Learn about our local farmers – New Farmer Narrative Project

We’re big supporters of our local farmers here in Hammertown Country and we know many of you are too so we thought we’d share this story with you.  The project, Journeys Into Farming, features 2o new farms right here in Columbia County (including Sol Flower Farm, Pigasso Farm & Tousey Winery to name a few).  Learn the personal stories of these young local farmers and how we can support their efforts to keep agriculture and farming alive and thriving here in the beautiful Hudson Valley.  Next weekend (Memorial Day Weekend) we’ll be featuring a listing of all of the local Farmers Markets & Farmstands in our area. 

New Farmer Narrative Project

The New Farmer Narrative Project is driven by stories. There is a dominant understanding of the state of agriculture as a vocation in decline, but there is a new story to be told. There are new farms sprouting up all over the country, and this is especially true in Columbia County. Through a set of interviews and surveys with people who have started farms in the last ten years, this project portrays new journeys into agriculture. The purposes of the project include:

(1)    Exploring the experiences and needs of new farmers in the region to help service providers and others better address new farmer needs and circumstances.
(2)    Promoting wider awareness of new farmers within the community through a traveling exhibit.
(3)    Providing an educational and reflective tool to further the growth of new farms by using the narratives as case studies in farming curriculum.

If you are interested in learning more about new farmers in Columbia County, the project’s traveling exhibit, Journeys Into Farming, features 20 new Columbia County farmers. Through photographs of the farmers and their land, and through storytelling in the farmers’ own words, you can follow each of their journeys into farming. The exhibit is visiting libraries and other venues throughout the county in spring, summer, and fall of 2012, and there will be various associated events, such as presentations and film screenings, related to this new face of agriculture. The exhibit’s venues and events are listed to the right.

The exhibit features the following 14 new farms:

Blue Star Farm

Sue Decker

Location: Stuyvesant, NY
Products: Vegetables, tree fruit, small fruits, herbs, value-added products, and cut flowers.
First Year: 2010
Land Base: 14 acres
Markets: Local farmers’ markets and supplying local restaurants, markets, processors and CSAs.
Web: http://www.bluestarfarmny.com/

Common Hands Farm
Dan McManus & Tess Parker

Location: Hudson, NY
Products: Vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and flowers
First Year: 2011
Land Base: 10-15 acres
Markets: Local farmers’ markets and supplying local restaurants and markets.
Web: http://commonhands.wordpress.com/
Dan McManus and Tess Parker
Cool Whisper Farm
Matt and Lisa Schober

Location: Hillsdale, NY
Products:  Beef, pork, chicken, eggs
First Year: 2001
Land Base: 148 acres (some owned, some leased)
Markets: On-farm “country store” and supplying local restaurants and markets
Matt and Lisa Schober
Cowberry Crossing Farm
Cecile and Richard Harrison

Location: Claverack, NY
Products: Vegetables, herbs, beef, pork, chicken, hay, lamb, eggs, wool, vegetable starts, and flowers.
First Year: 2002
Land Base: 340 acres, including land leased for hay and pasture
Markets: Farmers’ markets
Web: http://www.cowberrycrossingfarm.com/
Cecile Harrison
Full Field Farm
Mike and Michele Kowalski

Location: North Chatham, NY
Products: Beef, pork and chicken
First Year: 2011
Land Base: 100 acres
Markets: Local farmers’ markets and CSA
Web: http://fullfieldfarm.com/
Mike and Michele Kowalski
Hand Hollow Farm
Ellen Poggi and Lauren Bonn

Location: New Lebanon, NY
Products: Vegetables, maple syrup
First Year: 2008
Land Base: 3 acres
Markets: Local farmers’ markets and CSA
Web: http://handhollowfarm.wordpress.com/
Ellen Poggi
Lineage Farm
Jon Ronsani

Location: Claverack, NY
Products: Vegetables
First Year: 2011
Land Base: 5 acres
Markets: CSA with pick-ups in Hudson, Poughkeepsie and NYC
Web: http://www.lineagefarmcsa.com/
Jon Ronsani
New Leaf Farm
Mike Libsch

Location: Hillsdale, NY
Products: Vegetables, plants and cut flowers
First Year: 2011
Land Base: 1 1/2 acres
Markets: Local farmers’ markets, farm stand, CSA, and supplying local restaurants and caterers
Web: http://newleaffarmny.blogspot.com/
Mike Libsch
Oakwood Farm
Judith Madey

Location: Craryville, NY
Products: Raw milk, beef and pork
First Year: 2006
Land Base: ~ 50 acres
Markets: On-farm sale
Judith Madey
Pigasso Farm
Rob and Heather Kitchen

Location: Copake, NY
Products: Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and eggs
First Year: 2004
Land Base: 41 acres (leased and owned)
Markets: Local farmers’ markets, on-farm farm stand and supplying local restaurants and markets
Web:  http://www.localharvest.org/pigasso-farms-M44564
Rob and Heather Kitchen
Sol Flower Farm
Andy Szymanowicz

Location: Ancramdale, NY
Products: Vegetables and flowers
First Year: 2007
Land Base: 10 acres
Markets: Farmers’ markets, CSA with on-farm pick-up, farm stand and supplying local restaurants
Web: http://solflowerfarm.com/
Andy Szymanowicz
Sparrowbush Farm
Ashley Loehr

Location: Livingston, NY
Products: Vegetables, herbs, eggs, pork, flowers
First Year: 2011
Land Base: 100 acres
Markets: Farmers’ Markets, Winter CSA, and supplying local markets
Web: http://sparrowbushfarm.com/
Ashley Loehr
Tousey Winery
Ben and Kimberly Peacock

Location: Clermont, NY
Products: Wine, black currant cassis, honey
First Year: 2009
Land Base: 10-15 acres
Markets: Farmers’ markets, tasting room, restaurants, and other area markets.
Web: http://www.touseywinery.com/
Ben and Kimberly Peacock
Whole Hog Farm
Schuyler and Colby Gale

Location: New Lebanon, NY
Products: Pork, poultry, lamb and eggs
First Year: 2011
Land Base: 20 acres
Markets: Local farmers’ markets and supplying local restaurants and markets.
Ben and Kimberly Peacock


2012 New Farmer Narrative Project Event Schedule

May 18th 4-7pm (Friday)

Opening Reception at Chatham Real Food Co-op, 15 Church St., Chatham

May 24th 7-8:30pm (Thursday) New Farmer Narrative Project Presentation at the Creekhouse (1075 Harlemville Road, Ghent)

June 2, 6:30pm (Saturday) Chatham Public Library film showing of The Greenhorns with Q&A about the Project

June 18th, 7pm (Monday) New Lebanon Library film showing of Small Farm Rising with Q&A about the Project

Stay tuned for other events as the summer unfolds!
2012 New Farmer Narrative Project Exhibit Schedule

May 20th-June 2

Chatham Public Library – 11 Woodbridge Avenue, Chatham, NY

June 3 – June 17th Roeliff Jansen Community Library – 9091 Route 22, Hillsdale, NY

June 18th – June 30th- New Lebanon Library – 550 State Route 20, New Lebanon, NY

July 3 – July 14th Germantown Library – 31 Palatine Park Road, Germantown, NY

July 17th – July 28th-The Greenhorns Office – 624 Warren St., Hudson, NY

July 30th – August 13th – Philmont Public Library – 101 Main Street, Philmont, NY

August 14th – August 25th Kinderhook Memorial Library – 18 Hudson Street, Kinderhook, NY

September 4 – September 17th North Chatham Free Library – 4287 Route 203, North Chatham, NY

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