Solitude Farmz: A Journey into History, Sustainability, and Serenity

Nestled in the picturesque southern Finger Lakes, just outside Oxford, NY, lies Solitude Farmz—a sanctuary where the past and present merge to create a tranquil haven.  I recently visited this 125-acre retreat and was given a tour by its enthusiastic steward, Taylor Zimmer, whom I had met while doing a one man band performance on guitar and voice at the Upstate NY Wedding Expo.  The tour offered a glimpse into the land’s rich history and its transformation into a sustainable oasis.

A Legacy Entrusted

The story of Solitude Farmz begins with Taylor’s cousin, John Taylor Gatto, and his wife, Janet, who sought refuge from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan life. Acquiring the property in the late 1970s, they envisioned a place of solitude away from societal pressures. It was a vision realized through dedication to preserving the environment and fostering a connection with nature.  In Legacy entrusted John’s parting words “It will make so much sense to you when you get there.”

A Glimpse into the Past and Future

My tour commenced at the “BROKn Halo Lodge,” an Airbnb guest house that beautifully encapsulates the property’s essence. Sleeping four, the lodge is a testament to the farm’s history, with preserved old books and remnants of the original barn. Taylor’s plans to eventually expand the Airbnb offerings indicate a future where more guests can experience the tranquility Solitude Farmz provides.flower at Solitude Farmz

A Voyage through Time

The most captivating part of the tour was our exploration of the woods in a Cushman vehicle, where Taylor unveiled an 18th-century settlement. This area, potentially the first settlement in Chenango County, which was by the Yeomans family, featured piles of rock that hinted at a foundational past, a handmade wall, and a small, solemn graveyard with unmarked stones and a few engraved with the Yeomans’ names. This historical site offered a tangible connection to the land’s early inhabitants, adding depth to the Solitude Farmz experience.

A Sanctuary for the Soul

Taylor envisions it as a serene retreat for Family Reunions, Bridal, Baby and other types of showers and petite gatherings for anyone seeking peace before their special day.  With numerous nearby venues, Solitude Farmz serves as a tranquil counterpoint to the festivities, offering guests a chance to reconnect with nature and themselves.

Embracing Sustainability

Under Taylor’s stewardship, Solitude Farmz has embraced sustainability, with solar panels inside Solitude Farmz event venuethat reduce its carbon footprint, and a plan implement micro hydro-electric power generation as well.  Collaborations with the Golisano Institute for Sustainability students have infused the property with innovative ideas, furthering its commitment to environmental stewardship.


Looking Ahead

As I left Solitude Farmz, the profound sense of peace and the vision of its stewards stayed with me. Taylor Zimmer’s dedication to preserving this sanctuary not only honors his family’s legacy but also offers a blueprint for sustainable living and the healing power of solitude. Solitude Farmz is more than a retreat; it’s a journey back to the essentials of life, encouraging us to find harmony with nature and ourselves.

In a world that often feels overwhelming, Solitude Farmz stands as a testament to the beauty of silence, the importance of sustainability, and the enduring call of history. It’s a place where, indeed, everything makes sense.  If you want a blissfully peaceful place to stay for your wedding or event, contact Solitude Farmz – Refresh your mind, renew your soul.

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