How Blue Hill and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture Do Tech

The first episode of In the Field with Edible Brooklyn explores how Blue Hill and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture innovate to bring us closer to our food.

Stone Barns farm director Jack Algiere demonstrates some Slow Tools at last year’s Young Farmers Conference. Photo credit: Ben Hider

If you’re familiar with Blue Hill and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, chances are you probably don’t associate them with a high-tech, cutting-edge technology stereotype. The former is the world-famous restaurant helmed by chef Dan Barber that’s often credited for launching the farm-to-table dining movement, and the latter, Stone Barns, is one of the country’s leading organizations spreading the sustainable agriculture gospel.

The sort of bucolic imagery these institutions conjure shouldn’t diminish the fact that they’re some of the most influential innovators in the food game, however, and with the right tools—no matter how high or low tech—they’re pioneering sophisticated systems from planting seeds to paying bills. Trust me: They’re helping create a future that’s both very visionary and very delicious.

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Find In the Field wherever you get your podcasts.

But of course you should listen for yourself: Find the first episode of In the Field with Edible Brooklyn wherever you get your podcasts to learn how they view tech and innovation as ways to bring us closer to our food. We talk shop and taste surprising peppers with Stone Barns farm director Jack Algiere before going behind the scenes at Blue Hill with David Barber: Blue Hill co-owner, founder of Almanac Insights and chef Dan’s brother.

Like the show? We’d be so grateful if you could rate and review wherever you listen. Also feel free to reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #inthefield. You can also tweet to me at @ariellauren or email us at [email protected]

Finally here are the links we promise in the show:

  • Here’s more about the open source Oggun tractor meant to be buildable by almost anyone, almost anywhere.
  • And here’s more about what David Barber thinks about tech and restaurants.
  • Want a taste of some of Dan Barber’s cooking? Here’s his recipe for zucchini carbonara.
  • And if you’re wanting to try those Habanada peppers, consider growing some from seed.
  • If you want to learn more about the process behind the Habanada pepper and how chefs including Dan are helping breed crops for flavor, read this piece from Rachel Nuwer in last year’s Innovation issue.
  • And in case you’re curious about all 24 of the courses I tried at Blue Hill, here’s a photo of my menu that I received while leaving the restaurant instead of entering—an organizational, improvisational feat:

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In case that’s difficult to read, on July 18, 2018 I had (verbatim from the menu):

  1.  VEGETABLES FROM THE FARM
  2. FLOWER DELIVERY
  3. PEACH AND POPPY SEED
  4. KOHLRABI, NASTURTIUM AND STRAWBERRY
  5. FENNEL SALAMI AND PRESERVED VEGETABLES
  6. PICKLED HABANADA PEPPERS
  7. EIGHT ROW FLINT CORN SHOOTS
  8. BEESWAX AGED CHERRY
  9. BABY CORN IN LEVAIN TEMPURA
  10. STONE BARNS DUCK FEET
  11. WEEDS FROM THE FARM AND PICKLED PESTO
  12. BEEF TENDON POPCORN
  13. LIVER AND CHOCOLATE
  14. CUCUMBERS AND BLUE HILL FARM YOGURT
  15. 7082 CUCUMBER AND TUNA ROE
  16. GREEN AND PURPLE SHOW PEAS, BLACK AND WHITE SESAME
  17. BEANS FROM STONE BARNS AND NY155 POTATO
  18. RED PEPPER EGG AND EVERYTHING THE HEN EATS IN THE SUMMER
  19. WHOLE BARBER WHEAT LEVAIN AND ALICE AND BILLIE’S BUTTER
  20. NY 162 POTATO AND STONE BARNS PORK
  21. DRY AGED CELTUCE STEAK, MUSHROOM AND ONION RINGS
  22. MINT, PURPLE BASIL AND STRAWBERRIES
  23. PEA PIE
  24. STONE BARNS HONEYCOMB AND BERRIES

The first season of In the Field with Edible Brooklyn is produced by the insanely talented Kat Aaron and brought to you by Oatly.

You can also subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Overcast and Pocket Casts.

Featured photo courtesy of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture.

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Ariel Lauren Wilson

Lauren is the editor-in-chief of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn.