Monday, July 9, 2018

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2 New Hudson Valley Projects Near Esopus Ag Center Added by NEFA

NEFA has announced two new projects in Kerhonksen, New York: the Maybrook Hotel (pictured above), to be used for farmworker housing and other purposes, and the 200-acre Arrowhead Farm. The proximity of both these properties to our Esopus Agricultural Center near Kingston increases the opportunities we can offer to support organic farming in this important Hudson Valley region. More about each:

Maybrook Hotel, for Farmworker Housing and More

In partnership with key investors, NEFA has purchased and begun renovations of the Maybrook Hotel, located in Kerhonkson, New York, one mile from the Arrowhead Farm, off of Route 209.
This 15-acre property with seven buildings is a critical piece in the work to create access to farmland by creating access to affordable housing within close proximity to the land.
The developing plan for this property is to not only create affordable housing stock, but also to leverage the meeting spaces and grounds to have common space for events and other activities connected with community and sustainable agriculture. In spring 2017, three months after closing and some considerable renovations, farm-worker families and individuals are currently living at the lodge, and there is genuine excitement around leveraging the space from community members.

Arrowhead Farm (in Development)

Northeast Farm Access, working with lead investors, is in contract to purchase the Arrowhead Farm (above), located in in the Rondout Valley on Route 209 in Kerhonkson, New York. This important third-generation family farm is a critical addition to NEFA’s work to date to expand access to mid-scale organic agriculture in the Hudson Valley.
The plan in development for this 200-plus-acre property is to transition to organic while bringing in farmer operators for a range of mixed-use activities, from haying to livestock to vegetables and of course the continued production of maple syrup. For the 2017 growing season, we are working with the current owner and farmer planting organic cover crops using organic practices.
The Arrowhead property will contribute to creating a critical mass of farmland toward our agroecology program, building and studying healthy on-farm ecosystems.
For more information about either project or other NEFA efforts, contact Bob Bernstein at (603) 209-2000, or email bob [at] nefarmaccess [dot] com.

Arrowhead Farm

Arrowhead Farm Agricultural Center, LLC (AFAC) purchased Arrowhead Farm in the Rondout Valley on Route 209 in Kerhonkson, New York, on May 18, 2018. This third-generation family farm is a tremendous addition to NEFA’s work to expand access to mid-scale organic agriculture in the Hudson Valley.
We have begun to transition this 271-acre former dairy to organic management practices, and bring in farmer-lessees experienced in raising everything from flowers to seeds, vegetables to livestock and maple syrup. For the 2018 growing season, former owner Peter Davis is planting a second year of cover crops in the transition to organic.
Infrastructure includes a fine, old tie-stall dairy barn, large newer free-stall barn, tractor shop, young-stock housing barn, commodity shed, woodshed, storage shed, manure pit and sugar house. A large farmhouse (with four bedrooms), an additional farmhouse (two bedrooms) and a wood-frame cabin located next to the sugar house provide farmer housing options on the property. The cabin is already under renovation.
More than 120 acres of Unadilla silt loam run along the Rondout Creek, with 100 acres of higher ground in pasture and sugar bush. There are many water sources, including 1.4 miles along the Roundout Creek adjacent to tillable land, a drilled well at the farmstead complex, two ponds and additional springs.


After purchase by the family in 1911, Arrowhead was a dairy farm that produced corn, soy, hay and grains. In June 2008, Open Space Institute and the Ulster County Farmland Protection Board announced the permanent protection of the 346-acre Arrowhead (Davis) Farm north of Kerhonkson on Route 209 in the Towns of Rochester and Wawarsing, Ulster County, New York.
There is a conservation easement on the land, and the soil quality is above average for the area. It is currently in use for haying and livestock production and the acreage for farmland is in a program of cover-crop succession.
Now Arrowhead Farm includes some of the Rondout Valley’s finest agricultural land. It sits in the center of the Valley, between the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge and runs along the Rondout Creek. Rolling hills and prime soils provide excellent drainage. Sweeping vistas and frontage along NYS Route 209 make the Davis Farm one of the most scenic and vital farms in Ulster County.
“In recent years, my family and I have received numerous offers to sell the farm for development, including plans to develop the property with hundreds of homes and commercial retail space along Route 209,” said Peter Davis.
With the funds from the conservation easement, the Davis’s turned their farm into a diversified agricultural business, so residents of the Rondout Valley had greater access to locally grown, safe, fresh and nutritious food, and ensuring that their family farm and heritage will be preserved forever.


Acorn Hill Farm – Joyce Rose, Aleah Rose

Acorn Hill Farm is a small family farm and micro-creamery in the Mid-Hudson Valley/Catskill region of New York that produces a variety of goat milk cheeses, goat milk fudge and goat milk soaps using the milk of organically managed dairy goats.
Joyce and Aleah Rose’s small herd of Nubian goats is made up of around 35 whom they milk twice a day year-round. They care for their goats using natural methods, love, and respect. Joyce will bring fresh, sustainable goat dairy products to regional communities that feel that knowing where their food comes from matters.

Hudson Soil Company: Eileen Banyra

Hudson Soil Company was founded by Eileen Banyra and Noa Simons to distribute Community Compost Company compost. They produce their environmental, finished compost on farms in the Hudson. Their mission is to restore and sustain soil health by producing and selling quality compost. They collect organic material destined for the landfill and transform it into compost to reduce environmental impact, build healthy plants and more resilient communities. Eileen and Noa are passionate about developing an integrated local food and agricultural system to recycle resources.

Long Season Farm

Long Season Farm is a small, diversified, certified organic vegetable farm focusing on four-season production of high-quality vegetables for farmers’ markets, wholesale, and winter CSA in Ulster County NY.Erin Enouen and Sam Zurofsky utilize the main growing season to have a bounty of warm, loving crops from late spring through fall on Long Season Farm. In the “off-season” their high tunnels house cold-hardy greens and roots, while their cooler stores roots crops and cabbages. They embrace the seasons rather than struggle against them, so through the seasons they only select varieties that do their absolute best for the period they’re grown in.

Hudson Valley Seed Company: Ken Greene, Doug Muller

Ken Greene and Doug Muller, the operations manager, co-founded Hudson Valley Seed Company in 2008. For the early years, Ken was the lead farmer on the seed farm, and now he supervises all operations of the business. Ken founded VESSEL, the first incarnation of the Hudson Valley Seed Library and, ultimately, the Hudson Valley Seed Company, while working as a librarian at the Gardiner Public Library in Gardiner, New York. Having developed a keen interest in preserving heirloom seed varieties, he decided to add them to the library catalog so that patrons could “check them out,” grow them in their home gardens, and then “return” saved seed at the end of the season. The program was a small but successful endeavor–one of the first of its kind in the country. After four years of running the program at the library, Ken and his partner, Doug Muller, decided to turn the library into a mission-driven, homestead-based small business–which it still is today.

Treadlight Farm: Irene and Matt Dell

Irene and Matt Matt Dell started Treadlight Farm in 2015 in Bovina, New York, to grow specialty cut flowers and ornamentals. Their crop selection is curated by them and by nature. They grow what they think is beautiful, and nature whittles that down to what grows well in the cool seasons and rocky soil. Together, they have combined farming experiences of more than a decade.

Grazing Farm

Grazing Farm raises high-quality organic grass-fed pastured poultry, cattle and sheep through an intensive rotational grazing system. Bringing communities together through a healthier, safer food alternative and regenerating the land is their priority, and they strive to improve their pastures by using the best organic methods. New farmers Kurt and Asia Frederick of Grazing write, “Living in the Hudson Valley is a dream of ours. The land and views are absolutely beautiful. The environment and atmosphere is quite different from the city life we are accustomed to. It allows us to be still, present and focused on the land.”  Their primary goal is to provide a service to these areas by making food easily accessible all year-round. They want their consumers to know where and how their food is raised.

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