Producing a wide range of diversified vegetables on around 30 acres each year, the growing season is a balance between the sustenance that the land can provide for us and what we can give back to the land.
An intensive cover crop rotation and reduced tillage approach helps build organic matter. Generous compost additions help nurture biological activity back to the soil. Our reduced tillage initiatives are working to preserve our most valuable resource – the soil. And each year the land gives back to us hundreds of thousands of pounds of produce, the majority of which is used to supply local produce and value-added goods within the local emergency feeding system. In addition, our 24,000 square feet of greenhouse space also provides the community with fresh greens all winter long.
Vegetable distribution at the Farm Hub doesn’t end when the short days and cold temperatures set in. In fact, about half of the produce we grow is distributed between November and March. Much of our growing season is spent tending to the crops that will be harvested in the fall, stored in our wash and pack facility, and distributed during these winter months when growing food outdoors is not possible.
Field Crops Production
In the field crops rotation, wheat, dry beans, grain corn, soybeans, peas, and cover crops are systematically moved across 800-hundred acres of our farmland each year.
Using soil-improving no-till methods, approximately 25% of these crops are planted into rolled and crimped cover crops, with that number increasing each year. We hope to have half of the field crops acreage under no-till production by 2024.
After harvest, the field crops are cleaned and stored in our granary facility, before being distributed to one of our partner organizations within the region. Much of the wheat and grain corn are milled locally into flour or cornmeal by our partner organization Milestone Mill; the popcorn is used to produce BjornQorn, a Hudson Valley popcorn product; the dry beans are donated into the regional emergency feeding system or sold to buyers within New York state; and the grain corn, peas, and soybeans are used to produce organic animal feed that is produced and sold here in the Hudson Valley.
The Farm Hub is United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic through NOFA-NY.