No Time Like This Thyme
Behind the Koch’s tidy front door is an eco-friendly, guest-centric getaway.
There are blue jeans in the walls at Thyme in the Country. Thank goodness no one’s in them.
Blue Jean insulation is just one of the eco-friendly initiatives that progressive owners Mary and Bill Koch have employed at their 1880s-era farmhouse turned B&B. Thyme’s other sustainable features include solar panels for heating, an organic vegetable garden for more nourishing vittles, energy and water efficient appliances, a salt-filtered swimming pool, and non-chemical cleaners for allergy-sensitive guests (did you know that vinegar and baking soda were a powerful scouring duo?).
At Thyme, your stay can be as low key as you like, with a stroll through the Koch’s pastoral five acres into adjoining farmland nearby. Or you can turn up the interactivity on your eco-retreat by getting your hands dirty in the Koch’s barnyard. Steal past the pecking hens and roaming rooster to pluck freshly laid eggs from their low-roofed coop, pull summer weeds from the loamy soil surrounding the riotous tomato plants, or gather fragrant firewood from the backyard chopping stack in the winter.
You’re free to roam the five pastoral acres surrounding Thyme’s 1880s-era farmhouse.
Conscious tourism, two hours from Manhattan.
My girl friend and I decided to leave the city at the last minute on a holiday weekend. We called the Koches on a Friday morning to reserve a room for two nights (the handsome Rose Room, at $130 per night, was still available) and were on the Amtrak train from New York City by early evening. We discovered that arriving by train gets an approving nod from the eco-conscious Koches, who offer a 10% discount on room rates for guests who leave the gas-guzzler behind and take the train.
About a third of the garden’s bounty – tomatoes, spinach, kale, potatoes and more– ends up nourishing the Koch’s guests.
Respectful of their guests’ desire for country quiet, the Koches keep their kitchen activities muted until you roll out of bed in the morning (our natural fiber duvet was one of those ultra-soft body warmers that was hard to leave) and descend the stairs for breakfast. On our first day, my friend and I rose about 9:00 am to the wholesome aromas of a true country breakfast, carefully prepared by Mary in her well-appointed kitchen overlooking the backyard garden and farm animals. Mary served us asparagus quiche made with eggs from her chicken coop as she shared the history of her home and engaged us in local lore.
After breakfast, we showered in a bathroom with reclaimed, old school chalkboards instead of quarried stone on the counters. It seemed that every room in the house was designed or renovated in a way to minimize environmental impact, and these efforts are easy to appreciate. Later we explored the garden, pond and surrounding meadows, then caught a ride from another Thyme guest (who apparently did not score the 10% discount) into town for a day of antiquing.
Afternoons in the hammock are a specialty of this “green” B&B.
Thyme is located in the countryside surrounding historic Hudson, NY – a quaint revival town nestled atop the gently sloping eastern banks of the Hudson River. The picturesque downtown area is an architect’s find, with classic brick and clapboard 19th and early 20th Century buildings plus dozens of antique shops lining the main street, along with quirky gifts boutiques and excellent eateries. The area is also well known for mountain hiking and river sports like canoeing and kayaking.
We enjoyed our shopping day in Hudson but the charms of Thyme in the Country drew us back for some late afternoon slumber in the garden hammocks and a short nap under that embracing duvet. It was a bit nippy during our trip or we would have enjoyed a dip in the non-chlorinated pool. We made due cupping small frogs in our hands along the pond’s edge.
Each of the five guest rooms is soothingly decorated with period pieces and comforting amenities.
671 Fish and Game Road,
Hudson, NY 12534
Hosts: Mary and Bill Koch