73 Footsteps from Farm to Kitchen to Table
Chew on this: make your own burritos, lasagna, pad thai, wild salmon with pesto! Peach-strawberry cobbler, maple granola, hummus, pickles, goat cheese, yogurt, ice cream, blueberry-watermelon popsicles…. Oy vey! This isn’t your standard camp food! Take a peek at our complete 2015 menus.
“This isn’t just good camp food… this is the best food I’ve ever had!” –Daniel K., 12
Healthy, delicious and kid-friendly
We are redefining camp food by bringing local, organic, farm-to-table values to every bite we eat. We source the highest quality ingredients from a variety of local, fair trade, and ethically-run businesses. Our ingredients are over 95% organic – that’s not just organic produce, but organic grains, spices, and every ingredient going into each meal. We prioritize relationships with our local producers and companies producing food in a sustainable way. Whenever available, we always choose local, organic, and fair-trade first. Go here for a list of our featured suppliers and many of our ingredients.
We’re committed to nurturing minds and bodies – and that includes providing kid-friendly food that campers will find both enjoyable and nourishing.
Meal time is a highlight of each day
Our campers taste the bounty of their farm harvests in three varied, tasty, nutritious, Kosher, and mostly vegetarian/pescatarian meals a day. They assist our creative chefs in preparing meals with love and care. At every meal, campers and staff gather around communal tables, either in our spacious dining hall or shaded outdoor dining area, and join in singing, giving thanks and sharing about the day’s events.
Last summer, we grew and ate over 2,000 pounds of our organic produce!
Campers are involved in every step of the journey from seed to banquet… and back to compost to nourish the soil. We supplement the organic produce from our farm with organic produce from farmers right here in the Hudson Valley.
Shabbat dinner is especially special. It’s a true feast, and campers have created part of it: fresh-baked challah braided by the Yesod campers, hand-squeezed grape juice, flowers from our calendar garden, and, on special occasions, ginger-wineberry crisp with berries gathered from the Wineberry Trail.
Once a week, we offer an outdoor barbecue picnic with organic, kosher chicken or turkey, along with vegetarian barbecue creations.
Why do we serve so little meat?
Our mostly vegetarian diet aligns with Eden Village Camp’s core value of sustainability. Diet is one of the most significant ways we can reduce our resource consumption and carbon footprint. Each meal is planned to offer high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, so that each camper feels great and has plenty of energy for their full days!
Special Food Needs?
We richly accommodate most special food needs; please let us know about them in your application. We have had happy campers with nut, fish, dairy, and gluten allergies, and a host of other dietary needs. We offer satisfying alternatives, not just the salad bar: for example, when lunch includes grilled cheese and tomato soup, automatic options include gluten-free, vegan, and gluten-free-and-vegan grilled cheese, and vegan soup.
For picky eaters, we’ll work with you to make sure your camper is nourished at each meal. While we have a “try five bites” guideline to encourage our campers to try new foods and eat the main course, the most important thing is that each person is happy and fed, and we do keep simple alternatives on hand.
“I never liked zucchini but then I picked it myself and made it into zucchini bread, and yum!” – Jamie S., 10
What about kashrut?
Our full-time, live-in mashgiach (food supervisor) oversees our strictly Kosher kitchen as directed by the supervision of Rabbi Yisroel Finman of Chai Kosher. You may view our Kosher Certification here. If you have further questions, please feel free to call us.
We are committed to sustainable agriculture and ethical businesses, which means tracking our values through the entire food system, not just stopping with fresh farm products. We also keep things pure and simple, we hydrate with plain, pure, water; we avoid refined products; and things which are artificially white, processed, unnecessarily canned or frozen, and otherwise trending any way other than fresh, natural, and healthy.
Our kitchen follows strict standards, most importantly, knowing where every product in our kitchen comes from and why we chose it. We call this “100% Consciously Sourced.” This means all our products are reviewed to ensure they meet our strict kosher, organic, fair-trade, welfare, local, and sustainability standards. No products “slip through,” nothing is “grandfathered in,” we never say “we’ve always used that,” and we definitely do not ever say “whenever possible.” That’s because keeping high standards is possible – the only time it’s not possible is when you are not 100% committed to your values. We adjust our menus, say no when something isn’t available, and work within the realm of what’s possible based on the values we believe in.
Here are some of the companies and products we serve in our dining hall:
Local and Sustainable Milk, Yogurt, Eggs, and Ice Cream
As farmers, we know how important and delightful it is to know where your food comes from and who produced it. This region produces delicious food, and we love supporting our neighbors and fellow local farmers. Whenever we can, we choose high-quality local products for our kitchen. Our dairy products including milk, butter, and ice cream primarily come from New York’s Ronnybrook Farm Dairy. Ronnybrook practices “beyond organic” standards, produces non-homogenized milk, and raises only grass-fed, pastured cows.
We are also lucky to have a direct relationship with Oliver’s Organic Eggs, who provides us with organic, pasture-raised, high-welfare, local eggs. We have also worked to reduce the use of products with low-welfare eggs as ingredients. [We return all cardboard boxes and egg crates to Oliver – so our egg deliveries are also zero-waste.) This includes using egg-free ice cream and egg-free Just Mayo. We believe our egg purchasing represents the highest commercial standard at an industrial scale anywhere in the country.
Ethically Raised Chicken and Sustainable Fish
We’re lucky to have a formed a special partnership with Robariah Farms, supported by the Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA). Robariah Farms is a small-scale poultry farm in Western Massachusetts specializing in pasture-raised, kosher chicken, started by two alumni of the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship.
Unlike organic “free-range” or “free-roaming” chickens (which have access to the outdoors, but spend most of their lives inside), these chickens live outdoors in fresh pasture each day.
With the partnership of JIFA, Robariah Farms raised a special flock just for us of “Freedom Ranger” breed chickens – considered the highest welfare type of chicken commercially available. In addition, with our direct relationship with Robariah, we are able to track the life of each chicken from chick to farm to slaughterhouse to our dinner plates.
We’ve worked hard to continue to improve our fish supply. Our fresh fish will come primarily from day boats operating out of Massachusetts. Fresh perch, pollock, or other white fish is frozen specifically for us in reusable plastic bins and shipped to us throughout the Summer. Since the fish is frozen by pre-order directly for us, we were able to request it not be packaged in plastic vacuum wrap, making our fish supply zero-waste as well.
In addition, we are now proud to serve the only canned tuna which is 100% pole and line caught by certified sustainable vessels operating from US ports. It is one of the only canned tuna’s certified by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.
Local, Organic Produce
Beyond our farm’s daily supply of amazing fresh food, we maintain strict purchasing guidelines for our produce. All produce we purchase is grown organically and sourced as locally as possible.
And more of our suppliers!
- Arrowhead Mills Organic Flours, Grains, and Unsweetened cereals
- Bionaturae Organic Pastas
- Bread Alone Organic Bakery
- Eden Organics Beans, Grains, and Dry Goods
- Frontier Organic Spices
- Hepworth Farm: Milton, NY
- Lucky Dog Farm: Hamden, NY
- Muir Glen Organic Foods
- Natural by Nature Dairy
- Organic Valley Foods
- Raw, Local Honey
- Seven Stars Organic Yogurt
- Sunspire Organic & Fair-trade chocolate chips
- Taliaferro Farm: New Paltz, NY
- The Farm at Miller’s Crossing: Claverack, NY
- Wildwood Organics
- Woodstock Farms Foods