Tilly’s Table opening celebrated


TOWN OF SOUTHEAST – A new tourist destination opened with great fanfare Friday evening when Tilly’s Table, a farm-to-table venue that can be used for weddings and other special events in addition to showing the culinary talents of local chefs and the produce of neighborhood farms, hosted its first gala.
Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell quoted President Ronald Reagan. “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit,” as she described the opening as an “example of people working together to make sure a legacy is built for generations to come.”
More than 150 invited guests attended the celebration at the Tilly Foster Farm in Southeast.
Fred Pena, Putnam County’s commissioner of Highways and Facilities, commended the farm’s predecessors for “setting our course to preserve the farm. Despite its many restrictions the 200-acre property had much potential as well as challenges.”
He praised the county’s administration and legislature for recognizing in 2014 that the farm “had to move forward. As a result of community input and a desire to see a major county asset become revitalized, made safe and useful for our entire community, the first phase of the revitalization and restoration began.”
An unreliable water system was upgraded along with an inadequate power supply, failing septic system, dilapidated buildings as well as a variety of unsafe non-compliant conditions.
An animal program of small, carefully selected animals was introduced at Tilly Foster offering guests a people friendly animal experience.
 Sheriff Donald Smith, who served on the Putnam Vision 2010 committee back in the 1990’s, praised the finished product. “Our Vision 2010 called for a balance of the environment. Tilly’s Table is that reality by utilizing resources for effective results.”
Legislature Chairwoman Ginny Nacerino told the assembled guests that the county has maximized its assets. “The farm is much more than beauty. This revitalization project is a true testament to the people of Putnam County. It will become the jewel of Putnam County for generations to come.”
William Gaudelli, the son of the caretaker of the original farm, recalled his days as a young man living at Tilly Foster. “Tilly Foster was first a ‘farm-farm’ later becoming a gathering place for socialites to gather. I am so pleased that the farm is back.”
In toasting the farm, Odell commended county employees for “saving this historical icon of Putnam’s farming heritage while making it a viable county asset. We all look forward to seeing the community truly discover the true treasure Tilly Foster Farm is.”

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