AOOA Farm Residency – May report & Announcement

AOOA Farm Residency – May report & Announcement

AOOA Farm Residency – Report #1



It is a lot of fun to be artist one of the three artists in residence at AOOA farm in Goshen, N.Y. My colleagues are Eileen MacAvery and Jenny Torino. Our residencies will run through the summer. As for me, I will visit for 3 days every months. I was there in April for orientation day and just returned from my May visit. Before listing the fun I had here is the story and mission of AOOA: 

All For One One For All (AOOA) is a non-profit regenerative silvopasture farm, farm stand, distillery, and education center in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley.

Founded in 2021 by Ariane Daguin and her daughter Alix Daguin, the name of the farm is inspired by the famous proclamation in Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers (“All for one and one for all!”), which captures the heart of the project: to stand up for what is right and enrich the local community, together.

AOOA’s mission is to promote responsible agricultural and culinary practices as transformative tools for personal well-being, community prosperity, and global sustainability.

The Daguin & Peyrafitte families have a long history. We are all from Gascony; they are from the Pyrenean piedmont & we are from the high mountains region. Our fathers were close friends, colleagues, and truly formidable men. They both had many personal accomplishments but together they found an hotel chain in the 60’s (that was reabsorbed by Best Western in the 80’s) and they also promoted the cuisine of Southwest of France all over Europe. One a major event was to serve the first magret de canard to Paris diners! You can read the full story on my 2010 blog post Lou Magret goes to Paris but for one week they took over the the Eiffel tower fancy restaurant and served the terroir cuisine of the Southwest of France. So more anecdotes might be share later but for now here is the report of this 3 days. The link for the full photo gallery is here.

Thursday:— I set out for a walk around the farm to document birds & explore the grounds. I will post my ebird list in a few days
— Found Alix supervising half a dozen big task around the farm.
— Stop at the farm kitchen to find Ariane and working with the cooking staff (the farm staff has a gourmet café open Friday-Sunday) as they were prepping for the weekend menu. As my background is in food, I was happy to discuss (& taste) some recipe options with Ingrid & Sandra while Keith (farm stand manager) was busy setting up the new bar. Yes! Spirits & brandies are now hand-distilled in very small batches brewed by Ariane herself. I no longer imbibe but I can smell and they are fragrant. The list of cocktails is molto fun, and during the weekend people where raving about the Bloody mary made with the home brewed gin and the very surprising tomato water! Next time I will try a few as mocktails.— While walking around I met the gardeners Matt, farm Manager & Luke, regenerative farmer, they were carefully planting their seedlings.
— Continuing around there was Frank, a retiree who volunteers every week and helps where ever is needed. His wife joins him during the flower season. Today Frank was cleaning the bee hives meticulously. The bees put wax and propolis on everything so before reusing the boxes they need to be scraped then soak them with disinfectant to remove any mold or pathogens. Frank’s was very cordial & his life story compelling. He gave me permission to record him. I am planning to conduct interviews at every visit, but we will see how that progresses.

Friday:— Walked all around the property to document the birds. And spend time observing Tree-Swallows and House Wren that have adjacent nest boxes. (see photos)
— Meeting with Alix regarding the pricing & display of the limited print series I have created for the farm. Then we finalized the cooking/walk-shop I will offer on June 15.
— A good part of the afternoon was spent with Alix in company of the rams as they had to be moved to their summer pasture. That was quite a fun ordeal!
— Return to the farm for a delicious late lunch of eggs Benedict on bruschetta with a tarragon hollandaise & a crème caramel, all made on premises ça va sans dire!

Saturday:— Tour of the farm to document more birdies.
— It was a gourmand’s delight to document the chocolate workshop for kids by Maître Chocolatier Jacques Torrès assisted by his family. His spouse being also a Maître Chocolatier it was beautiful so watch the efficient flow on how they assisted each other; a very domopoetic action! I am not a chocolate crazy, but I must say these creations where delicious kids & parents had so much fun being walked thru making chocolate lollipops, pralines, mendiants. We had late lunch and I had the frittata, salad & a very decadent lemon-meringue pie with a mint jelly made by Ingrid the farm patissière.

— My last spin around the property was hanging out with the roosters as I plan to draw a roosters head as my next drawing project. This is a short recap and I will update. Below a few photos but here is the full album of my residency. 


The dates of my next residency will be June 14-17. Consider joining me on June 15th for:

A Nourishing Walk-Shop & Lunch

Reconnect with nature and take home resourceful tips for integrating simple, healthy recipes into your daily life. Lunch is included!

Join us for a healthy, replenishing walk and communal lunch. Reconnect with nature and take home resourceful tips for integrating simple, healthy recipes into your daily life.

We all aspire to restore our connection with nature and eat healthier food, but the speed and busyness of the daily grind seems to constantly interfere. Yet, there are always options to practice these deep connections, and this is what our time together will be about.

Our journey will start at the farm with a brief welcome, followed by a silent walk to tune, tone, and flow with the environment. Participants will immerse themselves fully in the present moment, capturing their impressions through photography, notes, drawings, and maybe spontaneous music.

We will return to the farm to prepare a simple, farm-fresh lunch of eggs mimosa (French deviled eggs), leafy green salad with AOOA rotisserie chicken, focaccia bread, berries and whipped cream, and an herbal libation.

You will even learn the secrets of making emulsions from scratch! We’ll make the mayonnaise for our deviled eggs, the vinaigrette for our salad, and the whipped cream for our dessert. 

We will allow time to regroup,  share our notes and observations, and set some small goals for ourselves.

Suggested materials and equipment to bring: Small notebook, something to write with, camera (your phone’s camera is acceptable), bag for collecting items, water bottle, bug repellent, and sunscreen.

Space is limited, please register in advance! 

About the Instructor: Nicole is a Pyrenean-born multidisciplinary artist whose practice is led by her passion for learning through immersion. Today her work focuses on Art’s Responsibility As Healing Practice. Whether through paintings, films, texts, nature photography, workshops, or cooking, her works serve to better understand the dynamic and symbiotic complexities of humans and other-than-humans. Nicole was an awarded chef as a young woman in France & taught cooking both at university & privately.

Register here

Looking forward to see you there!  & meanwhile splendid bird migration to you all!