Farming Status and Plans
Farming status:Full time
Description of farming status, plans, and practices:
We are a married couple and have been farming since 2012 on three acres in Saratoga County. One of us farms full-time and is a veteran of the U.S. military. The other farms part-time and holds a full-time position off the farm. We grow vegetables, and raise chickens, ducks, geese, and goats. We sell produce, eggs, and meat at farmers markets in the Capitol region. We have outgrown our current space, and are looking for farmland to continue to expand.
We practice what is called “regenerative agriculture” or what we call “soil-centric” farming. We use animals and vegetation together to create healthy, nutrient dense soil. As our soil becomes more and more healthy it becomes more abundant, and we have more and more harvestable food. We use no insecticides, herbicides or fungicides of any kind and only small amounts of organic fertilizer.
We have relied almost entirely on our animals to create the soil and nutrients to grow our fruits and vegetables. To that end, all of our animals have specific jobs on our farm; they are not merely for food. They all produce fertilizer and compost. Our chickens eat bugs, our ducks eat bugs and snails, our geese help protect our chickens and ducks from predators, and our goats eat brush and trees and convert them to nutrient rich fertilizer. We believe this is the cleanest, most sustainable way to build an agricultural enterprise. We practice rotational grazing and the deep litter method. Rotational grazing allows vegetation to regrow which prevents erosion and keeps nutrients entrained in vegetation. Every spring our barn and coop get fresh litter which is a mix of straw and hay. Fresh hay and straw are regularly applied to the barn and coop floor to keep the litter clean on top. By fall time, there is a foot of litter. The bottom 75% of their litter has collected urine and manure which causes the hay and straw to become warm producing heat to keep the animals warm in the winter months. Litter is removed in the spring and piled to compost. Our compost is seasoned for a year and then spread into a garden bed and to be planted in.
We have processed poultry in compliance with the Producer/Grower 1000 Bird Exemption in the Poultry Products Inspection Act. We take our goats to a USDA certified facility for processing.
Description of marketing method:
We engage in direct sales via farmers markets and maintain a small number of egg CSAs. We promote our farm via Instagram and Facebook, and distribute business cards and other informational materials at farmers markets.
Does this farmer have a business plan?In progress
Preferred location:Eastern, Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Washington
Infrastructure required:Water access, Electrical Access
Description of water access required:
Water would be required near barns and poultry coops to provide for animals. We also would require water for a house (either existing or to be built) onsite where we would reside, as well as for greenhouses and vegetable fields.
Crops and Livestock
Primary crops:Vegetables, Fruits
Primary Livestock:Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry
Description of livestock/crops:
We currently plan to continue raising chickens, ducks, geese, goats, and to grow a wide variety of vegetables and berries for self-consumption and to sell at farmers markets. We are interested in expanding our flock to include turkeys if appropriate space exists, and potentially to raise pigs in the future.
Tenure options desired:For Sale
Description of tenure options desired:
We are interested in purchasing 11-20 acres of farmland to expand an existing operation.
Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?Maybe
Experience & education:Farm owner
We have been growing vegetables and raising chickens, ducks, geese, and goats for approximately eight years. We are largely self-taught. We have read books and articles on regenerative farming practices, consulted with other farmers, and attended workshops and conferences such as the NOFA-NY annual winter conference and the Young Farmers' Conference. We maintain a relationship with a bovine veterinary clinic, whose goat vets perform twice-yearly farm visits to check on our animals and their living conditions.