Callisto Farm Is a Hub for Creativity in the Hudson Valley

Owner Amalia Graziani transforms Ulster County farmland into a destination for pop-up dining experiences and events.

Imagine you’re cruising the scenic countryside of Ulster County. After passing through charming, day-trippable towns like New Paltz and Rosendale, you forgo main streets in favor of quieter roadways. The drive takes you along verdant avenues that pass rolling hillsides until you arrive at your final destination. Your turn down an inconspicuous driveway leads you to Callisto Farm, a rather majestic slice of farmland in High Falls that’s fast becoming a hub for pop-up experiences and events in the Hudson Valley.

High falls farm
Photo by Sabrina Sucato

“Callisto is a farm and gathering space located on 63 acres of rolling hills,” explains founder Amalia Graziani. A real estate developer and CEO/principal at the NYC-based Noor Property Group by trade, Graziani, who is in her early 30s, started her career with projects in the Hamptons, Manhattan, and San Francisco after studying real estate development and architecture at Columbia and securing her MBA from NYU Stern.

Cook area
Photo by Sabrina Sucato

With Callisto, she hopes to create a space that celebrates the land and shares it with the community. To craft it, she spent three years working to repair the acreage, ground water systems, and structures on the 1800s dairy farm, which features an eye-catching Dutch barn with an arched roof that’s just noticeable from the roadway. The first two years were all about restoring arability and increasing biodiversity. This year, she’s excited to see many of her efforts pay off, with the orchard fruiting and flowers and vegetables growing more abundantly.

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Callisto Farm
Photo by Sabrina Sucato

“I’ve loved playing in the dirt and working with plants since I was a child,” she explains when asked about her passion for Callisto. “I’ve always imagined that my retirement would involve farming, keeping animals, and growing flowers, but when I passed the yellow barns that are now the central hub of the property, my dream was fast-tracked. There’s something so special about the land, and I knew I had to find a way to create something here.”

Ulster County farm
Photo by Sabrina Sucato

Even from a visitor’s point of view, Callisto exudes something special. The grounds are noticeably serene, and the presence of gardens, wildflowers, and scenic vistas make it feel as if you’re far, far away from it all, even if you’re only a short drive from Rosendale and New Paltz.

Callisto Farm
Photo by Sabrina Sucato

“[Callisto] has soft rolling hills framed by mature willow trees, a hilltop view of the [Shawangunk] mountains, and a pond filled with koi from the previous owners and families of birds and snapping turtles,” Graziani adds. “There’s just something magical here, and it justifies every challenge (there have been many!) that I’ve encountered along the way.”

The garden. Photo by Sabrina Sucato

Now, Graziani is excited to welcome others to experience the magic of Callisto Farm. Already, she’s opened the farm’s doors via a number of pop-up dining experiences. As someone who aims to support local artisans, chefs, and makers, she enjoys the chance to collaborate with other creatives. Thus far, she’s welcomed talented chefs like Hudson Valley-based Lee Kalpakis and Tony Ortiz of Campo, a Latinx culinary experience. September brought a Lebanese culinary exploration by Chef Edy Massih of Edy’s Grocer, as well as a traditional Argentine asado by The Modestos.

Dinner party
Photo by Sabrina Sucato

“The dinner series came from an abundance of outreach asking to visit and spend time on the farm,” Graziani explains. “There’s a real eagerness to connect with land and produce, and it’s been meaningful to see people light up walking our fields, foraging in the forests, and eating from our garden. The dinner series was borne from a desire to offer this at scale.”

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Callisto Farm
Photo by Sabrina Sucato

While the series may be relatively new, it’s already a success, with dinners often selling out well in advance of the date. Graziani mentions an overwhelming support for the project from attendees and participants and looks forward to continuing to expand offerings. She recognizes the Hudson Valley as a “special place” for food, thanks to the abundance of talented farmers and purveyors in the region, so she hopes to highlight and support them as much as she can through the dinners. Even the details and décor get the local touch, as she sources ceramics from area artists and shops textiles and libations from regional makers as well.

Photo by Sabrina Sucato

Looking ahead, Graziani hopes to expand the offerings at Callisto Farm while continuing to support local as often as possible.

“There’s so much possibility here,” she observes. “My intention for the future is to let the property be a container that allows for so many uses, highlights the work of many talented creators, and offers something of value to the community. Stay tuned @callistohudsonvalley!”

roasting food
At the Campo pop-up dinner. Photo by Sabrina Sucato

Related: Blackbarn Hudson Valley Is a Foodie Hotspot in Saugerties

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