A Tapestry of Corn
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s grain corn trial started last spring when eight varieties of corn were planted as a celebration of cultural heritage and an exploration into growing field corn for human consumption.
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s grain corn trial started last spring when eight varieties of corn were planted as a celebration of cultural heritage and an exploration into growing field corn for human consumption.
“One of my favorite flowers happens to be the sunflower. The colors, different sizes of their heads and height of plant speak for themselves. I first became acquainted with these beautiful flowers in my senior year in high school while taking a family vacation out west. My family drove through Kansas where there were entire fields of sunflowers– their heads followed the sun, watching the day evolve.
Beds of emerald colored kale and collard greens planted outside, shimmer under a late morning sun. Nearby, production staff plant trays of spinach inside hoop houses. It is early autumn at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub and winter production is ramping up.
It was early evening at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub and Barbara Hughey, a landscape designer, came to the farm prepared with a notebook and pencil. Hughey, an entrepreneur who runs “Land Stewardship Design” out of her home in Germantown, came in learning mode.
The clang of pots, the scent of freshly steamed vegetables, sounds of cauliflower being chopped on cutting boards, and the light chatter of volunteers as they bag broccoli florets, all fill the Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s former farm stand on Route 209 in Hurley. This autumn the familiar red building along the state highway celebrates a new beginning. In September, the Farm to Food Pantry Collaborative began using the facility as a base for processing food that is being donated locally.
Growing With the Grain screens • Language Justice presents at NESAWG • Cultural heritage and cooking with chicken • Highlighting corn at Kingston City School District • Seed Sanctuary blossoms • Farm to school • Exploring herbs • Learning about mushrooms
This past spring, on a windy day in March, the field crops team and I drove out to a field where there was a soybean crop. The snow had just left, and the ground was still too soft to leave the farm road. We needed to make a plan. The flattened beans were a remarkable color of silvery grey: the stems and branches like messy strands of hair on the ground. The field had looked promising all year until the fall when relentless rain knocked the soybeans down and they rotted on the ground.
Elson Shields, a Cornell entomologist, along with his colleagues Teresa Rusinek and Chuck Bornt, arrived at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub at high noon with an ice chest. They had packed lunch. They also brought with them a bevy of plastic containers filled with Colorado potato beetles, the subject of their research and a growing threat to potato production (or you could use potato growing here).
Since detected in 2015 in the northeast region, the Allium Leafminer has posed considerable challenges to onion and garlic growers. By laying eggs inside leaf tissue, the pest leaves the plant vulnerable to damage, laying its claim with the oviposition mark, a trail of white dots where female insects have deposited their eggs.
October and the sunflowers continue to spring through the earth, their faces tilted to the sky. During the 2019 growing season, the Farm Hub planted ten different varieties included Mammoth Gray Stripe, Mammoth, Hopi Black Dye, Velvet Queen, Evening Sun, Autumn Beauty, Lemon Queen, Goldy Double, Zohar and the Teddy Bear.
Now into its fourth season, the Native American Seed Sanctuary at the Farm Hub continues to thrive. The “three sisters” mix of corn, beans, and squash encompasses 18 varieties of beans, nine varieties of corn and two types of squash.
Strips of butternut squash grow before a backdrop of flowers. With the Native Meadow Trial in its third year, this is the first time that crops have been planted next to the meadows. Goals of the experiment include seeing if the meadow seed mixes will increase beneficial insect populations, and trying to observe potential impacts on crops.
Reducing Tillage • Harvesting Mushrooms • Kingston High School • Farmscape Ecology • Food and Culture • Grains Corn Trial • Winslow Homer • Farmer’s Corner • Blueberry Gleaning
From vegetable production and donations to training beginning farmers, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub has moved into new ways of farming and into education and research, since the NoVo Foundation purchased the farm from Gill Farm in 2013. Initiatives include crop diversification and farming in organic practices, a focus on farmscape ecology, language justice and seed saving through the Native […]
Connecting with the Art of Winslow Homer The Hudson Valley has long attracted artists from New York City seeking inspiration from the region’s mountains and forests, rivers and waterfalls, sunsets, farmscapes, and vernacular architecture, as well as from the people who have lived here. Most famously, the 19th Century Hudson River School painters’ romantic relationship with the region has been […]
SUMMER 2019: ROSA VILLEGAS, GREENHOUSE ASSISTANT (Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) “I started working in the greenhouses in 1998 (when the farm was under different ownership). Under the Farm Hub I began working on the vegetable team and continued in the greenhouses. In 2016, I became the greenhouse assistant. We start here in the greenhouses in the middle of March […]
(Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) Of all vegetable crops, corn has long been the one most associated with the Hurley Flats. Sweet corn, enjoyed fresh in summer and once produced across hundreds of acres by the Gill Farms, remains a staple of the Farm Hub’s annual vegetable production and is now grown using organic methods. The majority of the corn […]
(Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) Growers experiment with minimum to no-till to enhance soil health “The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because […]
This year’s Native Meadow Twilight meeting will be held on Sept. 17 from 4:30pm-7:00pm at the Farm Hub. The event will feature Claudia Knab-Vispo and Conrad Vispo from Hawthorne Valley’s Farmscape Ecology Program, and Anne Bloomfield, the Farm Hub’s farmscape ecology coordinator. The team will describe how the plant composition in the meadows continues to evolve and share their insights […]
Kris Nichols is veteran soil microbiologist with over 25 years of research experience studying arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. She is the founder and principal scientist of KRIS Systems Education & Consultation and consults for Soil Health Consulting, Inc, Pachaterrae Inc, and MyLand Company. Nichols was previously the Chief Scientist at Rodale Institute for over three years, and a soil microbiologist with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for over 11 years. Here Nichols shares her insight on soil health with the Hudson Valley Farm Hub.
Sharing a passion for farming with Kingston High School students The Hudson Valley Farm Hub recently hosted a group of special visitors – students from Kingston High School. Primarily juniors and seniors, the teens come from a diversity of backgrounds. What they all share, however, is an interest in agriculture and food. Roxanne Smith, a sophomore, was transfixed as she […]
The Farm Hub grows an acre of garlic annually with the hope of yielding an estimated 5,000 pounds. The farm also has a specific way of curing the garlic.
Greenhouses make way for mushrooms. Nailah Marie Ellis, a farmer and member of the ProFarmer training program, launched her latest project where she is cultivating oyster mushrooms.
Blueberry gleaning season at the Farm Hub launched in early July with patches in full bloom. Two varieties of blueberries – Reka and Chandler – packed the fields on Route 209, some of them as large as quarters. This is the third year that the Hudson Valley Farm Hub partnered with UlsterCorps for gleaning; UlsterCorps team members distribute the fruit […]
Food builds friendships, connects communities, and transcends age, race, ethnicity, gender and geographies. In this personal essay, Amy Wu shares her experience farming and reflects upon the intersection of food and Chinese culture.
The balance between agriculture and ecology is constant, complex and delicate. How, for example, does the Red-winged Blackbird co-exist with a field of growing sweet corn, with corn playing the dual role of food for bird and also a crop? Anne Bloomfield, farmscape ecology coordinator, examines the role humans play in the coexistence of farming and ecology. “It really is up to us to determine what we would like this relationship with the land to be,” she writes.
Asparagus – Best known as garden asparagus, Folk name is sparrow grass, scientific name Asparagus officinalis. Young shoots are used as a vegetable. Asparagus harvesting season is underway and mini-skyscrapers of green and maroon colored asparagus punch through a blanket of straw. At the Farm Hub, it is one of the ones harvested earliest – typically in May and June – […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s initiatives are spotlighted in two short documentaries that will continue screening through the summer. Growing with the Grain, a short documentary film on the small grains research trials, screens as part of Oceans 8 Films `Hope on the Hudson 2’ series. The trials are a collaboration between the Farm Hub and Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension […]
Farm Hub’s ProFarmer teaches youth at the Kingston YMCA Farm Project how to cook
Farm Hub offers select content in Spanish and English Starting with the Spring 2019 newsletter, the Farm Hub is offering a selection of articles in Spanish and English. The articles reflect a variety of topics from research trials, strategies and techniques in farming, to what is growing this season and programs. This quarter’s newsletter includes the following bilingual articles: What’s […]
Allium Leafminer • Agricultural Conservation • New York Safety Award • Land in Black Hands • Farmer’s Corner • Language Justice • 2019 What’s Growing • Welcoming Spring • In Brief
Students from Bard College recently visited the Farm Hub and were given a tour of the farm. The students were from the “Re-imagined Farms in Re-imagined Spaces” class taught by Katrina Light, Bard’s Supervisor of Food and Agricultural Programs, as part of the Environmental and Urban Studies program.
Farm Hub hosts social justice interpretation workshop for community organizations (Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) Creating a multilingual space is not as simple as translating or interpreting one language into another. It is also important to consider that language justice principles are being followed. In February, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub hosted a 2-day intensive workshop on interpretation for social […]
Farm Hub acquires land under easement (Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) Central to one of the iconic views of the Hurley Flats are the two majestic walnut trees along Hurley Mountain Road south of Wynkoop. When driving south on Hurley Mountain Road and rounding a corner in the road, the trees appear, almost suddenly, on a high spot with the […]
Staff interpret for Spanish speakers at Cornell ag workshop (Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) Jesus, a production worker at the Farm Hub, enjoys attending agriculture workshops and conferences to expand his knowledge, but for years he only understood pieces of the presentations. The majority of events were held in English and hard to track for the native Spanish speaker. “With […]
Director Brooke Pickering-Cole joined U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado’s new agriculture advisory group made up of 40 growers and agricultural leaders in the region. The group serves as a sounding board on agriculture in upstate New York. ProFarmer Andrew Casner’s Black Futsu squash appeared in the Hudson Valley Seed Company’s 2019 catalog. Andrew grew Black Futsu squash – a Japanese winter […]
(Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) The winter months give farmers the opportunity to think strategically and gear up farm operations for the coming season. At the Farm Hub, we refine the crop plan, order the seeds, create a planting schedule, reorder supplies, and make repairs to machinery and farm infrastructure. The 2019 crop map, shown here, reflects the careful planning […]
Anne Bloomfield of the Farmscape Ecology team tracks wildlife By Anne Bloomfield, Farmscape Ecology Coordinator Spring is a time of awakening. Though, for many creatures which call the farm home, being out and about all winter is a part of their being. Who are these animals? There are many clues we can gather if we take a closer look. This […]
The Farmer’s Corner Spring 2019: The Crop Map Editor’s note: Farmer’s Corner is a photo-essay that spotlights the behind-the-scenes of farming from the grower’s vantage point. For this first feature, we focus on the wall-sized map of the Farm Hub that serves as a blueprint for the growing season. This piece is contributed by Jay Goldmark, field crops production […]
Spring research trial continues to seek solutions in combating an Allium-eating pest (Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) The culprit surfaced in the spring of 2018, leaving behind a trail of white dots on the stems of scallions, leeks, and garlic bulbs. Jeff Arnold’s suspicions that the problem was Allium Leafminer, an invasive pest attracted to Allium crops from leeks and […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub participated in Black History Month Kingston, a commemoration celebrating the African-American legacy, this year with “Land in Black Hands” an engaging public discussion held February 17th at The Church House in downtown Kingston. The discussion, guided by Çaca Yvaire, representing Northeast Farmers of Colors Land Trust, drew a standing room only crowd and featured farmers and community activists […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub had a great time connecting with fellow farmers at the RVGA Rondout Valley Growers Association annual dinner on Feb. 28 night. Highlights from the night: Over 90 farmers and stakeholders attended, the biggest RVGA dinner to date NYS Senator Jen Metzger discussed her new role as head of the Ag Committee; Chris Kelder, an RVGA member and […]
The importance of community involvement and cultivating a new generation of black farmers were spotlighted at “The Possibility of Land in Black Hands” held at the Church House in Kingston on February 17. The event was held as part of Black History Month Kingston. The thought-provoking discussion featuring Ed Whitfield of Fund for Democratic Communities, Çaca Yvaire of Northeast Farmers […]
The Farm Hub was pleased to host a 2-day intensive workshop on interpretation for social justice for staff and members of partner organizations.
After a sucessfull season and partnership with the Kingston YMCA Farm Project, the Farm Hub winter market closes for the 2018-2019 season.
The Farm Hub has joined a new coalition of regional organizations launching the Hudson Valley Farmer Training Collaborative. The goal of the Collaborative is to more effectively understand and evaluate the outcomes of current efforts to train new and beginning farmers. In doing so, the Collaborative seeks to have a collective impact in training young farmers to meet the challenges faced […]
Fields of corn husks, maroon-colored ears of corn, coupled with the powerful narrative of Rowen White, a member of the Akwesasne Tribe of Mohawk, captures the opening scene of “Seeds of Hope,” the short documentary which tells the story of the Native American Seed Sanctuary. The Seed Sanctuary is an initiative to preserve Native American culture and foodways through seed […]
The Farm Hub was a sponsor of the annual NOFA-NY (Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York) Winter Conference held in Saratoga Springs from Jan. 18-Jan. 20 in Saratoga Springs, NY. The conference attracted thousands of farmers, gardeners, educators and consumers from across the region. For the Farm Hub, conference highlights included: “Seeds of Hope” screening to a packed audience, staff serving […]
NYS Agricultural Society and Agricultural Commissioner recognize safety initiatives Bilingual safety trainings and an active safety committee comprised of all levels of personnel are only a couple examples of the Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s initiatives to keep people out of harm’s way. Now, the Farm Hub’s efforts are being spotlighted. On January 10 the Farm Hub was awarded the Farm […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub is pleased to announce that Amy Wu has joined the Farm Hub as communications manager. We recently caught up with Amy to learn more about her passion for writing and agriculture and how she came to the Farm Hub. Can you tell us a bit about your background, and how you ended up in the […]
An update on ProFarmer projects As the year winds down, three ProFarmers reflect on their 2018 crop projects. NAILAH MARIE ELLIS – Adventures in Strawberries When it came to choosing a crop for her project, Nailah Marie Ellis picked strawberries because of her passion for small fruit, and because they are perennial. Ellis says the perennial nature of the […]
Researchers tackle potato pest with research trial The Hudson Valley Farm Hub field trial with Cornell University researchers used nematodes (naturally occuring roundworms) to tackle wireworms (the larval stage of the click beetle) has yielded positive results, and inspired researchers to now demo the method on other New York farms. The roots of the trial run back to 2016 when a severe wireworm […]
Lessons learned from small grains trial The Hudson Valley Farm Hub recently marked five years of extensive research on small grain varieties at the farm, with the goal of sharing knowledge with area farmers, and promoting the small grains economy. Since 2013, the Farm Hub has partnered with Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County to gather data […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub donated over 118,000 pounds of produce in 2018 In an effort to improve access to high quality, healthy food, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub donated 118,000 pounds of produce in 2018 to local emergency feeding organizations, such as soup kitchens and food pantries. This year’s bounty included broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and sweet corn during […]
(Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) On a recent weekday, a greenhouse at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub buzzes with activity – chatter, snipping, the whir of heaters. Here in Hurley, it is the start of the winter, remnants of the last snowfall evidence of the season’s shift, but the vegetable crew is hard at work harvesting greens for mixed salad. […]
The Farm Hub staff and partners collected a series of photos that illustrate the beauty and diversity of four seasons.
We are pleased to have welcomed a number of talented new staff members this year in a variety of areas – from field crops production to language programming and communications. It is a pleasure to introduce them! Field Crops Manager Jay Goldmark leads the team that is responsible for field crops production across the farm. The newest addition to our administrative staff, John Murphy, […]
Film spotlights seed preservation by Hudson Valley Farm Hub and Seedshed by Amy Wu/Editor “Seeds of Hope,” the short documentary that highlights the Native American Seed Sanctuary at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, was part of the “Hope on the Hudson” film screening and discussion event held at the Nyack Center in New York on December 5. “Seeds of Hope” […]
Is it possible to renew the local grains economy in the Hudson Valley? If you’re interested in this question, we’re excited to announce that the documentary “Growing with the Grain” is now available online: This short film tells the story of the last five years of small grains research at the Farm Hub and the eleven partners that have collaborated […]
A delegation of Farm Hub team members, including farmworkers, production managers, and staff recently participated in Mohonk Consultation’s conference “Pastures of Plenty? Food, Justice, and Labor in the Hudson Valley.” The conference explored farmworker labor conditions in the Hudson Valley/Catskill region, paths to a just food system, and the role that communities, consumers, and governments play in the lives of […]
In celebration of this year’s Native American Seed Sanctuary harvest, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub is excited to release Seeds of Hope online. This short documentary tells the story of a collaborative initiative to preserve Native American culture and foodways through seed saving at the Farm Hub. The project was formed in 2016 as a partnership between the Akwesasne community […]
On November 10 friends, volunteers, and Farm Hub staff joined representatives from the Akwesasne community and Seedshed for a traditional harvest ceremony to celebrate the third harvest of the Native American Seed Sanctuary. Highlights included corn braiding, bean threshing, and tastings of traditionally prepared corn mush made with corn from the three sisters garden. The Farm Hub is grateful for the […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub and The Kingston YMCA Farm Project are partnering to make fresh produce available to all Kingston residents through the fall and winter months. This new winter market will begin on November 15 and will run every Thursday through the month of January 2019 from 3:30-6:00 pm in the lobby of the Kingston YMCA at 507 […]
“We’ve achieved proof of concept.” To celebrate the last five years of small grains research, the Farm Hub held an event Tuesday recognizing the progress made and the eleven partners in the Hudson Valley that made this project possible. This research aims to determine which varieties of wheat, barley, rye, and oats can be grown in the Hudson Valley organically […]
Over the past two weeks, ProFarmer Andrew Casner donated over 2,200 pounds of Black Futsu squash that he grew as part of his field project. The squash was processed with volunteers from UlsterCorps and the youth crew from the Kingston YMCA Farm Project. The volunteers cut, baked, bagged, and then froze the squash for donation during the winter months! Even the seeds were […]
Farm Hub Director Brooke Pickering-Cole participated in a panel discussion moderated by Carolyn Kormann of The New Yorker with Jen Benson, the Outreach Coordinator for Riverkeeper, and Maija Niemisto, the Education Director for Clearwater. The panel was part of a Hudson River Stories film screening at the Lumberyard in Catskill on October 7. One of the films shown was Seeds of Hope, a short documentary […]
On September 27 Elson Shields and Tony Testa of Cornell University visited the Farm Hub to share research findings on our ongoing nematode research trial with Teresa Rusnik of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program. The focus of the discussion was on the positive results from the trial’s first year: Nematodes have decreased the presence of soil-dwelling […]
Thanks to everyone who came out on September 20 to see the Farm Hub’s native meadow trials. Anne Bloomfield, the Farm Hub’s farmscape ecology coordinator, along with Claudia Knab-Vispo, Erin Allen, and Conrad Vispo of Hawthorne Valley’s Farmscape Ecology Program, led the participants through three kinds of meadows replicated in three locations. Two years since seeding, they also shared research and […]
Thank you to Wild Earth and youth from the Kingston YMCA Farm Project for lending a hand to help us and SEEDSHED at our Native American Seed Sanctuary last week! Mary Arquette, of the Akwesasne community, led a discussion about the Three Sisters Garden and its symbolism and importance as a traditional growing method. For more information about this project, click here.
We can’t help but feel a little proud of our Kernza field. Wes Jackson, the executive director of Kansas-based The Land Institute, recently visited the Farm Hub to see the field and the Kernza’s encouraging progress. This is the second year that we’ve grown Kernza at the Farm Hub, and it will be harvested later this month and sent to the […]
We are pleased to welcome our new field crops production manager, Jay Goldmark. With experience as both a farmer and educator, Jay’s background makes him uniquely equipped for this newly created position at the Farm Hub. Until recently, Jay was based in eastern Washington managing his third-generation family farm, Double J Ranch, where he was instrumental in implementing no-till seeding […]
Thank you so much to all the hardworking students of Pine Bush middle and high school and Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County who volunteered to harvest blueberries yesterday at the Farm Hub! These organic blueberries are being donated to local food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. There are a lot more blueberries to harvest, so if you’re interested, please join us! Volunteer […]
In the spirit of the garlic harvest season, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Vegetable Specialists Crystal Stewart, Teresa Rusinek, and Ethan Grundberg co-hosted an in-field garlic twilight meeting at the Farm Hub. The group presented on fusarium control methods and on effective weed suppression and mulching methods, including black plastic and while plastic mulches compared to straw and bare ground. Thank […]
Farmscape Ecology Coordinator Anne Bloomfield releases 60,000 Trichogramma wasps into the corn field to help reduce the European corn borer population, a common pest in the region that can do significant damage to corn. The release of these wasps is part of the Farm Hub’s Integrated Pest Management strategy.
(Spanish translation to follow/traducción en español abajo) On a cold yet bright mid-winter day, members of the Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s language justice team gathered in the farm’s classroom to discuss efforts to democratize language within the organization and, by extension, shift the team dynamics on the farm. The panelists were: Caitlin- Manager, Organizational Culture and Team Development Eustacio- Vegetable Team Member […]
In the second year of the Farm Hub’s ProFarmer program, farmer trainees develop independent projects around one crop and within a specific area of interest. The purpose is to gain direct experience managing a crop organically, from start to finish, over a growing season. This year, ProFarmers are working with strawberries, squash, and hops—with support from staff and mentors. Each […]
On Friday, April 13, the Farm Hub joined the YMCA Farm Project in Kingston for a volunteer work-day to help build greenhouse tables, prep the garden, and teach students how to use power tools. Together with the Farm Project’s education director, Susan Hereth, and eight student workers, the team pitched in to kick off the YMCA’s fifth growing season and […]
On Wednesday, March 28, an enthusiastic audience of over 200 gathered at the Senate Garage in Kingston for the debut screening of “Seeds of Hope,” a short documentary that tells the story of a collaborative initiative to preserve Native American culture and foodways through seed saving at the Farm Hub. The project was formed in 2016 as a partnership between […]
Seeds of Hope Wednesday, March 28, 2018 The Senate Garage 4 N. Front St. Kingston 6:30 PM Join the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Seedshed, and Oceans 8 Films at the Senate Garage in Kingston, NY on March 28th at 6:30 PM for a screening of Seeds of Hope! This short documentary film tells the story of a collaborative initiative to preserve […]
This past December, second year ProFarmer, Jayne Henson, traveled to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes to help farmers rebuild and prepare for the challenges ahead. Below is a firsthand account of Jayne’s experience. In early September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the coast of Puerto Rico, leaving over one million people without electricity. Less than two weeks […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub is now seeking to fill the full-time position of ProFarmer In-Field Education Manager. As a part of the leadership team at the Farm Hub, the In-Field Education Manager will be responsible for in-field instruction, mentoring, and the daily supervision of ProFarmer trainees, who are full-time, year-round Farm Hub employees. He/she will be instrumental in furthering […]
On October 26, the eve of the harvest for the Native American Seed Sanctuary at the Farm Hub, core project members came together to speak to the community about the significance of seeds in indigenous culture, the burgeoning seed sovereignty movement, and the Seed Sanctuary as a manifestation of both. Over 100 people gathered in the front room of the […]
Contributed by Farm Hub Farmscape Ecology Coordinator Anne Bloomfield I’m standing in a hayfield in May. Listening. Turning my head into the wind, I close my eyes and try to make out a distant song. Then, as if on cue, there it is. One day earlier than last year. It’s the song of the Bobolink, a grassland bird with a […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub is a proud supporter of the following event. For more information, visit SeedShed. Planting Sacred Seeds in a Modern World: Restoring Indigenous Seed Sovereignty with Rowen White, Mohawk Seed Keeper and Indigenous Seed Food Sovereignty Activist Thursday, October 26, 2017 7:00pm 8:30pm Marbletown Community Center 3564 Main St, Stone Ridge, NY 12484 Through her work […]
Farms are shaped as much by the interests of individual farmers as they are by climate and soil. The Farm Hub is offering farmer trainees the opportunity to pursue these interests while still in training in a supportive environment. As a ProFarmer completes year-one of the program, he or she works with staff to design an individual project for the […]
What’s happening at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub? Now in its fourth season, the Farm Hub is growing up in more ways than one, with a range of activities geared towards our vision for a resilient food system. Cover crops are essential agricultural tools for increasing biological activity and water retention in the soil, mitigating erosion, controlling pests, and increasing […]
This summer, the Farm Hub teamed up with the UlsterCorps Farm to Food Pantry Program volunteers to provide freshly picked blueberries to Hudson Valley residents in need. “We didn’t want our surplus of blueberries to go to waste because, first of all, they’re delicious and nutritious,” says Jeff Scott, the Farm Hub’s marketing and logistics coordinator. “And, second, it’s important for […]
Ecological farming methods such as the use of cover crops can provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds while restoring soil health. The Hudson Valley Farm Hub is working with the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation on two multi-year trials—the Native Meadow Trial and the Wet Meadow Trial—in an effort to study the effects of […]
During the growing season, Farm Hub visitors are likely to find agricultural educators walking the fields, making observations, and taking soil and crop samples. In the four years since its founding, the Farm Hub has hosted annual field trials in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). These trials are tailored […]
On June 1st, Brooke Pickering-Cole assumed the role of interim director of the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. The transition in leadership comes as the Farm Hub and the Local Economies Project teams have grown into two separate programs. Farm Hub operations and programming will be overseen by Brooke as interim director, along with the senior management team, which includes Eddie […]
On June 12, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County welcomed distillers, brewers, bakers, farmers, and other stakeholders at the Fifth Annual Hudson Valley Small Grains Day. The event featured viewings of the small grains variety plots, including winter and spring wheat, winter and spring barley, rye, oats, and spelt. Cornell University’s Dr. Mark Sorrells and […]
Lindsey Shute is the co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). Headquartered in the Hudson Valley, NYFC campaigns on behalf of young and beginning farmers across the country. New farmers face a unique set of challenges like the high cost of farmland, student debt, and complex regulations. Through community building, mentoring, and advocacy, Shute and NYFC work to empower […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub is pleased to announce that Jeff Arnold has joined the Farm Hub as the Production Manager. A New York native, Arnold comes to the Farm Hub with experience as a vegetable farmer for Thanksgiving Farm in Harris and as a field manager for Hearty Roots Community Farm in Germantown. Arnold will lead the day-to-day operational activities of […]
Farmers donated over 11 million pounds of food in 2016 in New York State. In the Hudson Valley, charitable and community organizations depend on these donations to stock their year-round pantries. However, these donations often come with costs to the farmers themselves. “There is widespread need for fresh fruits and vegetables in New York’s food emergency system,” explains Susan Zimet […]
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub is pleased to announce a partnership with The Land Institute, a Kansas-based non-profit dedicated to researching sustainable agriculture. The Land Institute’s development of Kernza, a distant cousin to agricultural wheat, could have a significant ecological impact. “It’s an exciting time for the Farm Hub to be involved,” says Elizabeth Haucke, president of Plovgh, an agriculture coordinator […]
On January 28, KingstonCitizens.org hosted a public forum at Kingston City Hall on the potential impact of the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines in Ulster County. The Hudson Valley Farm Hub was a proud co-sponsor of the event. The Farm Hub’s Associate Director of Community Relations Brooke-Pickering Cole also spoke at the event (see statement below). Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC has proposed building two pipelines, […]
We are pleased to introduce Andrew Casner, Nailah Marie Ellis, Jesus Gonzalez, Jayne Henson, and Briana Quinn, five exceptional young farmers who have been selected to enter the Farm Hub’s ProFarmer Program this spring. Under the direction of Jean-Paul Courtens, the Farm Hub’s associate director for farmer training, they will be joining ProFarmers Jess Clancy, Jesse Goldfarb, and Andrew Pezzulo, […]
Insects are vital to the maintenance of a vibrant, diverse ecology and contribute to soil and crop health. Yet, due to habitat loss, invasive species, and pesticide use, invertebrate populations are in sharp decline. Solutions to the situation are being sought through the ways in which farmers and private landowners manage their lands. Because crop health is strongly linked to surrounding landscapes via […]
National Geographic Recognizes Farm Hub for Environmental Stewardship The December issue of National Geographic magazine recognizes the Farm Hub and Ulster County for their environmental stewardship. As part of a full-color map called “Dreaming Big,” the magazine highlights many of the organizations and projects that, together, make the county a leader in environmental conservation, alternative energy, and outdoor recreation. It also focuses on […]
Throughout the 1800s, small grains like wheat, rye, and barley were big business in the Hudson Valley, feeding a hungry market of bakers, brewers, and distillers in New York City. The development of the Erie Canal and railroads in the first half of the 19th century put New York grain farmers in direct competition with those in the Midwest, and in […]
A seed harvesting workshop with Farm Hub staff, field crew members, and volunteers.
This year, the Farm Hub once again conducted trials on root vegetable varieties that are widely grown in the Hudson Valley. Because root vegetables store well, crops like carrots and beets can provide farmers with a source of revenue after the growing season is over. Building upon the information gleaned from last year’s trials, the Farm Hub partnered with Crystal […]
Integral to the Farm Hub’s mission is a commitment to testing promising new vegetables and grains through field trials tailored to Hudson Valley conditions. The lessons learned can be shared with local farmers so they can benefit from our observations before taking the risks involved in trying out new growing methods and working with unfamiliar crops. As part of this […]
Healthy soil grows healthy crops. Though this seems straightforward, many farmers have long diagnosed soil health chiefly by the presence or absence of a handful of simple basic nutrients: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. If the levels got too low, farmers typically added them using natural or processed fertilizers. Problem solved, right? Not necessarily. As shown through recent soil tests and […]
One of the most exciting projects to take root at the Farm Hub this season is the Native American Seed Sanctuary. Here on our northernmost plot of farmland bordering the Esopus Creek near Kingston, we are growing Native American varieties of corn, beans, squash and sunflowers for the purpose of providing education, seed saving, and, by extension, helping to preserve […]
Walking through a waist-high field of rye with buckets, shovels, and a measuring contraption called a “penetrometer,” the Farm Hub ProFarmer trainees set out in the rain last week to take soil samples from fields across the farm. Led by Conrad Vispo from the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program, our ProFarmers, Jess, Andrew, and Jesse, joined members of the Farm […]
Each spring there is a narrow window when asparagus can be planted. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, it can be impossible to plant as much as a crop plan might demand. In an effort to become more efficient with our asparagus planting, our team took some time over the winter to develop a new asparagus planter with the goal of […]
It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the selection of our first cohort of ProFarmer trainees: Jess Clancy, Jesse Goldfarb, and Andrew Pezzullo. The ProFarmer trainees will make up a cohort that includes experienced crew members at the farm, some of whom have worked on the Farm Hub land for as many as twenty years. Through day-to-day training activities […]
It is a common misconception that all birds fly south for the winter. In reality, winter offers the unique opportunity to see certain species of birds that only spend the colder months in our area. Winter in the Hudson Valley brings a timely succession of sparrows, waterfowl, raptors, and other birds that spend the warmer months of the breeding season […]
At the end of the fall, as the last of the harvest comes in and the days start getting shorter, work on the farm shifts into a lower gear. “Winter is a much calmer time of year for us,” Farm Hub Associate Director Jean-Paul Courtens told us recently. “Unlike the busy schedule demanded by the growing season, these months allow us to […]
From time to time during the growing season, Ken Greene and colleagues from the Hudson Valley Seed Library could be seen walking through Farm Hub fields off Hurley Mountain Road, checking on rows of meticulously planted squash and broccoli. What was the “Seed Squad” doing at the Farm Hub? Because certain vegetables can easily cross-pollinate with other varieties of the […]
On a clear day in late September Cornell University researchers returned to the Farm Hub’s northernmost fields to plant a series of carefully selected winter grains. The planting activity, the last of the 2015 growing season, marked the end of the second year for our small grains field trials, a multi-year collaboration between the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Cornell University’s […]
We are now accepting applications for our 2016 ProFarmer Training Program. The ProFarmer Program is a multi-year residential training program for those with farming experience who aspire to obtain professional farm management positions or to own and operate their own farm enterprises in the Hudson Valley. ProFarmer trainees are on the farm full-time year-round and work under the mentorship of […]
On the evening of August 20th Hudson Valley farmers gathered with vegetable specialists at the Farm Hub for an evening centered around tomatoes being grown as part of a variety trial. Coordinated by Teresa Rusinek of Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program, the trial is part of an ongoing breeding program to develop tomato lines with […]
On Saturday July 25th, farmers from across the Hudson Valley gathered at the Farm Hub for an afternoon dedicated to demonstrating innovative cultivation equipment in action on the farm’s expansive vegetable fields. Weed control for commercial scale farming was the theme of the event which, free and open to all farmers, was held in collaboration with CCE’s Eastern New York […]
On July 25, the Farm Hub will host the first annual Eastern New York Equipment Demonstration Day, organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, and the Local Economies Project. The Farm Hub is committed to training a new generation of farmers and to providing continuing education for established farmers working in the Hudson Valley. On Saturday […]
Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Wholesale Producer Readiness Program for the Hudson Valley is offering a workshop at CCE-Ulster County in Kingston on June 29 on growing for wholesale markets. The Hudson Valley Wholesale Producer Readiness Program is sponsored by LEP with support from CCE – Orange County, Cornell National GAPs program, the Produce Safety Alliance, Cornell University, and New York State Department of Agriculture […]
The Farm Stand opens for its 2015 season today. Seven days a week from 9am to 6pm the Farm Stand offers great fresh produce grown on the Farm Hub alongside other local food products. “The Farm Stand is a great place to learn more about what’s going on at the Farm Hub this season and to purchase produce grown on the […]
The Farm Stand on Route 209 in Hurley will be opening for the 2015 season on Wednesday, June 17th. This season, the Farm Stand will be open seven days a week, from 9am to 6pm through the month of October. Once again, the Farm Stand will feature a wide variety of fresh produce grown at the Farm Hub, as well […]
Engaging the Community At the end of April, more than 125 community members joined us on the SUNY Ulster campus for an evening presentation and panel discussion on the Local Economies Project (LEP) and the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. Brooke Pickering-Cole, Manager of Community Relations at LEP, opened the presentation with a warm welcome before introducing Bob Dandrew, LEP’s Director. Bob […]
Join us for a presentation on the Hudson Valley Farm Hub & our regional food system initiatives. Thursday, April 30th 6:30 – 8:30pm. SUNY Ulster, Vanderlyn Hall Student Lounge, Stone Ridge, NY. Information: Local Economies Project supporting the Hudson Valley regional food system. The Farm Hub’s transition from private farm to non-profit center for farmer training and research. The 2015 growing season at the Farm Hub. Conversation: Meet the Farm […]
Mohonk Consultations Forum: “The Challenges Facing Existing Family Farms” When: Sunday, April 12th at 3:00pm – 6:00pm Where: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York Consultations invites the public to register for their annual Spring Forum entitled “The Challenges Facing Existing Family Farms” on Sunday, April 12th at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. The forum, presented in collaboration […]
Through a grant from Local Economies Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension is now offering training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) at locations across the Hudson Valley. The next two-day training workshop will take place in Millbrook at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County on March 9th and 10th, 2015. With new and complex regulations governing farm products, understanding food safety requirements […]
Local Economies Project and the Hudson Valley Farm Hub are pleased to announce that Jean-Paul Courtens has joined the Hudson Valley Farm Hub as Associate Director for Farmer Training. Jean-Paul is the founder and owner of Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, New York, a 375-acre organic and biodynamic farm and one of the largest community supported agriculture programs in the region. […]
John Gill, Farm Manager of the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, and Jean-Paul Courtens, owner of Roxbury Farms, were honored this month with Glynwood’s 2014 Harvest Award, in recognition of spearheading a pioneering farming partnership to establish sustainable agricultural production at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. John and Jean-Paul are part of LEP’s Farm Hub team, which has been leading the […]