Get to Know Two Wagyu Farmers (Then Make Your New Favorite Steak Salad) – Melina Hammer

Every month, Melina Hammer, Food52’s very own Hudson Valley correspondent, is serving up all the bounty that upstate New York has to offer.

When we moved to our cottage upstate a few years ago, one of the first people we met was our mail carrier, Barton Brooks. Being the outgoing type, we introduced ourselves, and have looked forward to his cheery face peeking out from the mail van ever since. Turns out, not only has Barton run the local mail route for 40 years, but he’s at the helm of a picture-book-perfect, 50-plus-acre farm just 10 minutes from our home. There, he and his wife, Rebecca, raise Wagyu cows on rolling pastures. We have sipped drinks together on their wraparound porch, taking in hummingbirds and deer in the uninterrupted sunset, plus any last antics the calves may have to share for the night.


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