The Suburban Agricultural Bill PASSED!

Breaking news: the Suburban Agricultural Bill PASSED the NY State Assembly and Senate!

Thank you to our state representatives from Rockland County for supporting this bill, and to Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee (D-Rockland) for sponsoring this legislation that will go a long way towards keeping small farms a part of suburban communities.

Thank YOU, too, for the efforts you make everyday no matter what size, in support of local agriculture in our community. Our collective voice makes a difference.

Stay tuned for more information about the significance of this legislation. Now go celebrate!

 

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Its Not Too Late. Get Your CSA Share Today!

CSA pick ups start next week!IMG_4717
Join over 200 households who have already joined the Cropsey Community Farm CSA for 2014.

  • Enjoy 25 weeks of locally grown produce, picked only hours earlier and grown using organic and biodynamic methods. Squash
  • Volunteer alongside the farm team on harvest days and pick up days
  • Enjoy FREE registration to farm workshops
  • Herb and Flower shares available!
  • Make a donation towards a subsidized share for families served by Hudson River Health Care
  • Be a part of the movement to keep farming viable in Rockland CountyIMG_4721

To read the membership agreement, click here.

To purchase your share, Sign Up Here

Questions? Email us at info@rocklandfarm.org or call
845-634-3167

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Love for the Chisel Plow

We don’t mince words. We love our chisel plow. After you watch this video of the chisel plow at work in the south field, you may start having feelings for it to. Thank you, Mike Hardy, for taking such great footage.

Click here for the video of the Chisel Plow in the South Field.

A chisel plow is used to loosen hard soil generally before using another implement or type of plow. The video shows the farm team using the chisel plow in the first step towards cultivating the south field. Using the chisel plow is the first step in using farming methods that combat moisture loss and soil erosion. It stirs but does not pulverize. It leaves what it pulls up on top of the soil.

If, after watching this video, you are pining for more, head over to the Rockland Farm Alliance site for a new blog post about cover crops, in response to Dan Barber’s Op Ed piece in the Sunday NY Times here.

Click here for the video of the Chisel Plow in the South Field.

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This is What Keyline Design Looks Like

Water rests in pathways rather than coursing downhill, taking precious soil with it.

Water rests in pathways rather than coursing downhill, taking precious soil with it.

Although our wee little plants are still rather small, I post this picture to show how our new keyline design system is working.  The large quantity of rainfall we had Tuesday evening through this morning would normally have caused water to go coursing down the pathways of our raised beds, taking some of our precious topsoil with it.  As you can see in the pathways shown in the photo, water is held along the entire length of the pathways, meaning it will soak deeply into our soil for future use by the plants, and the nutrients and soil will be retained where they are in the field, rather that racing away into the nearest stream.  How exciting when things actually work out like you planned!  Thanks again to Ethan Roland at Appleseed Permaculture for helping us lay this out.
-Shane

Read Shane’s post about Ethan Roland’s visit and more about keyline design at Cropsey Community Farm here.

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Summer Junior Farmers Program Returns!

Like your kids, at Cropsey Community Farm
We are down with dirt.

CarrotsWe’ll connect your kids to their community, the sun and the soil. Time with the farmers, freshly harvested snacks, art projects and field games round out the adventures. They may never look at turnips the same way again…

For Incoming grades K – 5
LIMITED SPACES – SIGN UP TODAY!

DATES:
Session 1: August 4 – August 8
Session 2: August 11 – August 15

TIMES:
9:00 – 12:00 $250.00/session
9:00 – 1:00 $275.00/session – stay for lunch!
Sibling discount available.

Download and print the Enrollment Form: Junior Farmers Summer Program 2014 (Click on the link on the page you are directed to.)

IMG_4132For additional information, contact Rachael Goss at 845- 634-3167 or rachael@rocklandfarm.org.

 

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Farmer’s Blog: Ethan Roland

Ethan Roland of Appleseed Permacuture works with farmer Jose Romero-Bosch.

Ethan Roland of Appleseed Permacuture works with farmer Jose Romero-Bosch.

You may have seen the fence go up around our new south field this winter, either on Facebook or in person. And you may have seen the lush cover crops of oats, field peas, rye and hairy vetch growing that we planted last fall to improve the soil for this year’s crops. Wednesday of last week was another exciting day for us at Cropsey Community Farm. Ethan Roland, of Appleseed Permaculture, came down to help us lay out our beds using the principles of Keyline Design. It was truly great to work with Ethan, an expert permaculture designer, teacher, and researcher based in the Hudson River Valley.

Jose, Ryan and I witnessed more erosion than we were comfortable with on the north field last year. Our fragile, sandy soil would wash down the pathways between our raised beds during heavy rains, taking nutrients along, and leaving the crops growing near the ridge in the middle of the field to struggle along with less food, humus, and topsoil. We’re not talking landslides here, but over time, this is one of the same processes that is leaving much of the incredibly fertile Midwest of our country with less than four thin inches of dying, drought-vulnerable dirt. Virgin prairie soils that settlers plowed up there were often two feet thick of dark earthen gold.

Maybe that comparison is a little severe, but we were not comfortable with what we saw, and were determined to set up our beds to minimize erosion. After trying to figure out how best to do this on our own, we finally decided to call someone with experience. Ethan surveyWhen Ethan showed up, I grabbed a bucket of landscaping flags and his clipboard, and he shouldered his tripod and laser level. The wind was whipping as we trudged up to the field and set up the laser level. We commenced straight away with marking contours in a few spots. Ethan quickly trained Jose and I to use the laser level ourselves, and with his keen eye for the land and experience we laid out the longest contour on the field, as well as a few that crossed the steepest, most erosion-susceptible spots on our hilly south field by lunchtime.

Jose, Ethan and CrayolaAfter lunch we went inside and mapped out the contours on paper. Ethan saw four distinct sections to the field. There are two little “bowls,” a ridge, and a corner where the land drops away again in the northwest corner of the field. In each of these sections, we chose a particular contour line, from among the ones we had staked out that morning, to base our plowing and beds off of. Here is a very abridged version of using Keyline Design to lay out a field like ours: you choose a basic contour in a given area so that when you plow or form your beds parallel to that contour, and they inevitable become slightly off contour due to the radius of the curve becoming greater or narrower, the water’s charge down the hill is stopped and directed ever so gently away from valleys and out towards ridges. The idea is that erosion is nearly stopped, water is dispersed more evenly through the field, and substantially more water soaks into the land than before.

This should result in healthier soil, and healthier, tastier crops. I think it will be really beautiful to behold. Though it will make some elements of our job more complex, such as planning where to put each crop since all of the rows will be different lengths, to us this choice was absolutely necessary. So thank you, Ethan for guiding us in this process. We are excited to see our the new field blossoms this year. Keep an eye out for us in the fields. If the ground dries up we’ll be out there real soon.

Shane Hardy, Farm Manager
Cropsey Community Farm

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Upcoming Events

Spring means we all head outside and enjoy the sunshine! Click HERE for a listing of special events coming up at the farm. Don’t forget to check out our great workshops, as well. And remember, workshops are FREE for CSA members! We hope to see you at the farm soon.

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Enroll in the 2014 CSA today!

Enrollment is OPEN for the 2014 Season of
Cropsey Community Farm CSA!

Click  HERE  to read the CSA Membership Agreement

Click HERE to read about what we’re growing this season

or click the link below to visit the sign up page:

http://cropseycommunityfarmcsasignup.com/members/types


Fall CSA Pick up 2013

  • CSA season is 25 weeks long starting June 3rd through November 22nd
  • Pick up days are Tuesdays and Saturdays
  • Add a “You Cut” flower share or herb share to your vegetables
  • Members pay in full or in installments


Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
 is a farm model that enables you to August-22purchase a share of the season’s harvest in advance. In return, you will receive a weekly share of approximately
8-10 pounds of a variety of seasonal produce, often harvested just hours earlier, throughout the growing season. The members of Cropsey Community Farm CSA get to know their farmers, as well as where their food is coming from and how it is grown.

Cropsey Community Farm (CCF) is the first farm project of Rockland Farm Alliance. The mission of CCF is to grow nutrient dense, delicious food for our communities, and to provide a working example of a farm that thrives ecologically, economically and as a center for learning. The farm grows organic produce for a CSA and area farmers markets and hosts a variety of school and community programs.

Rockland Farm Alliance (RFA) is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to promote sustainable agriculture in Rockland County by creating farms that are models of small scale local food production and that provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about sustainable farming practices.

Questions? E-mail us at info@rocklandfarm.org or call 845-634-3167.

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Images from 2013

This gallery contains 22 photos.

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Support Noah’s Hoophouse Eagle Scout Project!

Dear Friends of Cropsey Community Farm,

I am a Boy Scout in New City, New York (Troop 97- Hudson Valley Council), and I, (along with members of my troop) am currently working on my Eagle project. My goal is to construct a working Hoop House for Cropsey Community Farm. A hoop house is a relatively inexpensive type of greenhouse which allows for longer growing seasons, starter plantings and delicate plantings that can’t be grown outdoors. It is constructed using a frame made of steel pipe “hoops” and covered with two layers of a thick plastic skin. A hoop house is particularly valuable to Cropsey Community Farm because it will allow food to be grown at the farm year round and will help keep sustainable agriculture alive in Rockland County by allowing the farm to derive more revenue to help maintain production and teach sustainable farming to community members. 

I need to raise approximately $2,800 for materials and supplies in order to complete this 96 foot long hoop house and would greatly appreciate any help you could give. All donations go to Rockland Farm Alliance, Inc. and are tax deductible. These donations go directly to Rockland Farm Alliance and are earmarked for this project. Please link here to see my “donation to” site and donate to this project: 

 http://www.donationto.com/Noah-Bressner-Eagle-Project

Should I be lucky enough to raise more than what is required to build a hoop house, the balance will go to RFA for other projects.

Thank you for all of your help.
Noah Bressner

 

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