My Independent Field Trip to Woody’s Farm-to-Table

It was the middle of study-week and one of my best friends was desperately trying to procrastinate. Conveniently enough for me, he had a car and I still had to go somewhere for my independent field trip!I While I have loved the farms that our class has visited throughout the semseter, I realized that I had not actually consumed any of the products produced in these farms (except for that one time in class 😉). I¬†Googled Farm-to-Table restaurants and found that there was a burger joint in Cornwall that. My friends had always wanted to visit Storm King State Park, so when I found out that this restaurant was right next to it, we just had to go.

It was a cute restaurant, juxtaposed with the ugly and generic strip mall accross the street. The front looked like a normal house, but the back opened up to have some outdoor seating, which was great given the beautiful weather. The restaurant had a physical design that fit the general aesthetic I’ve noticed is common in these sorts of sustainability-focused projects. A muted green paint scheme complimented the hardwood floors, which gave the restaurant a very “organic” feel to it. It made me start to think about the way these sorts of farm-based institutions brand themselves. Is it necessary, I wondered, for restaurants that are farm-to-table to brand themselves in such a distinguishable way? Even their website was replete with wooden and green imagery:

“Eat seasonal. Eat Local. Eat Together.” This was also printed on a word-art poster they had hanging on their wall.¬†Could it be possible that they are defining themselves as outside of what is normal? Perhaps they were attempting to justify their somewhat high prices ($14 for a burger, fries and drink!)

Photo of Woody's Farm to Table - Cornwall, NY, United States. Woodys 8oz with Swiss

While the manager of the restaurant wasn’t working while I visited, I did get to talk to some of the waiters about what Woody’s meant to them. I had just eaten their signature “All Natural 6oz Burger.” While delicious, I can’t say that it tasted particularly unique. My perception changed, however, when Jeff (my waiter) told me that all of the meat used in the burger had been produced by co-op farms in Maine. It certainly came as a surprise to me to find out that this sort of farm-to-table operation was operating on an inter-state level. Why not just use a farm in the Hudson Valley? Jeff did not know what to say when I asked him.