In Brief: Spring 2021



On the farm…

Tim Bogart and Sarah Groat join the Farm Hub
We recently welcomed two new farm mechanics to our farm operations team. Tim is a native of Stone Ridge and grew up working on tractors and vehicles. He comes to us from Hasbrouck Farm where he worked for the past 15 years. Sarah, who joined us in March, has had her own farm equipment repair business serving the Hudson Valley region. She led a tractor intensive workshop for female farmers that we hosted at the Farm Hub last fall.

How do you grow beans? A short video
To support our urban agriculture partner in Kingston, Land to Learn, we made a two-minute video for children about how dry beans are produced at our farm. The video features Sara Katz, program manager for agriculture education, and our farmers Andrew Casner and Jaime Villegas. The recording will be used in remote lessons for K-2 students who, in a normal school year, would be growing food themselves in a gardening program. The video focuses on one of the ingredients of nachos, as a way to help children discover where our food comes from. Enjoy Dried Beans for Nachos here.


Vermont Compost trial
What are the effects of different organic fertility treatments on broccoli? Our vegetable production team is engaged in an observational trial in which we’ve been comparing fertility treatments in broccoli growth. The treatments include two different kinds of manure-based compost and a third plot of broccoli that will be planted into a field where a leguminous cover crop provided the only additional fertility. “Typically on our veggies we employ at least two of these treatments at the same time, and sometimes all three. This is a simple and fun comparison to see what differences show up in the broccoli with each treatment.” says Jeff Arnold, vegetable production manager.


Off the farm…

Language Justice sponsors certificate program
Our Language Justice Program sponsored a translation training for members of the community who are already engaged in translation work. Those selected for the program completed a 40-hour translation certificate course organized by the National Center for Interpretation at the University of Arizona. The program is part of the Language Justice program’s goal to foster a workforce of professional translators in agriculture and other industries in the region. We will feature portraits of three of the participants in our next newsletter.


Teaching youth about language justice
Members of the Kingston YMCA Farm Project’s youth crew will participate in a five week workshop series that focuses on language justice and how it relates to their lives and their community. The educational series is being created and led by our Language Justice team, which provides translation and interpretation work at the Farm Hub. The workshop culminates in a final project in which participants will make and share a creative work such as a piece of art or writing, that connects with language justice.


Youth Cookbook
Our vegetables were used in the Kingston YMCA Farm Project’s cookbook project in which youth have try their hand at cooking and sharing their dishes. The project was led by Julia Turshen a cookbook author based in Ulster County who shared the idea with the Kingston YMCA Farm Project.

“I was so impressed with everything they do. I think what they do is such as amazing model for other communities,” says Turshen.

Here’s how the cookbook project worked: Turshen assigns a recipe a week (often created from the available produce), the teens who are part of the Kingston YMCA Farm Project receive the already packed ingredients with instructions, make the recipes, and share their dishes virtually. The recipes are being collected for a self-published bilingual cookbook which will include original artwork by the young people in the program. There are plans to use the forthcoming cookbook for fundraising and to distribute it throughout Kingston and communities beyond. 

“I think it’s a way to celebrate what they do, tell their stories and also try to share some really tangible ideas of what to cook with and what they grow, and share this with as wide an audience as possible,” says Turshen of the youth. Click here for the Youth Crew Ultimate Salad Recipe.


Winter farm stand
For the third year in a row we partnered with the Kingston YMCA Farm Project on the winter farm stand. The stand ran from November through end of February on Thursdays at the YMCA of Kingston & Ulster County and featured Farm Hub produce. New additions this past year included a range of radishes, turnips, Kabocha melons and all-purpose flour from grains grown on the farm.  To learn more about the Kingston YMCA Farm Project click here

“The highlight of this year’s farm stand was being able to offer this beautiful, nutrient dense produce in a safe shopping environment and at very reasonable prices. Customers have been thrilled to be able to purchase local flour and now local beans in addition to the vegetables,” says KayCee Wimbish the Farm Project’s director.


On Zoom:  Farm Hub staff featured as guest speakers

“Farmscape Ecology” Film Screenings
This winter there were several screenings of “Farmscape Ecology,” a short film that tells the story of the research work conducted under the Farm Hub’s Applied Farmscape Ecology Program.  In March the film was presented as part of the 9th annual film and discussion series hosted by Woodstock Land Conservancy, Woodstock NY Transition and the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. The event included an introduction by the Farm Hub’s director Brooke Pickering-Cole, followed by a Q&A and discussion with Farm Hub’s Applied Farmscape Ecology Program Manager Anne Bloomfield, Jay Goldmark the Field Crops Production Manager and Conrad and Claudia Vispo of Hawthorne Valley’s Farmscape Ecology Program.  In February the Town of Rochester’s Environmental Conservation Commission hosted a screening and discussion as part of their monthly Nature Series. The film was also featured as part of the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

To watch the March 29 screening and discussion as hosted by the Woodstock Land Conservancy click here


Celebrating Black History Month
We partnered with some amazing community organizations to celebrate Black History Month in February. We worked with Celebrating the African Spirit, a non-profit based in Poughkeepsie, NY, to organize events that were held virtually via Zoom. Dr. Jessica Harris, a renowned food historian and author, gave a lecture entitled, “Links in the Chain: Some Connections Between African & African American Foodways,” which used words and pictures to explore the culinary connections between the African continent and the Western Hemisphere. We also hosted cooking demos featuring Chef Brandon Walker of Essie’s Restaurant in Poughkeepsie and Chefs Tamika and Martin Dunkley from Seasoned Delicious Foods in Saugerties. Click here to watch Brandon Walker’s demo and here to view Chefs Tamika and Martin Dunkley’s demo.


To read In Brief: Fall 2020 click here.