Hay Berry Farm LLC

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Property Location
1176 Babcock Lake Road, Hoosick Falls, NY
[Rensselaer County]
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166 acres available
90 open acres for farming
70 wooded acres / other

Property Description

Soil types:

This website would not load a soil map from the 36 acres on the West side of Babcock Lake Road, however the East side soil map is attached below.

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

The farm is in process of being protected by The Agricultural Stewardship Association. 

The woods are partly managed for timber, partly being prepared for silvopasture, and partly used for growing Shiitake mushrooms on logs.

Our you-pick blueberry and lavender operation is in the flat lower fields of well-drained gravely loam.  We grow a small amount of other perennials and annuals for market as well as harvest hay in these same fields.  On the edge of these fields we have a small number of honey bee hives.

The hills, mostly loamy clay, have recently been reformed into terrace-like cuts and berms on contour in order to take advantage of rain water for irrigating perennial tress and shrubs.  Plantings of hazelnuts and chestnuts are doing well with this new water works in place.  Between the lines of water storage and perennials, there are wide areas still in grass that we look to graze a variety of animals in some, hay others, and plant more varieties of perennials.  It is a work in progress in the hills as we transition to regenerative permaculture and improve the soil.

Check out our website:  http://hayberryfarm.org/

Farm history / past uses of the property:

The neighbors are friendly and none of them uses chemical toxins.  Nearby farmers include two beef cattle, two small horse operations, and another has mostly hay.  The whole area was mostly in sheep for decades.  This farm became a dairy operation in the mid 1940s and was allowed to lie fallow until 2007 when we started preparing to plant blueberries.  We are a member of NOFA-NY and a Farmer's Pledge farm.

Farm Infrastructure

Infrastructure and equipment:

  • fencing
  • water
  • barns/structures
  • housing
  • electrical

Fencing description:

Deer fencing surrounds 4- 5 acres, that include the you-pick blueberry area.  Near the farm house, we have  a little over an acre fenced with 4' cattle panel.

Bird netting also protects 32 out of 36 rows of blueberries.  (The last 4 rows of berries are late-season and don't get much attention from birds.)

Water access description:

The you pick areas are irrigated by a drip system from a large pond nearby.  I was told that in the last 50 years, there has always been water available, even in the worst droughts.

The hills, as described above, have a series of swales and ponds that catch and move rainwater across the landscape.  Storage ponds are positioned to provide water in times of drought.

Barns/structures description:

There is a 24' x 36' hay/equipment barn; several tool sheds, a preparation shed for the farm shop and a farm shop that sells the honey, flowers, lavender, blueberries, etc. produced on the farm.

Another barn near the farm house 30' x 32', houses animals,farm equipment, supplies, tools and hay.  Miscellaneous sheds protect/store equipment, etc.

Farmer housing description:

The 12-year old farm house is a 2200 square foot, south-facing, timber frame with solar panels.  The well is artesian.  It has a dry basement with a work bench and a very small attic area.  There are 4 bedrooms.

A 2-car garage has an attic that currently is used to dry most of the lavender harvested for bud sales.  Nearby is a greenhouse (20' x 12') and the animal barn described above.  Most of the you-pick area is visible from the farm house.

Currently, there is no intern housing on the property.

Crops and Livestock

Types of crops permitted to be produced on the property:

Vegetables, Fruits, Ornamentals, Hay, Other Crops

Types of livestock permitted on the property:

Cattle - Beef, Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry

Livestock/crops description :

We are planning on re-introducing livestock in 2021.

We are flexible about new crops and plan to try raspberries in 2021, if the soil tests look promising.

We are planning a small mixed orchard for you-pick near the existing shop on a slope that would include various apples, pears, plums, peaches, hazelnuts...  With our new perennial waterworks, we are open to new ideas and as much diversity as possible.

Tenure Options

Tenure options:

Farm Management, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options:

Tenure options are flexible.  We particularly want to hire someone to help plan, set up and manage a livestock operation that would have multi purposes: improvement and regeneration of soil, diversity of products/income for the farm (and the new farmer), and training us in livestock care.  If our overall plans and goals match the incoming farmer, we would be flexible in exploring other options including helping with our existing products and using some of the land for their farming purposes.

Additional Information

Preferences and restrictions on agricultural activities:

We do not use synthetics anywhere on the farm.  We only apply mineral, plant, micro-biotic, or ocean-based inputs.  Our goal is to regenerate what we need on the farm, whenever possible.  Regarding animals, we are cautious about goats because of their delightful but problematic escape tactics.

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

Negotiable

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

Negotiable

Any additional information about this property:

Our website: hayberryfarm.org goes into some more details about who we are and our mission.  We are excited about moving into the future with planned permaculture designs.  We also have a facebook page Hay Berry Farm LLC.