Farming Status and Plans
Farming status:Full time
Description of farming status, plans, and practices:
I have been working on organic vegetable farms for the past 4 years. For the past two years I have been working on Sisters Hill Farm in Dutchess County. Working first as an apprentice and then as the Assistant Manager I have learned a wide range of skills from crop planning, to tractor work, to proper post harvest management. At this point my husband, Sam, and I (having both worked together for 3 seasons) feel ready and excited to start managing a farm of our own. Our goal is to run a successful small scale CSA focusing on organic vegetable production with the addition of flowers, laying hens, winter production, and mushrooms as we expand. We are also interested in selling at a local farmers market each week to expand our community outreach, help sales, and feed more people. We want to stay relatively small with the goal of about 5-10 acres in cultivation with about half of the land in cover crop each season. Our goal in farming is to help foster healthy communities by providing nutritious food, caring for the land, and boosting the local economy.
Description of marketing method:
Focus on a small scale CSA with on farm pick ups. Work up to about 250 members on 5 acres. Add monthly winter shares of root crops and high tunnel greens. Provide 2 share options both on a sliding scale payment model. Additionally, sell at one weekend farmers market (within ~45 min drive of farm).
Does this farmer have a business plan?In progress
Preferred location:Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Ulster, Washington
Desired acreage:1-5, 6-10, 11-20, 21-50
Infrastructure required:Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Water access, Electrical Access
Description of buildings required:
A large enough building that will be able to store tractors and other smaller equipment, several bulk bins worth of storage crops, and also have the potential to add a wash station, cooler unit, and/or distribution area in future years.
Ideally having at least one heated greenhouse-potentially additional unheated houses for season extension.
Description of water access required:
A reliable water source that can be used for both in field irrigation and post harvest washing. A deep well or reliable stream/river source would work. In field irrigation lines already dug would be a huge plus.
Crops and Livestock
Description of livestock/crops:
We plan to focus on organic vegetable production with some cut flowers, and perhaps some small fruit trees down the line.
We plan to raise a few laying hens for ourselves and to bring to markets.
Tenure options desired:Farm Management, For Lease
Description of tenure options desired:
At this point we are really hoping to manage a farm that has some ground work established. We are looking for land owners that would like some one to run a farm on their land and is interested in investing in the success of the business.
Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?Maybe
Experience & education:Formal agricultural education, Farm management, Farm employee, Farm internship/apprenticeship
I studied Envrionmental Studies in college and focused on CSA design and structure. Since then I've been working on a variety of organic farms from volunteer, to apprentice, to manager. I've attended a variety of agricultural conferences and attended dozens of educational farm tours.