Above: The view from the table at Heather Ridge Farm. Photo by Jennifer Strom.
Owner Carol Clement calls her place “centrally isolated” at the top of Scott Patent mountain in the southeastern corner of Schoharie County. The location makes a visit there a lovely half-day adventure through gorgeous country from pretty much any direction. The farm raises cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry, and began selling its pasture-raised, grass-fed meat and award-winning raw honey about 10 years ago.
About five years in, Clement and her husband John harrison realized that their customers often wound up standing around visiting when collecting their grocery orders, and created the Bees Knees Café to accommodate them. The café, housed in a circa-1820s farmhouse, serves brunch on Saturdays year-round and adds Sundays between Memorial Day and Columbus Day. Dishes feature all farm-sourced ingredients, and are offered either a la carte or as a flat-price buffet. A summer menu might include BLTs with house-cured bacon, heirloom tomatoes and farm lettuce, a charcuterie and cheese platter and peach tarts for dessert. Winter menus tend toward one-pot meals such as chili and stew. There is indoor and outdoor dining, with spectacular mountain views in the distance and lush flower gardens in the background.
The on-site store offers the farm’s own products, plus a variety of seasonal items from other local producers. On the non-edible side, there are tote bags made from recycled livestock grain sacks, socks made from sheep and llama fibers and a great selection of local-interest books. Additional attraction: Farm tours are often scheduled on summer weekends, making the farm/café combo a great outing for families and visiting houseguests.
989 Broome Center Road, Preston Hollow, 518-239-6234, heather-ridge-farm.com.
This article originally appeared in the print version of the 2014 Catskills Food Guide, our annual publication covering local farms, restaurants and food purveyors. Find a copy near you here. Find a farm, market, restaurant or other food-related business in our searchable, sortable online database here.