THE FARM–TO–TABLE STORY
Long ago, icy glaciers pushed boulders into the soil of America’s Northeast. New England farmers built 215,000 miles of stonewalls by hand through removing these stones from their fields, a distance greater than from the earth and the moon! These stonewalls became the folklore of poets like Robert Frost, but the labor of moving stones by hand pushed farmers westward. A fresh crop of rocks grows each spring because winter’s freeze thaw cycles gradually force buried stones upward. Clearing rocks is never complete.
The founder of American Stonecraft, Gerald Croteau, fell in love with these archaeological stone ruins as a youth. He became an economist and founded American Stonecraft in his late 20s after seeing the inside of a fieldstone for the first time. He was amazed at what he had overlooked for so long. Diamond tools (being a relatively modern invention) revealed amazing colors, patterns, and geologies in the humble New England farm-gathered fieldstone that he wanted desperately to share!
As a professional economist, Croteau recognized an opportunity to focus on adding value to the hidden gems of fieldstone. He started the studio to transform sustainably-grown and freshly-harvested rocks from working farms into treasured heirlooms that can be brought indoors and used in the home for the fist time. Not only does this endeavor share geology that has never been seen before, but it helps support working farms, in turn preserving open space and protecting the stonewalls that are so iconic to our region.
Food Slabs begin as freshly “grown” fieldstones that American Stonecraft hand-harvests at working farms. Each rock is unique in shape and color, comprised of stone commonly called granite. Artisans craft each Food Slab from scratch in our Massachusetts studio using custom built tools. The stone is transformed from a dull rock into a piece of art with impossibly brilliant color. This color is not the result of an outside product or lacquer, but of skilled grinding and polishing, smoothing away all roughness up to a 10,000 grit. Food Slabs also retain the natural “live” edge from the stone’s glacial tumbling. All Food Slabs are protected with a permanent food-safe seal for easy cleaning and to prevent staining. Farm-provenance is labeled on the underside of each Food Slab.
Approximately 16″ in diameter and 9 pounds. For scale, please consult the photo with a ruler shown next to the stone.
Variations in color tone should be expected. Fieldstones, being natural, also have minor, non-structural fissures, pocks, scratches, chips, and other superficial flaws that we affectionately call beauty marks.