By Jennifer Farnsworth
Mary Maranville is a strong example of someone who has managed to enjoy a high level of international success while still remaining true to her roots, to what she finds important.
Maranville, along with her longtime partner Kevin Dott, recently renovated DeMaranville Farm and Gardens in Saratoga Springs into a wedding and event location that honors their farm-to-table mantra.
The farm, located at 727 Lake Ave., (Route 29) Saratoga Springs, has three vintage barns including the Big Red Post and Beam Wedding Barn, Carriage House and Corn Crib.
The Big Red wedding barn features chestnut beams, a chandelier, vaulted ceiling, solid oak cocktail bar, second floor, central heat and air-conditioning. The Carriage House can be used for a cocktail reception hour or smaller gathering, and the Corn Crib is an authentic agricultural barn, often used for photos.
“It is the perfect place for a boutique wedding. We have also seen a lot of interest from people who travel for their actual wedding and then return home to have a reception,” said Maranville.
Maranville grew up on a dairy farm in Gansevoort, where she remembers her father working many hours to keep the farm running, a life that requires extreme heart and dedication, but something she said her father was born to do.
“ I come from a long line of dairy farmers, and my father followed in that path. It’s not for everyone. It really is a calling. You have to love the animals and love the land, and I appreciated that,” she said.
After graduating high school, Maranville attended Marymount College in Tarrytown. With its close proximity to Manhattan, she was exposed to city life and that sparked a curiosity that eventually led her on a career path that would take her across the globe.
Maranville worked and travelled all over the world before settling in Ventura County, Calif. There she established a successful nonprofit, SEEAG, or Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture. Her goal was to honor her roots and her father by educating students about the farm origins of the foods they eat.
“We work to teach the kids about how their food ended up on their plates. Through farm fields trips and getting to know farmers, we are able to educate students about the importance of local agriculture,” said Maranville.
All the while Maranville said she longed to re-establish herself in the Saratoga area and so when a friend told her about the Lake Avenue space, she said she felt it was meant to be.
“I heard my father’s voice,” she said.
Maranville is now planning to use profits from events, along with grants she has applied for, to be able to provide educational farm to table programs in Saratoga County schools.
She is also working with Longfellows restaurant on a “Meet the Farmer Wine Dinner” this month . It will include Nate Darrow of Saratoga Apple and Jan King of King’s Dairy who will talk with guests about what is new in local agriculture.
To learn more about SEEAG, visit Seeag.org. To find out more about DeMaranville Farms, including information on booking an event, visit www.demaranvillefarmandgardens.com.
By Jennifer Farnsworth