Michael Fedison

Farming Status and Plans

Farming status:

Not currently farming

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I'm an experienced vegetable farmer looking for a place to start my own agriculture business.  For the past 3 years I was the farm manager at the Farmer and the Fish (North Salem, NY), a 3.5 acre non-certified organic vegetable/fruit operation supplying an adjacent farm-to-table restaurant. I'm currently taking the year off from farming, while I take care of our newborn son and look into the possibility of starting my own business.  Over the past 16 years I have worked as a farm manager, assistant manager, apprentice, K-12 gardening teacher, and taught agriculture at two community colleges.  I would like to run a small CSA business, with nursery and education components.

Description of marketing method:

I have 8 years of experience working at CSA farms, and am familiar with CSA marketing and finding customers. For the educational and nursery aspects of the business, I would begin with existing contacts and aim to grow that side of the business slowly over several years.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

Putnam, Westchester

Desired acreage:

1-5, 6-10

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Other Crops

Description of livestock/crops:

My experience is primarily with non-certified organic vegetable and fruit production. For the CSA, I would grow a typical variety of crops, with an emphasis on heirloom varieties. For the native plant nursery I would focus on varieties interesting to the booming native landscaping/permaculture trade.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

I'm interested in a long term lease, lease to own, or potentially a sale arrangement. I've been growing food in the area for 6 years, and plan to stay.  My wife works in the city, and we are currently living in Ossining.

Additional Information

Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?

Yes

Experience & education:

Farm management, Farm employee, Farm internship/apprenticeship

Experience description:

I'm happy to provide more detailed information: here is a snapshot...

I graduated from George Washington University with a BS in geology in 1999.

From 2001 to 2004, I managaged a school gardening program in New York City.

I apprenticed on organic vegetable farms for 3 seasons in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

I taught agriculture and science at Palau Community College in 2009 and 2010.

In 2011, I ran a 1 acre farm business on the property of Ryder Farm. (Brewster, NY)

I was the assistant manager at Hilltop Hanover Farm (Yorktown Heights NY) for 2 seasons in 2012 and 2013. I also taught courses for an agriculture certificate program at Westchester Community College during this time.

I was the farm manager at Farmer and the Fish (North Salem NY) for 3 years. I expanded the farm from 1 to 3.5 acres, ran a small CSA, farmers market operation, and supplied the very busy adjacent restaurant with produce. 

In December 2016 our son was born, and I decided to take the year off from farming to care for him and look for an opportunity to start my own agriculture business.