Farm Food Directory

To support farmers, we’ve created a list of farms where you can purchase fresh vegetables and other produce. Most of these family operations have partnered with us in the past to permanently conserve their productive lands — so in good times and bad, it will be available to supply us with healthy food.

Columbia County Farms
Borough Mushroom Farm
Chaseholm Farm
Pine Plains
beef, pork, dairy, cheese, yogurt
Cheval Farmstead Dairy & Provisions
cheese, meat, meals to go
Deep Roots Farm
produce, potted plants, eggs, honey
Dirty Dog Farm
beef, chicken
Gansvoort Farm
lamb, sheep pelts, wool comforters
Hawthorne Valley Farm
CSA share, cheese, yogurt, bread, baked goods, fermented products
Hearty Roots Community Farm
produce, milk, cheese, pork, eggs, grocery items, bread, baked goods
Hudson Valley CSA Coalition
vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, dairy, grains, flowers
Letterbox Farm Collective
vegetables, pork, chicken, rabbit, eggs
Meisner's Heritage Farm
produce, pies, meat, baked goods, vegetables, apple cider donuts, eggs, cheese, bread, soup, frozen products, honey, jam, jelly
MX Morningstar Farm
vegetables, dairy, bread, eggs, meat, grains
Pleroma Farm
Ronnybrook Farm
The Chatham Berry Farm LLC
hydroponic greens, berries, meat, fish, dairy, grocery items
The Farm at Miller’s Crossing
vegetables, beef, maple syrup & products
Tiny Hearts Farm
produce, flowers
Vosburgh Orchard
fruits, flowers
Walt's Dairy
dairy, cheese
Dutchess County Farms
Bear Creek Farm
Iceland poppies, West Country lupines, peonies, fritillaria persica, dahlias, toad lilies, Japanese anemones, triticale, barley
Brookby Farm Market
Dover Plains
raw milk, cheese, eggs, fresh produce, meats, cleaners, paper products, bread, chocolate
Dutchess Creamery
Red Hook
Fishkill Farms
Hopewell Junction
apples, organic eggs, produce, seeds, grocery items, baked goods, beer, butter, cheese
Gem Farms Buffalo
buffalo, buffalo leather, shoulder mounts, gifts
Harlem Valley Homestead
pastured beef, pork, eggs, vegetables, jam, fruit, flour, cheese, hand sanitizer
Hudson Valley Mushrooms
Log-grown shiitake mushrooms
Mead Orchards
apples, cider, honey, berries
Meadowland Farm
Clinton Corners
vegetables, flowers, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs
Migliorelli Farm
vegetables, fruits, fresh frozen pastas, local cheeses, local mushrooms, grocery items
Northwind Farms
beef, poultry, pork, smoked meats, sausage
Rock Steady Farm
vegetables, flowers
Ronnybrook Farm
milk, ice cream, yogurt, creme fraiche
Rose Hill Farm
Red Hook
cherries, blueberries, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, apples
Sawkill Farms
Red Hook
beef, lamb, pork, eggs, chicken, yarn, leather goods, soap
SPACE on Ryder Farm
Orange County Farms
Edgwick Farm
pasteurized goat milk, raw goat milk, goat cheeses
Jones Farm
baked goods, grocery items, gifts
Lowland Farm
grass-fed beef, pastured pork, grass-fed lamb
Overlook Orchards
local eggs, honey, bread, fruits, vegetables, salad greens
Rise And Root Farm
herbs, vegetables
Rooted Family Farm
salad greens, vegetables
The Farmer's Daughter
bread, milk, grocery items
Wood Thrush Farm
salad greens
Putnam County Farms
Longhaul Farm
pork, chicken, pasture raised eggs
Rensselaer County Farms
GEM Farms Buffalo
beef, buffalo
Laughing Earth Farm
eggs, honey, vegetables, sausage, bacon
St. Croix Farm
Valley Falls
Pastured beef, pastured pork, eggs
Ulster County Farms
Davenport Farms
Stone Ridge
vegetables, grocery items, beef, cheese, bread, gourmet foods, apples, pumpkins, gourds, coffee, soup, baked goods
Deer Creek Collective Herb Farm
herbs, medicinal herbs, CBD hemp, teas
produce, cheese, beef, chicken, CBD hemp, herbs
Grassroots Farm
Stone Ridge
100% grass-fed beef
Greymouse Farm
fruits, jams & Preserves
Jenkins and Lueken Orchards
New Paltz
apples, cider, honey, maple syrup & products, vegetables, beef, chicken, fish, grocery items, milk, eggs, baked goods, nuts
Kelder's Farm
vegetables, fruits, flowers, maple syrup & products, grocery items, grass-fed beef, chicken, bacon, bread
Pavero Apples
Seed Song Farm
CSA share, herbs, berries, forest products, vegetables
Solid Ground Farm
CSA share, vegetables
Westchester County Farms
Stuart's Fruit Farm
Granite Springs
apples, flowers, baked goods, produce

Note to farmers: We did our best to include all of our farm partners offering direct-to-consumer produce. If we omitted your farm, please let us know using this form and we’ll add you to the list ASAP.

Solar Meets Sheep (and Bees, and More)

The second word in “solar farm” can sound like a misnomer. Often solar panels sit on former agricultural land, but aren’t what we’d otherwise think of as a farm.

Agrivoltaics aims to change that by hosting PV panels and agriculture on the exact same land. Often, livestock like sheep graze under the solar panels. Sometimes the projects include pollinator habitat as well, which can benefit biodiversity, honey production or adjacent pollinator-dependent crops. And trials are being done growing shaded crops under raised panels, too.

Sheep graze among solar panels in Central New York (Photo: American Solar Grazing Association)

The agrivoltaics concept — also called dual-use solar, or when livestock are involved, solar grazing — is being successfully expanded elsewhere. That includes in our neighborhood of the Northeast (Massachusetts, the Finger Lakes). While it isn’t yet being done at scale in the Hudson Valley, for a range of reasons, interest among farmers and developers is growing.

“When solar’s done right, it can contribute to farm viability. It benefits biodiversity, it benefits pollinators — these larger goals of conservation are coming together,” says Lexie Hain, co-founder of the American Solar Grazing Association. “I’m hopeful this is beginning of a revolution of intelligent co-design.”

The association, formed in rural Ithaca in 2018, has been expanding. Hain has spoken at conferences as nearby as Albany, last January, and as far away (at least virtually) as Europe this fall. She’s aware that land values and terrain are different in the Finger Lakes than near the Hudson River, and that viewsheds are parsed carefully here, too. But she says, “I would love to see it happen in the Hudson Valley. I’m not going to rule it out.”

In some corners of the valley, finding shepherds close enough to a solar project to viably transport sheep from their home farm is the challenge. Nexamp is a developer with community solar arrays in the valley. It currently grazes 2 solar sites in New York State. The advantages to developers like Nexamp can be big: fewer panels damaged by rocks and mowers, reduced vegetation maintenance costs, and more community acceptance.

A sheep arrives to graze a solar site in Central New York (Photo: American Solar Grazing Association)

Next year the company will expand to grazing 12 N.Y. grazing projects, communication manager Keith Hevenor says — but none are local. “For us it’s really about finding the appropriate local farmer who’s willing and able to travel within the distance required,” Hevenor says. “It’s really just a proximity thing.”

Geographic tools have been developed to help it happen. The American Solar Grazing Association recently launched a kind of “matchmaking” tool to help sheep farmers find nearby solar developers, and vice versa.

Scenic Hudson, for its part, is eager to see agrivoltaics emerge as a win-win solution in carefully sited projects. The organization’s Solar Mapping Tool and Renewable Energy Siting Guide provide guidance for bringing it along. “These kinds of techniques can be a real solution and align agricultural policy with renewable energy policy,” says Audrey Friedrichsen, land use and environmental advocacy attorney at Scenic Hudson. “We want to see the transition to renewable energy accelerated with smart planning, because climate change is the issue of our time.”

Despite the delay compared to other areas from North Carolina to Illinois, agricultural observers like Sam Calhoun, FARM Program associate at the Columbia Land Conservancy, believe agrivoltaics is coming our way. The conservancy recently held a Solar Grazing webinar that attracted 25 participants interested in learning what the concept was all about.

“We’re aware of this and looking at it as something we’re going to be seeing more of,” Calhoun says. “We’re trying to stay ahead of it rather than having to play catch-up.”

Lynn Freehill-Maye is managing editor of Scenic Hudson’s HV Viewfinder. She is also a Hudson Valley-based sustainability writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Scientific American, Sierra, Civil Eats, CityLab, Modern Farmer and beyond.

Grow Black Hudson Cultivates Gardeners of Color

Amid the brick and brownstone homes of Hudson, Nkoula Badila is teaching fellow residents within the city’s communities of color to sow seeds of green.

After launching a GoFundMe campaign in June, Badila’s community gardening initiative, Grow Black Hudson, shot past the initial $10,000 funding goal within 6 days. It amassed an extra $3,000 that’ll let organizers gather more supplies, plants and seeds. Thanks to this funding, plus in-kind donations, Badila and fellow community members have already set up up 17 raised-bed gardens and a handful of potted ones, with more to come. 

Nkoula Badila. Courtesy Grow Black Hudson.

Each extra dollar will help them operate beyond the next couple of growing seasons until they can become a nonprofit. The extra funding also helped cover the cost of acquiring the group’s car for transporting items.

Along with giving her another chance to indulge her lifelong love of nature, Badila rejoices at the pride felt by first-time growers — especially children — when they watch their tiny green sprouts develop into fresh tomatoes, ears of corn and other produce. She’s keeping things as broad as possible by introducing variety through veggies like kale, beets and eggplants, and fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

“It’s always like, ‘Oh word, you’re growing that [plant] right there! That’s gonna come through and then you can cook it,’ you know? We’re just making that connection — those vegetables they eat can be grown here and they get to do it,” Badila says. It’s that exact connection that Grow Black Hudson wants to cultivate among communities of color.

For Badila, that philosophy was intrinsically entwined with the practices her Congolese father shared with her and her 10 siblings while raising them in the Hudson Valley. Hudson’s small-town atmosphere and Badila’s Congolese roots melded into an adolescence she remembers as culturally rich, as she and her family shared songs, dances and artwork at many local school and theater programs.

Badila’s appreciation for nature was nurtured attending Ghent’s Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, where she visited nearby farms and completed harvesting practicums. Her skills widened after she spent a few years post-high school WOOFing, or volunteering for an organic-farming exchange program in which can participants live and work at different partner farms around the world. Badila helped farm in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala and other parts of Central and South America.

A handpainted sign. Courtesy Grow Black Hudson.

There’s no end goal with Grow Black Hudson as much as there’s an ongoing mission. It’s to build a deeper bond between people of color, agriculture, and all that land can offer — whether that be food, freedom, or just fresh air. 

Before the Americas were colonized, the Indigenous groups that called the continents home maintained just that kind of relationship with the natural world. Colonial takeover beginning in the 1500s upended that, turning the relationship with the land into a transactional one that afforded wealth and status to those who had it, usually excluding people of color.

“For me, land is crucial to our ability to access our power and do for ourselves what they can’t,” Carmen Mouzon, a member of the board of directors at the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, says. The Trust was started by Soul Fire Farms owner and educator Leah Penniman to combat the inequities that left nonwhites with only 2 percent ownership of all the farmland in the country.

Renewed calls for racial justice inspired by the protests following George Floyd’s death coupled with the mutual aid networks that appeared in numerous cities at the start the pandemic signaled to Badila that now would be as good a time as any for a homegrown initiative led by people of color, for people of color. 

Planting. Courtesy Grow Black Hudson.

Badila channeled her energy toward food justice, and activists like Mouzon have been happy to see it. “People want to see that [type of project] where they are — rural or urban — and create that where they are,” Mouzon says. 

The healing projects like hers could bring is twofold. Not only would it help resolve the complicated association with the land some Black Americans have due to the legacy of slavery and the subsequent period of sharecropping during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but it could also remediate the problem of food insecurity and related health issues that disproportionately affect communities of color the most. 

“Especially with COVID[-19], I think people are seeing health a lot differently as far as how we can have a little more connection to natural healing,” Badila says. Aside from greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables, Grow Black Hudson participants will also have a chance to try the teas, tinctures and elixirs she’s making using the medicinal herbs like Saint John’s wort, mint and motherwort that also grow in the gardens.

Grow Black Hudson plans to expand into in-person workshops covering topics like food preservation in the coming weeks. Follow the organization and its progress on Instagram here.

Victory Gardens Return, Challenging Seed Access and Food Justice


Ken Greene said he saw it happen once before, but not like this.

A decade ago, the Great Recession inspired many people to find security and pleasure in home gardening — leading to a rush to purchase home gardening equipment and, most importantly, seeds.

Seeds (Photo: Joshua Lanzarini / Unsplash)

“There was increase in interest in home gardening and farmers markets and [community supported agriculture], and it was a great boost when it happened,” says Greene, co-founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Company and, before that, creator of the nation’s first public seed catalog at the Gardiner Public Library.

But that was nothing compared to what happened this spring after the coronavirus forced the nation into lockdown. Sparked by fears of food insecurity —which played out in shortages of things such as baking goods, meat and other staples — Americans sought ways to feel more self-reliant.

Victory Gardens Return

Interest in planting so-called victory gardens — the term used to describe home gardens planted during World War I and World War II — hit levels not seen since the Great Recession, according to Google Trends. Not surprisingly, seed companies experienced a rush of orders. In March, the Burpee seed company sold more seeds than at any other time in its 144-year history, Reuters reported.

Herb boxes made from recycled crates (Photo: Althea Mullarkey)

The Hudson Valley Seed Company experienced a similar surge in demand. It sold more seeds in one weekend than it had ever sold in a month, Greene says. Even as the planting season begins to wind down in the Northeast, there are “ripple effects that are going to happen that people are going to have to think about,” he says.

The Need for Seed

The impacts range from seed access to food justice. For instance, the run on seeds is likely limit the variety of seed types available next year. Greene says the pandemic’s spring timing limited his company’s ability to react and grow extra stock to meet the demand.

Even now, fear of shortages is causing some gardeners to buy seeds for spring planting even though it is well into the summer season, according to Greene. That means that some seed types may not be available next year until the company is able to use its foundation seeds to replenish its stock. In some cases, that could take two or three years.

Planting seeds (Photo: Markus Spiske / Unsplash)

“Gardeners have two ways to think about it,” Greene says. “They may have to try new varieties next season. Or if there is a variety they really love a lot, they could save seeds themselves to make sure they have seeds for next year.”

To do so, home gardeners need to ensure their seeds are kept in a place that is cool, dry, and dark. Seeds should not be frozen. And humid places, such as a damp basement, are poor environments for storage.

Envisioning a New Future

Beyond supply, there is the larger question about the food system. The pandemic is documented to have disproportionally affected the nation’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. For instance, a Johns Hopkins University study found that Black people accounted for 34 percent of Covid-19 deaths, despite making up just 13 percent of the population.

Raised garden bed (Photo: Markus Spiske / Unsplash)

At-risk communities often lack the space and resources to build raised beds and plant heirloom tomatoes. A pair of reports by the nonprofit Feed America suggests the number of people experiencing food insecurity could rise by 17.1 million and that one in four children could face hunger as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

In this way, the pandemic is exposing the longstanding fault lines in the food system. It is no coincidence, Greene says, that the nation is undergoing a reckoning around racial and social justice. Helping with that work, Greene also serves as executive director of the nonprofit SeedShed, which oversees seed cultivation and “rematriation” projects with at-risk and indigenous communities, including the Mohawk Nation and Lenape diaspora.

“What I hope doesn’t disappear is this awareness of our broken food system and the people who are most impacted by that,” he says. “We can’t return to normal, because normal is really harmful to so many people.”

Invite a Goat to Your Next Online Meeting

As Kathy Stevens sits in the shade contemplating the Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s next move, she loses her train of thought at the sight of a few goats approaching. She beams at each of their bleats. The four young recent rescues — Levi, Chester, Molly and Arlo — rush at her, licking her face and nibbling at her clothes like housebound dogs excited to have their owners back home. 

(Photo: Catskill Animal Sanctuary)

“You always want people to have this,” says Stevens, the founder of the Saugerties-based sanctuary. For the last two decades, she and her team have been rescuing and rehabilitating neglected and abused horses and farm animals and sharing all the love and care they have to offer to visitors.

But in the spring and summer of 2020, things came to a standstill. Farm tours have been halted along with their usual lineup of fundraisers, galas, and other public events. The cost of caring for the 300+ animals and maintaining the 20-acre facility has stayed steady — with some cost hikes due to scarcity — despite the drastic loss in revenue this spring. This has become the new norm for animal sanctuaries around the country and world as they try to make do without their usual fundraising activities, according to Valerie Taylor, the executive director of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. 

(Photo: Woodstock Animal Sanctuary)

What would usually be a busy spring and summer season filled with tours, vegan cooking workshops, and even stays at CAS’s on-premises B&B is now spent monitoring the latest public health updates and moving whatever offline activities they hosted online. CAS and the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls were part of several sanctuaries that collaborated with the Sweet Farm Sanctuary in California on Goat2Meeting — a service that lets people schedule surprise appearances from animals during their Zoom calls and other video chat meetings.

After a brief but successful period with the program, both CAS and Woodstock have continued offering virtual live-streamed tours separately. It’s not the same as getting up close and personal with a cow, chicken, pig or a goat — but in the face of the never-ending news cycle, the animals’ faces lift human spirits. 

(Photo: Catskill Animal Sanctuary)

“Right now we’re all just in our phones, on our computers, just reading all this toxic upsetting content all the time — and then all of a sudden you’re scrolling and you see this rescued pig enjoying a mud bath in the sunshine,” says Lizz DeFeo, the marketing and communications director at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. “It’s impactful in this very new kind of way, I think.”

Luckily, the continued push to digital has allowed CAS to garner an international audience hosting everything from Zoom happy hours to camps and corporate seminars. Over in Hyde Park, Andrea Parent-Tibbetts and her husband Michael Tibbetts have also had a modest amount of success holding virtual tours of Clover Brooke Farm for viewers as far away as Serbia. They chose to open their 20-acre property back up not long after Dutchess County entered Phase 1 of reopening, albeit with reduced group sizes, masks, hand-sanitizing stations, and other safety measures.

(Photo: Catskill Animal Sanctuary)

Parent-Tibbetts mentions that if there’s any silver lining to this strange new world, it’s that explaining to people the importance of making space for large animals like alpacas or llamas has gotten easier using the language of social distancing. Creating artificial barriers like fencing and coops between animals in order to prevent the spread of diseases is a crucial part of maintaining a place like Clover Brooke.

“One of the things that people need to remember about farming is we are all about biosecurity because we’re always dealing with bacteria, E. Coli, parasites,” Parent-Tibbetts explains. “Because we’re dealing with biosecurity all the time, we have a lot of these protocols in place. It’s just a matter of relayering and applying them, and explaining to humans why they’re important.” 

(Photo: Clover Brooke Farm)

Taking in new animals has gotten harder. Most of these sanctuaries are already spread thin taking care of the newborns and recent rescues they added this past spring. And aside from cutting into fundraising, lockdowns and quarantines have prevented many of them from accessing their usual volunteer pools.

A 10-person crew at Woodstock is all that’s left to take care of the 350 animals, so making sure everyone stays healthy is paramount, DeFeo says. The same goes for CAS, Stevens says. In the meantime, taking a virtual tour is a welcome alternative until in-person visits start back up again.

Here are links to support Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, and Clover Brooke Farm with a virtual tour or animal booking for that next virtual meeting.

(Photo: Woodstock Animal Sanctuary)

Vertical Gardening at Home

A decade ago, Bryan Meador was an art student in New York City alienated by too much concrete. He felt far from Oklahoma, where he’d grown up gardening with his Cherokee grandparents. Wandering city streets in search of natural inspiration, he found joy at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. That gave him an idea. What if more greenery could lace through even the most built-up neighborhoods?  

The idea germinated over about eight years. By then Meador had graduated from the Parsons School of Design and begun living upriver in Kingston. Even in the much smaller town, he’d walk toward the Hudson and see acres of chain link fence along the way. In 2018, he started working out a design: the Seadpod, a recycled-plastic microplanter that could hang on chain link in groups, transforming cold metal fences into lush vertical gardens. 

Photo: Courtesy of Plant Seads

Meador’s start-up, Plant Seads (yes, it’s spelled with an “a”—the word is an acronym for Sustainable Ecology, Adaptive Design) is placing its first installations this summer. Fifty will hang in Kingston at the YMCA Farm Project, and more will be placed around Hudson by the Kite’s Nest youth organization.

In Kingston, the vision is to grow plants like climbing peas. Kids can tend them for snack-off-the-vine veggies, but they’ll also cover the fence with blooms (and fill the air with a sweet orange-honey scent). Back in the city, Plant Seads is finalizing plans with organizations like the New York Restoration Project, Harlem Grown, and Grow NYC as well. 

Photo: Courtesy of Plant Seads

Plant Seads is part of a larger global movement toward vertical gardening, which injects green into areas that have no soil in order to reduce heat, improve air quality, and mitigate runoff. Meador, whose mother keeps bees, hopes they can serve as pollinator habitat as well.

“I’m really excited about how these planters can work within the built environment we have right now, offering sound insulation and water absorption and air purification and all the psychological benefits of plants.”

Bryan Meador, creator of Seadpods

As cities densify, using every bit of space will become critical. More plant life has proven benefits to climate and human health, helping people grow food and breathe cleaner air. “The majority of people on this earth live in urban spaces now,” Meador says. “What I’m interested in is the atomization of gardening. One individual has 10 planters, and you multiply that by 1,000—that suddenly becomes a significant amount of organic material injected into the city, and a significant amount of rainwater absorbed.”

Photo: Courtesy of Plant Seads

Seadpods are true products of the Hudson Valley. Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science and Engineering at SUNY-New Paltz and head of the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center, helped Meador perfect the design, along with Dan Young of M-Tech Design, Inc.

At 8.5-by-8.5-by-10 inches, the planters are carefully weighted to hold a gallon of soil each so they won’t collapse a fence. They mount using a keyhole and clamping key so they’ll swing flexibly to withstand high winds. Usheco, a local plastics manufacturer, is producing the containers, which are made from BPA-free recycled milk jugs and retail for $8 each.

Video Courtesy of Plant Seads

At home along the Hudson, vertical Seadpod gardens would ideally act as sponges. Their collective soak-up could help improve water quality in the river. When stormwater overwhelms combined sewer systems, waste goes into streams and on into the river. Seadpods can be a solution to help people hold their rainwater and keep it out of the sewer system.

“By holding onto the rainwater where it is, these planters help the natural aquatic ecosystem.”

Bryan Meador, creator of Seadpods

Have a fence of your own that you’d like to turn into a green wall? Seadpods are available at

Advice for Black Farmers & Activists

Karen Washington

Farmer and food justice advocate Karen Washington — one of the grassroots environmental leaders honored in our People Who Make a Difference poster project — was the special guest at the inaugural event of our Envision Virtual Summer Series. She provided inspiring and thought-provoking answers to questions from students attending Newburgh Free Academy P-Tech and youth involved in the Kingston YMCA Farm Project. Topics ranged from her experiences as a Black farmer to advice for young activists.

Karen Washington (Photo:

On her start as an activist:

It was back in 1998, after getting my hands involved in community gardening, when Mayor Giuliani wanted to auction off 100 community gardens. It was devastating because prior to that many community gardens took over empty lots that the city could not maintain. We felt it was a rite of passage to take care of those gardens, to make sure we could grow food for our communities. So when Mayor Giuliani went behind our back in the middle of the night to try to auction off 100 gardens there were two things we could do: either be silent or fight back. And that’s when I found my voice.

Hurdles faced by Black farmers:

For Black people, the difficulty is access to land, access to capital and access to opportunities. There are so many grants out there, but you need a college degree or Ph.D. to go through them. When we talk about racial equity, when we talk about what has happened to us, again there are always obstacles in our way to trying to be the best we can. I tell people, if you want to help Black or Brown people, give us three things: give us opportunity; give us land; give us capital or resources. You give us those three things and people you once thought were powerless become powerful.

Hopes for farming and food justice in a post-COVID world:

The pandemic has been an equalizer. It has hit Black, white, poor, rich, in between. You see so many people for the first time going to food pantries and soup kitchens and food lines, where before you would mostly see people from low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color. So right then and there, people understand the importance of food.

What I want people to understand after this pandemic is who is growing the food — and are farmers and farm workers being treated humanely? Are we being paid a fair amount of money for the food we grow? That people understand how critical farming is — because at the end of the day you can’t eat a car, you can’t eat gold, you can‘t eat diamonds, you can eat that iPhone. I hope people really participate in rising up farmers and farm workers — the people who are in the trenches growing food so you can eat healthy.

Advice for young activists:

For years, what stagnated a movement is silence and complacency. You get rubbed up and everybody wants to holler, and then all of a sudden there’s silence, complacency sets in and everything goes back to the status quo. You are in a moment of time for change. You cannot allow to have that knee on our necks. No more. You have to be proactive constantly when you see injustice. You must shout it out. When you see things that are wrong, be brave enough to say it’s wrong.

This is your moment, this COVID and racial injustice you see before your eyes, when youth has to say, “As an elder your burden has been long and heavy. Give us this burden, give us this torch, so we may carry on the legacy of so many people before you who have been fighting for justice.” This is your moment to carry that torch, but the difference this time is that you are not going to back down. You are not going to be silent and complacent. You now have a voice, a voice for change.

Advice for Black women:

I learned long ago that I stand on the shoulders of greatness, that I come from kings and queens, and I learned to appreciate the color of my skin. And now, as a farmer, when I’m out there in the fields, I look at the hue of my skin and say it’s the color of the soil — and for me, that offers a sense of belonging. For all Black women, I want you to understand your history, your legacy, how you come from royalty, and to shine that beacon for all the world to see and be proud of who you are.

Watch the full interview:

Farmers Markets in the Time of COVID

The produce on sale at farmers markets, reopening for the season all across the Hudson Valley, remains as fresh as ever. That’s great news. But to keep consumers and farmers safe, operators have had to eliminate many features that contribute to the markets’ festive community spirit.

The biggest difference at these much-anticipated weekly gatherings is the drop-off in personal interaction. Prior to this crisis, the markets provided a venue for neighbors to catch up on the latest news and share a few laughs. They also allowed purchasers to converse with the farmers, learning about their operations and output. Now, the general rule is go in, pick up and get out—necessary for sure, just not what we’re used to.

Guidelines at the farmers markets in Rhinebeck and Cold Spring are typical of those throughout the Hudson Valley. One consumer per household (masked, of course) is permitted. Musical and other events have been axed, as have benches. Food cannot be eaten on site. Chalked lines and wider spacing between vendors assure proper social distancing. Conversation with farmers is discouraged and touching produce is verboten.

Cold Spring Farmers Market (Info Graphic: Cold Spring Farmers Market)

Many markets, like Rhinebeck’s, are providing special times for the elderly and expectant mothers to shop. The Kingston Farmer’s Market is trying to limit crowding by encouraging consumers to pre-register for a 30-minute shopping slot. Along with Kingston, the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market has moved its location to a site where it’s easier to control access. While the size of the new space in Troy has forced a reduction in the number of vendors, market operators have created a Virtual Farmers Market. It lets consumers purchase produce from more than 50 local farms, with pick-ups at another location.

The Troy market seems to speak for all valley farmers markets, stressing its current “emphasis on farms, food and function over festivals.” It also notes that “Farmers markets are pivotal in the local food access network, linking local produce to consumers in a healthy and safe way, and supporting the local agricultural economy.”

The bottom line: Keeping open the pipeline to fresh, locally grown produce—whose incredible variety makes living in the Hudson Valley so special—is worth sacrificing a little face time with our friends.    

Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market (Photo: Andrea Bartolomeo for Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market)

Basement Bounty

Farm One

Located in Manhattan’s Tribeca, Farm.One fully embraces the expression “down on the farm” — this hydroponic farm is located in a basement. What’s more, it moves the farm-to-table movement at warp speed: Farm.One prides itself on delivering fresh produce to customers in as little as 30 minutes.

Started in 2016 by Rob Laing to test the efficacy of hydroponic farming in the city, Farm.One exceeded all expectations, taking on customers as soon as the farm opened its doors. Now at its more spacious 1,200-foot home beneath the restaurant Atera, it produces 1,000 pounds of microgreens, herbs and edible flowers each week. Many of the 600+ varieties it sells — primarily to Manhattan and Brooklyn restaurants, but also to serious home foodies — have been grown from rare seeds collected all over the world.

“It’s an ideal space, close to our customers, and finding a way to use unused urban space for something really cool gives us a model for the future,” says Laing, Farm.One’s CEO.

Like all hydroponic farmss, there’s no soil at Farm.One; plants grow in water, relying on a mix of nutrients and a high-tech LED lighting system that delivers just the right amount of “sunlight” to each species. By replicating optimal growing conditions, “it’s a perfect summer’s day, year-round, whatever the weather,” states the Farm.One website. Thanks to recycling, it uses 95% less water than comparable land-based farming, and pesticides are verboten.

Remaining true to its original educational mission, Farm.One offers frequent tours and tastings of its facility. It also has developed a unique “edible bar” — a 4×4-foot table of living greens it will deliver and set up at cocktail parties or other events. Guests committed to sustainability and healthy eating should enjoy grazing on what’s sure to keep the conversation flowing.

Home Grown

Local farms not only supply the freshest food — they’re part of an economic juggernaut. According to a recent report from the state comptroller, New York’s family farms generated $5.7 billion in revenue in 2017 and provided jobs for 55,000 people.

The report’s only downer: The number of farms and agricultural acreage continue to decline — meaning it’s more important than ever for Scenic Hudson to sustain our partnerships with farmers and fellow land trusts to protect the valley’s productive fields and orchards.

Ever innovative, we’re pioneering new strategies that will always keep the land affordable for new farmers and commit them to maintaining a required level of production — making sure the fresh food pipeline keeps flowing right to your table and favorite restaurant.