Written by Melanie Giamei; Photos courtesy of A. Giamei.
Tucked in the woodlands of Killingworth is Chatfield Hollow Farm. Yes, it abuts Chatfield Hollow State Park, and indeed it is a farm in many ways.
Used primarily for rustic, yet elegant events, especially showers and weddings, weekend get-aways and other special occasions, Chatfield Hollow Farm started out as a “gentleman’s farm” of about thirty acres.
We recently had an extensive tour and were informed that as the two owners worked the site as organically as possible, the facility grew from farming vegetables and flowers to specializing in roses and peonies for the commercial flower market to breeding exotic guinea hens, peacocks and South American black swans.
An expansive asparagus patch, a field of roses, beehives for pollination, an orchard of various fruit trees, ponds for swans and koi, and a successful mushroom operation now cover the farm. This all took a lot of effort since the land was heavily forested and covered with large boulders and hard pack from glacial till.
A description of their processes evolved for growing shitake, lion’s mane and trumpet mushrooms is fascinating. It took innovation, trial and error, creativity and chasing down many tips to arrive at their current procedures. Is it really necessary to grow mushrooms in the dark? How do you create the best conditions for the best mushrooms? Extensive research was done with several experts before deciding to use traditional forest mushroom cultivation.
In keeping with their interest in protecting the environment, and using best practices and environmental education, Chatfield Hollow Farm has reached out to the community by sponsoring an Earth Day event on site, for example, and providing education programs and field trips for the nearby District 17 elementary school.
Perhaps the highlight of the farm is called the Chatfield Hollow Inn which provides fantastic settings for events there and on the grounds. By visiting their website you can take a virtual tour of the beautifully landscaped grounds and buildings. As you wander this magnificent retreat, you will be dazzled!
For more information, call (646) 288-2986.