At Fishkill Farms, just outside of Beacon, New York, fresh apple cider oozes through canvas cloth and collects in a bin below: the scent of the sweet life abounds. Inescapable — that presentness of mind — when you trade New York City’s boisterous urban environment for the simple life outdoors. This is what Nau General Manager Mark Galbraith woud call living in the Now, a statement apropos the clothing brand for which he represents: Nau sustainable, outdoor apparel. During a visit to Fishkill Farms, an organic apple orchard, we lived in the Nau.
“How can you make choices that are better without sacrificing taste?” Galbraith said. “To be sustainable or conscious about what you are doing doesn’t mean you have to give up anything. You can have stuff that’s beautiful, you can have stuff that tastes good, you can live a more integrated life.”
A mostly organic industry, Fishkill cultivates crops and Eco Apples without employing harmful, environmental toxins. And, the cage-free chickens look as happy-go-lucky as any other wild fowl.
After an afternoon of apple picking, it came time for exploration. Boots tromping through knee-high grass and pullulated earth, I felt renewed. No concrete. No sirens. Just wind and bunches of Golden Delicious at my fingertips. To achieve fulfillment, it is necessary to explore the adverse, which refreshes the mind; makes you experience life in a different way. If you are a city dweller, escape to the countryside. If you live in the hills, make a pilgrimage to civilization. We are as much the architects of our own lives as we are of the things we build, and the things we own. For Nau, life design is as important as clothing design. To escape the “material world” they rely on ingenuity and follow the beat of the green movement to create materials of their own.
“Design is the deepest form of expression. Design has technology, art, intention, and design can create beauty or get us out of problems,” Galbraith said. “You can think about the future you want and design your way into it. So for me, that’s the bigger thing that Nau is about: design what you think is the great, positive thing.”
Galbraith draws parallels between the brand and nature, which in some cases are inherently the same thing. Nau employs eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester (made from used plastic bottles) to construct hip weather-proof, well-insulated threads like the Women’s Down Stole. It’s a feel good, look good combo.
Hiking up the red sleeves of my Nau Dose Jacket to bite from a red apple under a green tree and a blue sky, I thought, “This is what the Now is all about.” And that’s when the city started calling once again on my iPhone. I ignored the call.
My Top Hudson Valley Retreats
Hike the trails of Bull Mountain at Cold Spring. Don’t forget to pause in the quaint, colonial town for a cup of joe either before or after hitting the road. Take the Metro North from Penn Station to Cold Springs and visit New York City Trail Finder to locate the trek.
Zen out at Ananda Ashram in Monroe. The society offers daily yoga, meditation, and chanting classes in addition to cabin-style accommodation. Oh, and don’t forget to ride a canoe around the lake. Buses available from Port Authority Bus Terminal to within walking distance of the Ashram.
Venture to Poughkeepsie and stroll the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park: a 1.28 mile-long bridge that extends over the Hudson River. It also has picnic tables on either end.
Enjoy farm-to-table brunch at Bloominghill Farm in Blooming Grove. Live flute music included.