An upstate farm hosts yoga supperclubs
On Saturdays this summer, Metro-North trains may experience an increase in groups of svelte, smiling travelers wearing yoga pants.
That’s because a pocket of New York City’s yoga community has found a home-away-from-home at Growing Heart Farm in Wingdale, where New York yogi Abby Paloma hosts farm-to-table yoga dinners. The dinners were introduced last year and grew so popular that Paloma is adding many more to this summer’s schedule.
Paloma, a part-time farmer who was a longtime Om Yoga teacher and recently started teaching at Virayoga, says that the farm-to-table food movement and the yoga world don’t overlap nearly as much as they should.
“For local agriculture to thrive, it needs a community to support it. Yoga, wherever it goes, creates a strong community embedded in the fact that we practice and gather together,” she says. “The two can sustain and nourish each other.”
To foster that partnership, Paloma arranged to bring the farm’s bounty to New York yogis through a CSA with a pick-up spot at a local Brooklyn yoga studio. The dinners, conversely, bring the yogis to the farm.
Attendees take the train about 90 minutes north to the Harlem Valley-Wingdale Metro-North stop to get to Growing Heart.
The evening includes a tour of the farm’s vegetable, herb, and flower gardens before setting up for an outdoor yoga class, led by Paloma or other visiting New York teachers, like Yoga High co-owner Liz Buehler Walker and Yoga Soundscapes’ Aarona Pichinson. Live music plays during class, from digeridoos to Garth Stevenson.
Finally, everyone enjoys a “dinner from the field, served in the field.” Chefs prepare the vegetarian meals using ingredients almost exclusively from the farm. The menu includes items like raw zucchini ribbons and cherry tomatoes in olive, garlic, and Thai basil.
“The farm is really beautiful. New Yorkers use it as a day-long getaway, but it’s also an opportunity for them to learn more about where their food comes from,” says Paloma. After a visit here, it may be hard to go back to Fairway. —Lisa Elaine Held
Dinners take place on July 14 and 28, August 18, September 16, and October 6 at Growing Heart Farm, 25 Jeans Drive, Wingdale, New York, $60 for yoga and dinner, $45 dinner only, www.growingheartfarm.com