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Farm-to-Classroom-to-Table in Brewster


Once a hallmark of Putnam County’s agricultural history, Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster fell into disrepair during the early 2000s. The past few years, however, have seen the farm forge a much-needed future centered on community rejuvenation.

It began with an organic garden, the refreshing of hiking trails, and the reintroduction of animals. Last year saw the opening of Tilly Foster Educational Institute. This year, the facility opens Tilly’s Table restaurant, and continues making strides down the path of revitalization.

“There are a lot of different reasons to be excited about all the continued improvements here,” says Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “[The opening of Tilly’s Table] allows us to continue to embrace our agricultural heritage.” The Institute houses a Culinary Arts Program with Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, bringing high school students to a gleaming new facility to learn about careers in food service. The Institute’s facilities will also be open to such groups as schools, nonprofits, and seniors.

The newly renovated restaurant space is striking, with a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and prominent wooden beams. There are two decks for alfresco dining and an expansive feel within both levels. The menu will tilt to local sources, and organically grown herbs and vegetables from the Farm’s Community Gardens will be used whenever possible.

Before or after dining, visitors can stroll the grounds or visit the mini-menagerie, including Calvin and Hobbes, two new Nigerian dwarf goats. Overall, the enhancements here indicate “both our historic perspective and what we envision moving forward,” Odell notes. “This rebirth really opens the doors for great community engagement.” 

100 NY-312, Brewster

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