Tom & Kristin Deacon’s Fable, in Ossining, produces an assortment of greens, heirloom tomatoes, and organic eggs, among other farm-fresh products.
Photo courtesy of Fable Farm
Fable is a local and sustainable farm and food hub that helps Westchesterites eat better, shop better, and support local.
Fable (Ossining; fablefoods.com) is the brainchild of Tom Deacon, 38, a producer at HBO, and his wife, Kristin, 35. Tom’s interest in growing his own produce started after reading about chemicals and pesticides found in the food system. “If you eat produce from a grocery store, you might be ingesting something with toxic chemicals on it,” says Tom. With kids on the horizon, the couple grew increasingly concerned about the food they ate.
In 2015, Deacon started growing fresh produce on their patio. When winter came, he moved it all into their spare bedroom in Croton-on-Hudson, which he turned into a grow lab to continue producing tomatoes and other vegetables. He started growing basil and kale hydroponically, which he says helps eliminate harmful bugs found in the soil. “I had so much basil that I reached out to local chefs and soon realized there was a demand for fresh produce you can’t usually get that time of year,” Tom says. And Fable was born.
Realizing they needed a better base for their business, Deacon found a greenhouse to rent at Sundial Farm, a historic farm in Yorktown. They started selling produce at the TaSH (Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Farmers’ Market) and to a number of restaurants in the area, including Polpettina in Eastchester and the Tavern at GrayBarns in Norwalk. Soon, they added 30 chickens to fill the demand for fresh eggs, then added more. “We decided to focus on what we do best, such as organic eggs, heirloom tomatoes, and leafy greens,” says Tom. “We also work with other local farms to provide other items, like milk and baked goods, so if you order from us, you’re supporting other local businesses.” Everything they sell is sustainably grown, with no harmful pesticides and toxic chemicals.
When the pandemic hit and restaurants — a significant source of Fable’s business — closed, the Deacons had to rethink their business model. “Very quickly, we set up an online store and started contactless, barn-side pickups,” says Tom. “Word quickly got out via social media and word of mouth.” Within days, there was a long line of cars that stretched into the road.
Fable now has three massive greenhouses, 400 chickens, and a team of 10. Their restaurant clients are returning, and they’ve developed a series of new initiatives, including a kids’ gardening program, private experiences with goats and chickens, and Farmer in Training, to give people a taste of what it’s like to work a farm. At press time, the couple shared plans to host summertime farm-to-table dinners with local chefs. Building on Fable’s recent success, the Deacons say they are excited for the future.