LEP & Farm Hub E-News Spring 2016
  • Farm Stand Opens for the Season
  • Welcome Eddie Clevenger
  • 2016 Farmer Events at the Farm Hub
  • Collaborating to Fight Food Insecurity
  • ProFarmer: An Innovative Curriculum
  • What's Growing on the Farm?
  • Farming and the New Economy

Farm Stand Opens June 8!

The Farm Stand on Route 209 in Hurley will be opening for the 2016 season on Wednesday, June 8th.

Open seven days a week, from 9am to 6pm, the Farm Stand features a wide variety of fresh produce grown at the Farm Hub, as well as locally produced goods from the Hudson Valley such as honey, maple syrup, yogurt, cheese, juices, teas, baked goods, and local grains. Everyone is encouraged to stop by and learn about the Farm Hub and LEP's work supporting the regional food system in collaboration with regional partner organizations.  

Visit the Farm Hub website for details. We look forward to seeing you there!

Eddie Clevenger Joins the Farm Hub Team 

The Farm Hub added an important new member to its team this spring when Eddie Clevenger became the new Farm Manager.

Eddie has been farming his whole life. "I began farming with our family farm and apple and peach orchard," he told us on his first day. "Throughout my career I’ve been involved in every aspect of farming from mechanic to manager. I’ve started farms from the ground up and managed farms with as few as 120 diversified acres to larger operations with almost 2,000 acres." 

Eddie comes to the Farm Hub from Fishkill Farms, a 100 acre organic farm in Hopewell Junction, NY, but his farming experience extends well beyond the Hudson Valley.  In fact, he has managed farms in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. Growing vegetables, fruits, and grains in a variety of climates has given him an in-depth knowledge of how to integrate ecological farming practices into all kinds of large-scale farm operations.

"I'm excited about this opportunity and the chance to work at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub with a group of like-minded individuals," Eddie said. "I look forward to working with the team and sharing with them, as well as learning more to help guide the next generation of farmers." 

2016 Farmer Events at the Farm Hub

In 2016 we will continue to welcome farmers for on-site discussions and demonstrations. These field days and twilight meetings are an invaluable way for farmers to participate in and learn about the resilient practices we are using on the farm.  For 2016, we are planning events on the following topics:

  • No-Till Organic Soybeans (May 31)
  • Small Grains Field Day (June 15)
  • Tomato Varieties* 
  • Edamame* 
  • Farm Equipment*
  • Root Crops*

We hope that many area farmers will join us, as together we continue to build a collaborative and inspired learning community in Hudson Valley agriculture.

*These events will take place August - October. Visit our website for meeting dates and times as they are scheduled.

Collaborating to Fight Food Insecurity

Seven years ago, a forum on food insecurity at the Mohonk Mountain House brought together the executive directors of Family of Woodstock and the Rondout Valley Growers Association (RVGA). That meeting, between an organization that works with the food insecure and an organization that works with farmers, marked the beginning of a partnership that today is making a difference in the Hudson Valley by bringing fresh local food where it is needed most.

This year, with the opening of food distribution centers across the Ulster County, connections between farmers and the food insecure are being streamlined in an innovative new way...


Photo: SUNY New Paltz Students gleaning apples for Ulster Corps at Liberty View Farm
Photo Courtesy of Ulster Corps

ProFarmer: An Innovative Curriculum to Train Tomorrow's Farmers

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 recently 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 Hub staff dug and mixed samples from each field.  They then plotted the site’s location using GPS and measured soil compaction with the penetrometer.

As part of an ongoing soil-monitoring program that will track the impact of the Farm Hub’s ecological farming methods over the long term, ten samples were taken from each of one hundred fields over the course of two weeks. One of many projects the ProFarmers have jumped into since arriving at the Farm Hub in early April, the soil sampling is typical of the ProFarmer program’s approach: project-based learning centered around the ecological health of the farm in the context of LEP’s larger vision for the Hudson Valley food system.


What's Growing on the Farm?

The 2016 growing season marks the launch of the Farm Hub’s ProFarmer Training Program, and this year’s crop plan is reflective of our newest educational initiatives and our commitment to demonstrating ecological farming practices. Many of this year’s activities, from soil restoration and weed control to vegetable wholesale training and market research, will provide opportunities for farmers to visit, engage in our work, and learn about organic growing methods and land management tools being implemented at the Farm Hub.


Farming and the New Economy  

LEP Director Bob Dandrew brought our vision for a resilient Hudson Valley food system to the Ulster County Office of Economic Development's “Building Ulster County Together” breakfast on April 27th.  Bob shared the Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s model of linking farmers with processors and distributors to build and grow locally-owned and sustainable businesses.

“Farms are doing extraordinary jobs,” County Executive Mike Hein said in his opening remarks, observing that the agricultural sector is a $500 million industry for Ulster County. “Farming is neck and neck with tourism as the largest grower of economic development in our community, so it’s critically important.”

Video Clip: Watch Bob Dandrew speaking at the Ulster County Office of Economic Development

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