Betsy Ho

Farming Status and Plans

Farming status:

Full time

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I have been farming vegetables for 8 years in the Hudson Valley. I use a combination of organic, permaculture and biodynamic practices, caring for the ecosystem as much as maximizing yields. I am currently developing a business plan and partnerships to launch a farm in 2020/2021. I seek to create a cooperative whole farm system through complementary enterprises, lessening external inputs and working with nature to achieve economic and environmental sustainability. An example of this would be a composting enterprise on the land that benefits vegetable and chicken production and the surrounding local businesses who want to responsibly dispose of food waste. I also would like to have ruminants graze the land for soil fertility, which could be a partnership with another farmer.

The primary enterprise would be healthful, culturally relevant vegetables, which would be sold to Asian and Latinx communities in suburbs in the tri-state area, where there is a need for pesticide- and chemical-free vegetables. Other smaller enterprises include raising bees and growing perennial fruits and herbs to be used in herbal drinks and infusions, and specialty poultry meat and eggs. 

Ideally, the property would be lease to buy, so we can commit to partnerships, build our customer base, and invest in planting perennials.

Description of marketing method:

Farmers market, wholesale, buying club

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

Southeast, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster

Desired acreage:

1-5, 6-10, 11-20, 21-50

Infrastructure required:

Onsite housing, Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Farm equipment, Water access, Fencing, Electrical Access

Description of buildings required:

Propagation house, high tunnels, wash pack area, walk-in cooler, worker housing, dry storage for seed and amendments, storage for tractor and implements

Description of farm equipment required:

40-50 hp tractor, front loader, chisel plow, disc harrow, undercutter, Perfecta, hilling disks, middle buster, flail mower, brush hog

Description of water access required:

Minimum 40 psi for overhead and drip irrigation

Description of fencing required:

Investment by land owner in fencing that would remain an asset of the land. 8 ft fencing for vegetable production. Minimum 2 acres to start.

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Goats/Sheep, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

The primary enterprises would be Asian and Latinx vegetables and poultry for meat production and fertility. At the same time, cold-hardy perennial fruits will be planted for use in herbal sodas. It is preferred to partner with a livestock farmer is partnered with, cattle and sheep will be rotationally grazed to build fertility and compost, and control weeds in addition to being raised for meat sales.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

3-year lease or lease to buy

Additional Information

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

Yes

Experience & education:

Farm management, Farm employee

Experience description:

--8 years sustainable vegetable farming in 6 counties of the Hudson Valley

--Holistic farm planning consultant

--Beginning farmer educator with GrowNYC/FARMroots