Securing fresh food and our region’s heritage by protecting nearly 20,000 acres of farmland on more than 135 family farms since 1992.
Farms are part of the Hudson Valley’s DNA. Native Americans grew corn, beans and squash in its fields. During the American Revolution, it was the breadbasket of the 13 colonies.
Today, the valley’s family farms, some dating back three centuries, feed Hudson Valley residents and are also part of New York City’s “foodshed.” Like a watershed, which outlines how water drains into a specific geographic area, a foodshed illustrates where a region’s food supply originates and where it goes.
To meet the growing demand throughout the region for fresh, local food, Scenic Hudson partners with farmers to conserve their fields and orchards — enabling them to grow their operations, sustaining the agricultural economies of rural communities, supporting the growing agri-tourism and farm-to-table movements, and maintaining an essential part of our region’s heritage and scenic beauty.
To achieve our successes, we also depend on support from fellow land trusts as well as state and federal funding. Since 1992, we have conserved 18,000 acres on more than 125 family farms in six counties. We pioneered a “critical-mass” approach — conserving clusters of farms in communities whose prosperity depends on agriculture.
In addition, we have developed an innovative, collaborative strategy, a foodshed conservation plan to ramp up farmland protection in the region, critical for meeting the growing demand for healthy, local food. And we’re currently exploring ways to encourage farmers across the valley to embrace regenerative agriculture — methods that not only reduce a farm’s carbon footprint but make its soils more productive and climate-resilient.
To verify the ecological and climate impacts of regenerative farming, we continue collaborating in research at the Scenic Hudson Soil Lab on Old Mud Creek Farm in Livingston in Columbia County. Abby Rockefeller, who worked with us to protect the farm in 2015, founded this visionary project with Benjamin Banks-Dobson.
Learn more about this type of farming and how we’re supporting it in our report, The Climate-Resilient Agriculture Initiative: Cultivating Climate Solutions in the Hudson Valley.