Catalyst Ecovillage

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Property Location
Sugar Loaf (Chester), NY , south of town, west side of Kings Highway
[Orange County]
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100 acres available
70 open acres for farming
30 wooded acres / other

Property Description

Soil types:

Of the farmable acres it is mostly MdC (Mardin gravelly silt loam 3-15% slope), Secondly MdB (Mardin gravelly silt loam 3-8% slope), and then ErB (Erie gravelly silt loam 3-8% slope)

Description of the property’s current condition and current use(s):

Used for growing hay. We are in the process of negotiations to puchase these 100 acres.  

Farm history / past uses of the property:

Hay farm, deer hunting 

Farm Infrastructure

Infrastructure and equipment:

  • barns/structures
  • housing

Barns/structures description:

While this is currently raw land, there may be a barn to lease for the time being across the street, owned by the same family we are buying the property from. 

Farmer housing description:

We are inviting you to become a part of our ecovillage project, assist us to purchase the land, and either build your own small footprint eco-home or combine forces with other members to build a community home to share together. 

Crops and Livestock

Types of crops permitted to be produced on the property:

Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Hay, Other Crops

Types of livestock permitted on the property:

Cattle - Beef, Goats/Sheep, Poultry, Other livestock

Livestock/crops description :

As long as you wish to practice organic, chemical free agriculture and/or humane, pastured/grass-fed livestock then we wish to talk to you.  Our focus is plant-related agricutlure - vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, flowers, nut and and fruit tree production and micro-brewery (kombucha and beer) and greenhouse-related businesses.  Secondarily, we are interested in pastured poultry, mostly eggs, and a small goat dairy.  Thining long term - We would be open to a few horses, a small flock of broilers, and may consider a smaller herd of grass-fed beef cattle, or if you had the where-with-all, a small cow dairy.    We would like your imput to design straw-bale/cob or other eco-designed barns/sheds/etc. customized for your use.  Members would help contribute funding and/or help secure loans to gain this farm infrastructure. Fencing and multiple water features (swales, natural swimming pools, water saving roofs, a pond) willl be enginneered on the land to help with irrigation.

Tenure Options

Tenure options:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options:

We would like to keep the land intact, without subdivision, as much as possible - to be held as in a Land Trust, with each active dues paying ecovillage resident holding and equal share.  Those who help purchase the land would at first have a larger ownership share, but would gradually be paid back by the other contributing members and by the on-site busineses until all shares would be equal.  You would have legal right to pass down your "share" and any housing you build or help to build to your offspring or if you ever leave, sell it back to the community or to the next family/person on the community wait list. 

We are primarily interested in farmers who wish to help us Purchase the property and then begin farming it.  We would hope you would want to help build the ecovillage and live there!  If not, there is an option for you to purchase a 40 acre section of the property from us and hold a covenant (like a 100 year lease) with us for its use.  Nothing is set in stone, these are just our ideas!

Leasing can also be an option but we prefer to have ecovillage member/owners.  



Additional Information

Preferences and restrictions on agricultural activities:

Interested in: carbon farming methodology, permaculture design, forest gardening, four-season greenhouses, organic/biodynamic farming, keylining the sloped acres, and slowing down the movement of water downhill.  We aspire to be chemical and fossil fuel free.  (We make our own biodiesel from waste-cooking oil.)

Some members have mixed feelings about slaughtering and processing of meat animals on the actual land.  We would have to broach this subject together.  Some are okay with it if it is on a small scale.  We are open to talk about this!  We believe in sustainable, pastured, humanely-raised meat being supported in the face of the many cruel horrible factory farms.  Many of us are omnivores and hope to supply our meat needs from local organice sources, either ours or someone else's.


Do you require a farmer who qualifies for agricultural assessment?:


Are you willing to have the public on the property as a part of the farm business?:


Any additional information about this property:

It is within walking distance to Sugar Loaf, NY and 9 min northeast of Warwick, 1 hour from the markets of NYC.  We hope have a CSA that supports our members along with a sustainable number of local families and to set up an honor-system farmstand near the road.  We hope to sell farm products along with arts and crafts made by our residents at a retail spot down in town.  We intend to get involved with the Makerspace that is getting set up about 2 miles down the road from us on the grounds of the old prison they are turning into a public park. 

We have no religious affiliation.  We just wish to live sustainably in community and to help educate others on how to do so:)

Please email me TODAY with your comments/questions and INCLUDE your PHONE and when the best times are to call you.  I hope we can find some local Orange Co. farmers that will be the right fit for us by the END OF DECEMBER 2015!  Namaste!

Thank you for your interest!   Teagan Blackburn 917.254.7708