Crown Maple Syrup found everywhere from local cafes to Brooklyn bruncheries and haute Manhattan mixology bars. While the label itself is widely known, even some locals are surprised to learn the artisan amber trickles from trees in Dover Plains, New York, at a place called Madava Farms, a weekend home which proprietors Robb and Lydia Turner have developed into a local staple gastro-tourism that's an attraction into and of itself.
The setting at Madava effuses winery-like sophistication with an inherent country warmth not unlike the piquant aromas of its product cascading down a short stack. It was simply a weekend retreat for the Turners—that is, until a neighbor expressed interest in syrup making. Sap was historically harvested in the area by indigenous peoples for centuries, and as European settlers arrived in New Netherland, they continued the practice. Robb Turner worked with forestry experts from Cornell to devise a production process exemplary for energy efficiency, purity and the highest quality yield. The result, which Madava uses today, is a fully sustainable practice that perfectly protects the forest.
Today, you can visit the Turner's labor of love, where visitors can take tours, sample product or pairings and indulge in a chef's lunch. Pancake breakfasts are frequent, and dinners by visiting chefs aren't uncommon either. Listen below to find out more of why Crown Maple has become the choice of chefs regionally beyond and hear how Madava Farms is changing the perception of maple syrup from breakfast sweetener to a dynamic "bark-to-bottle" ingredient.
Join Ann and Bill as they sample shots of Crown Maple with chef Jacob Griffin and delve into its culinary, recipe-filled excitement.
Farm to Table Talk airs Mon-Weds-Fri at 12:30pm and Sunday at 8:00am on Pawling Public Radio