No Gruff from the New Kids at Tilly Foster

SOUTHEAST, NY – Tilly Foster Farm, which reopened to the public on June 3, 2017, continues to foster the historic farm’s heritage with the addition of Sophie (pictured left) and Juliet (right), two new Nigerian Dwarf goats. The pair, procured from Good Hope Farm in South Salem New York, will join fellow goats, Calvin and Hobbes, who came to Tilly Foster last December.

“We are excited to welcome Sophie and Juliet to the herd,” said Teresa De Angelis, veterinary technician and animal caretaker at Tilly Foster Farm. “The goats are acclimating to their new home and will be available for viewing by the public before the end of July.”

“The public reopening of Tilly Foster Farm makes available 199 acres of beautiful pastoral vistas, a hiking trail, community garden, charming farm animals and Tilly’s Table, a new event-based farm-to-table dining experience,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We are proud of this achievement and delighted to add Sophie and Juliet to our growing farm.”

Part of the revitalization of Tilly Foster Farm has been the return of small farm animals. Visitors can observe a beautiful array of chicken breeds, including Frizzle Cochin Bantams, Silkies, Polish, Red Stars, Barred Rock, Austrolorps, Brahmas and Ameraucanas, which lay blue eggs. The farm features friendly Kunekune pigs, Penelope, Ginger, Lucy and Levi, four Huacaya Alpacas named Honey, Isabella, Sinbad and Raphael, two miniature horses, Sultan and Sunny, and four Nigerian Dwarf goats, Calvin and Hobbes, and new friends, Sophie and Juliet.

Tilly Foster Farm is open to the public seven days a week, except for certain holidays. For more information and to make reservations for Sunday Brunch at Tilly’s Table, visit www.putnamtillyfoster.com or call 845-808-1840.

 

Tilly Foster Farm Gets Two New Goats for Christmas

 Tilly Foster Farm Gets Two New Goats for Christmas

SOUTHEAST, NY – Tilly Foster Farm, a long-time destination for children and families to enjoy and experience furry and feathered creatures, adds two new Nigerian Dwarf goats to its growing collection of exotic farm animals.  The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature dairy goat breed of West African ancestry, reaching an average height of 17” to 21” and weighing up to 75 lbs. Known for their diminutive size and low maintenance, the colorful breed is a popular pet, as well as a producer of rich milk, which dairies use to make cheese.

“The County is excited to add “Calvin” and “Hobbes” to the Tilly Foster Farm family, said Teresa De Angelis, Tilly Foster Veterinary Technician and animal caretaker. “The breed’s small stature means they do not require as much space or feed as their larger dairy goat counterparts and their gentle and friendly personalities make them good companion pets. Right now we are starting with two but hope to add to the herd in the spring.”

Easy to handle, even for children, Nigerian dwarf goats graduated from The Livestock Conservancy’s priority list in 2013.  Goats are not only fun to watch and interact with but can be utilized on the farm to clear trails and other areas where brush needs to be removed.

The goats will be joining the herd in the next couple of weeks and will be available for viewing shortly thereafter.

Revitalizing Tilly Foster Farm
As part of the revitalization of Tilly Foster, the farm has welcomed the return of small farm animals, including a beautiful array of chicken breeds, including Frizzle Cochin Bantams, Silkies, Polish, Red Stars, Barred Rock, Austrolorps , Brahmas and Ameraucanas, which lay blue eggs.  In the four-legged category, the new goats, Calvin and Hobbes, will find company with Kunekune pigs, Penelope and Ginger, Lucy and Levi, four Huacaya Alpacas named Honey, Isabella, Sinbad and Raphael, and Sultan and Sunny, two miniature horses.

For more information about Tilly Foster Farm visit www.putnamtillyfoster.com.

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TILLY FOSTER FOOD BEVERAGE CATERING RFP

There is a new RFP available for Food & Beverage Catering at the Tilly Foster Farm.

Click here to view RFP 

or Visit the Putnam County Personnel website for additional questions and RFPs.

County Executive & Putnam/N. Westchester BOCES Superintendent Host Ribbon Cutting to Officially Open New Tilly Foster Educational Institute

County Executive & Putnam/N. Westchester BOCES Superintendent Host Ribbon Cutting to Officially Open New Tilly Foster Educational Institute

Event Hosts First Tour of the Test Kitchen and Classroom Environment while Class is in Session

CARMEL, NY – On Tuesday, September 13th, County Executive MaryEllen Odell with Dr. James M. Ryan, District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer, Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, announced the official opening of the new Tilly Foster Educational Institute at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Attendees were taken on a tour of the facility’s state of the art test kitchen and classrooms, where they were greeted by BOCES students enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program.

“The reopening of Tilly Foster as the County’s first public institute for career education offers a diversity of benefits by putting an under-used county asset to work,” said Odell. “Rental income from BOCES will serve to offset the costs of maintaining and preserving this beautiful historical property and BOCES’ Culinary Arts program, as well as future programs, including environmental science and veterinary science, give our children greater educational and career options right here in Putnam.”

“Everyone is tremendously impressed with all that has been accomplished,” said Cathy Balestrieri, BOCES Tech Center Director. “All of the efforts and hard work put forth by Putnam County in readying the facility for Tech Center students this month was clearly evident. The attention to detail, the marrying of function and aesthetics, were impressive and went beyond expectations. The Tech Center culinary program at Tilly Foster Educational Institute is now in session — in a state of the art facility! Putnam County is to be recognized and congratulated in moving forward this exciting, new collaboration.”

The county anticipates expanded services and educational opportunities at Tilly Foster Educational Institute, such as early intervention pre-k and adult continuing education classes, as well as support from other private partners, including Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Tilly Foster Educational Institute was designed as a destination for tourists and residents of the County.  When BOCES is not in-session, use of the state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and classrooms will be open to our veterans, libraries, schools, seniors and non-profits.  We also hope to kickoff Putnam’s version of Top Chef, which will incorporate our culinary talents, local farms and eating establishments, as well as dovetailing with BOCES internship opportunities for students.

In complement to BOCES’ Culinary Arts program, Tilly’s Table, set to open on April 1, 2017, will offer the Hudson Valley Region a uniquely enjoyable and educational farm-to-table dining experience, utilizing produce sourced from local farms.

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Tilly Foster Educational Institute- Official Ribbon Cutting & Facility Tour

Tilly Foster Educational Institute – Official Ribbon Cutting & Facility Tour
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Media FAQ

What took place at Tilly Foster Farm today?

County Executive MaryEllen Odell with Dr. James M. Ryan, District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer, Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, announced the official opening of the new Tilly Foster Educational Institute.

Why is this significant?

The reopening of Tilly Foster as the County’s first public institute for career education offers a diversity of benefits by putting an under-used county asset to work: Rental income from BOCES will serve to offset the costs of maintaining and preserving this beautiful historical property and BOCES’ Culinary Arts program, as well as future programs, including environmental science and veterinary science, give our children greater educational and career options right here in Putnam.

In the future, we expect to offer expanded services and educational opportunities, such as early intervention pre-k and adult continuing education classes, as well as support from other private partners, including Cornell Cooperative Extension.

What is the history behind Tilly Foster?

In 2002, the county acquired 199-acre Tilly Foster Farm with $3.9M from East of Hudson Water Quality Funds. The property was purchased to save it from development and to protect our water quality. The county took over management of the property in January 2014, and embraced the challenge to save this historical icon of Putnam’s farming heritage, while making it an economically viable county asset.

Why were renovations needed, and what was done to the site?

After extensive public meetings with Putnam residents, it was determined that Tilly Foster would best serve the community by opening its gates again and offering an educational component, as well as maintaining the site’s farm and agricultural heritage as a way of sustaining itself.  In order to bring Tilly Foster back to life, extensive rehab was required to achieve code compliance, general safety and usability, including infrastructure enhancements/replacement associated with the Water Supply, Power Supply and Septic System.

How much money did it cost to renovate the site?

In the last few years, the county spent $2.4M to renovate various facilities on the property.  Of the $2.4M in renovation costs, approximately $1.1M was used to completely replace the failing water supply, power supply and septic system for the entire site.  In addition, the lodge was renovated and structurally made safe for public access including, bringing all utilities and amenities up to today’s building code requirements.  The remaining funds were used to complete extensive site work, including walls, roads, parking and drainage, and to upgrade and repair buildings 2, 4and 9, also known as, the cottage, “office/classroom space”, and the barn, respectively.

In addition to BOCES educational programming, how else will Tilly Foster be utilized by the community?

In phase two of the renovation, we will complete Tilly’s Table, a Farm to Table venue, which we expect to open by April 1, 2017. The management of this will go out to bid to a private enterprise over the next few weeks, similar to our management arrangement that we currently enjoy at the Putnam County Golf Course.  Use of the venue for weddings and other special events is expected to draw large numbers of clients from the Hudson Valley Region.

Upon completion in spring 2017, the new Tilly Foster will feature a farm and lodge, including classrooms, teaching kitchen, conference room, and farm to table venue. Plans also include a general store and visitor information center located in the main barn.

Tilly Foster Educational Institute was designed as a destination for tourists and residents of the County.  When BOCES is not in-session, use of the state-of-the-art teeaching kitchen and classrooms will be open to our veterans, libraries, schools, seniors and non-profits.  We also hope to kickoff Putnam’s version of Top Chef, which will incorporate our culinary talents, local farms and eating establishments, as well as dovetailing with BOCES internship opportunities for students.

In complement to BOCES’ Culinary Arts program, Tilly’s Table will offer the Hudson Valley Region a uniquely enjoyable and educational farm-to-table dining experience, utilizing produce sourced from local farms.

Additionally, our farm will be a point of collaboration and education among Hudson Valley Farmers and the Keep Putnam Farming movement. We expect the farm to continue to draw families and animal lovers who wish to experience the natural beauty and unique landscape that Tilly Foster offers.

We also expect to enhance our senior meal programs through nutritional education, and healthy farm-to-table produce that is sourced locally at the Tilly Foster farm.

 

 

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Putnam to Partner with BOCES at Tilly Foster Farm

Putnam to Partner with BOCES at Tilly Foster Farm
Equine Program in the Planning

At the August 20 meeting of the Physical Services Committee Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker announced a plan whereby Putnam County would partner with Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES to bring an educational component to the county-owned Tilly Foster Farm. The first of five planned courses would start in September 2015.

“Education was one of the many suggestions voiced during our Tilly Foster Task Force meetings,” said Walker “and now we’re moving forward with BOCES to do exactly that.”

BOCES Director of Career & Technical Education Catherine Balestrieri addressed the committee at the standing-room-only meeting. Explaining that the Yorktown BOCES Center’s culinary courses were “maxed out” in offerings and space, Balestrieri said the Tilly Foster Farm location offered the ideal for a new culinary arts experience for future students.

“By locating at Tilly Foster, we can offer a unique culinary program which will include internships at many of the surrounding restaurants in this particular area,” she said.

The Culinary Arts course would be held in the building known as The Lodge on weekdays with three sessions of classes running from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. While The Lodge already has a commercial kitchen, it is presently unusable. The County will work closely with BOCES who will supply additional equipment including refrigerators, freezers, a six-burner stove, dishwasher, ice machine, work tables, cabinets and cooking utensils.

Walker and Highways and Facilities Commissioner Fred Pena said preliminary plans for building out the kitchen to create additional work space were already prepared. The plans were first introduced to the public at the July Country Fair. The Legislature had already approved a $300,000 bond for work to be done on the 199-acre farm and a portion of that will be used to build out the Lodge kitchen to suit the number of students who will be working there.  Additional bathrooms will also be added to The Lodge facility in order to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The plans can be viewed on the Tilly Foster Farm webpage at:  www.PutnamTillyFoster.com and on the County’s website at: www.putnamcountyonline.com.

While the first course offering will be Culinary Arts where students will learn to prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners in a commercial kitchen using professional equipment, Balestrieri said BOCES would also like to offer several more programs in the near future. Those classes include New Visions

Environmental Science & Sustainability, Animal Care, Animal Care Skills, and Horse Science and Management, all of which will be held on the farm premises.

Animals have already begun to return to the former dairy and horse-breeding facility and more are due in the near future. Presently residing in a handcrafted chicken coop built by Mahopac Falls Eagle Scout Thomas Quinn, is a flock of 21 colorfully feathered and frizzled fowl. The eight-week-old chicks are under the care of Teresa Delahanty, a veterinary technician, who now lives on the farm with her family.

Soon to be introduced to the farm will be a pair of Kunekune piglets. This breed, while rare in the United States, is known for its friendly, docile nature and ease in interacting with humans.  The history of these smaller pigs is not entirely clear, but it is thought they were brought to New Zealand from the Far East. The Kunekune were first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1992 and it wasn’t until 1996 that these friendly grazers were imported to the United States.

Delahanty explained that the KuneKune’s friendly disposition and grazing tendencies, rather than the destructive rooting habit of most pigs, made them an ideal breed for the farm.

The female piglets will be approximately 8 weeks old when they arrive. Like their two-legged counterparts on the farm, the piglets need names. To add your name suggestion, visit Tilly Foster Farm’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/tillyfosterfarm and leave a comment under the photo of the Kunekune piglets.

 

Eagle Scout Builds Tilly Foster Chicks an Artsy New Coop: Little Flock Arrives on Saturday, August 9

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

July 29, 2014

Eagle Scout Builds Tilly Foster Chicks an Artsy New Coop
Little Flock Arrives on Saturday, August 9

Which comes first: the chickens or the coop? Well, in the case of chickens returning to Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster, it was the coop that came first. The chicks, however, will be relocated onto the property on Saturday, August 9 at 1 p.m. A story time program will also be offered after the chicks are settled into their new home on the historic 199-acre farm.

While the 20-plus hatchlings were busy outgrowing their fluffy down coats and sprouting true feathers, a handmade, portable chicken coop was delivered to the farm on Tuesday, July 29 courtesy of Thomas P. Quinn, a member of Mahopac Falls Boy Scout Troop 271. The striking coop, complete with hand-painted panels depicting various farm animals, is Quinn’s Eagle Scout project. He built it with the idea of donating it and was mentored by Ed Cooke, a member of the Tilly Foster Farm Advisory Board.

“What motivated me to build the coop was a desire to encourage organic farming,” said Quinn whose parents, Tom and Debbie, brought the coop to the farm on a trailer attached to the back of an SUV.

In building the coop, Quinn tallied 400 hours of donated time from a task force of 20 volunteers. It was also his responsibility to seek and accrue donations and supplies. Included in the donations the Eagle Scout candidate sought was a trailer frame so his coop could be moved not only to the farm on Route 312 but around the farm fields as well.

Building the coop turned out to be a bit of a family affair for Quinn. His Aunt Elaine Gizzi and his 85-year-old grandmother Dorothy F. Heckmann decorated the coop with their paintings of farm animals.

Putnam County Highways & Facilities employee Teresa Delahanty, a veterinary technician who moved onto the farm with her family last weekend, said the coop will be an ideal home for the young flock.

“The chicks are about 2 weeks old right now.  They are doing very well, growing quickly, and their personalities are emerging. By next week they should be ready to arrive at the farm and move into the beautiful coop that Thomas built,” Delahanty said.

For the latest updates on the arrival of the lively little chicks at Tilly Foster Farm and any programs scheduled at that time, visit the Putnam County website at www.putnamcountyny.com and click on the Tilly Foster icon on the lower left side of the homepage.

Tilly Foster Farm is a county-owned farm located at 100 Route 312, Brewster, NY. It is open to the public free of charge.

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Group photo caption: County officials greeted Mahopac Falls Boy Scout Troop 271 member Thomas Quinn and his parents as they delivered a new chicken coop to Tilly Foster Farm on July 29. The coop was built by Quinn as his Eagle Scout Project. Quinn received his Eagle Scout Award on Sunday, Aug. 3. From left to right: Veterinary Technician Teresa Delahanty, Commissioner of Highways and Facilities Fred Pena, Tom Quinn, Eagle Scout Thomas Quinn, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Debbie Quinn.

Chicks Readied for Arrival at Tilly Foster Farm

MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive

(845) 808-1001

 

July 22, 2014

 

Chicks Readied for Arrival at Tilly Foster Farm

 

Lisa Walker got an early morning phone call from her local Post Office recently. It was a call she had been anticipating since she placed an order for newborn chicks with the Murray McMurray hatchery in Webster City, Iowa.

 

“I got the call around 7 a.m.,” the Patterson resident and wife of Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker said. “And I picked them up around 7:15.”

 

The chicks, a mixed group of standard breeds and bantams, arrived at the Walker house shortly thereafter. Walker, who raises Guinea Hens, as well as an assortment of ducks and chickens, will be raising the chicks until they are old enough to move onto Tilly Foster Farm. It is expected the brood will arrive next week. There, the fledgling flock will come under the care of Teresa Delahanty whose job it will be to oversee and manage the livestock as it returns to the farm.

 

Delahanty has a long history of working with animals and a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Technology and a minor in Biology from Mercy College. Her interest in animals goes back to her days in 4-H where she raised and showed sheep as a youngster and then at age 12 began working as a volunteer at South Putnam Animal Hospital in Mahopac.

 

“I was always around animals,” said Delahanty who applied for her job at Putnam’s Highways and Facilities Department after rising to the position of manager at the animal hospital. “This job at Tilly Foster Farm is a perfect match for me.”

 

Delahanty, a single mother with two young children, will take up residence on the farm this week and hopes to host a Meet the Chicks day shortly after the young fowl arrive.

 

Mahopac Falls Troop 271 Eagle Scout Thomas Quinn will undoubtedly be on hand for the event. Quinn built a portable chicken coop as his Eagle Scout project and has donated it to the farm. The coop, which has beautifully painted panels created by his aunt, Elaine Gizzi of Stony Point, NY and his 85-year-old grandmother, Dorothy F. Heckmann who resides in Congers. The coop will be the nursery for the youngsters when they first arrive at the county-owned farm in Southeast.

 

Delahanty identified some of the chicks by breed. Included in the mix of chicks are Ameracauna, Barred Rock, Blue and Buff Silkie Bantams, Leghorns, Golden Polish and Red Stars. To date, none of the chicks has been named. That’s a project Delahanty thinks might be fun for the public to participate in when they come to see Tilly’s newest feathered residents.

 

Also expected to arrive in August at the 199-acre farm are several piglets.

 

But that’s another story.

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