Leslie Farhangi started a business that had a
connection to her farm and the land she loved.
Story by Kymberly Breckenridge
Photo: Courtesy of Three Meadows Spirits
Leslie Farhangi was a corporate attorney who had lived in New York and London before moving to a 200-acre, c. 1790 Dutchess County farm where she and her husband, John Tuke, raised their three sons and continue to raise hay and corn, and board retired horses. The farm, in the town of North East, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its buildings and field boundaries have not changed in 200 years. As her children began to grow up and leave the nest for college, Leslie decided she wanted to start a business. She didn’t want it to be just any business, but one that had a connection to the farm and the land she loved.
A magical thing about the farm is the 300-foot-long row of antique peonies that bloom every June. “I don’t know when exactly they were planted,” says Farhangi, “…as they predate our time on the farm.
“New York had just loosened its regulations concerning farm distilleries, so I initially thought of doing that, but I quickly realized the cost would be prohibitive. However, that process planted the idea of liquor in my head. I was also thinking of a creative way to use the hundreds of gorgeous antique peonies that grow on the farm, and somehow, at some point, those two ideas collided.”