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Jun 15, 2015 4:47 PM ET

Archived: Star Route Farm LLC: A diversified organic farm in the Northern Catskill region of New York state

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 15, 2015



Personal Story

Born in the wild West, I have made the reverse migration to the gentle generous Catskills. I’ve given up the fun and travel of the art world and academia in favor of the slow pleasure of working outdoors and so I might witness, first hand, the shifting of the seasons.

This is my sixth year as a farmer. In my first two-and-a-half years at Lucky Dog Farm, I transitioned from complete novice to participating in all areas of farm operation – field work, markets both upstate and in the city, tractor training, GAP certification, crew management, CSA, and wholesale operations. I also helped re-shape Lucky Dog’s business plan. There, we worked through every condition and through natural disaster and out the other side.

I now lease land from the Peachin family in the Charlotte Valley and operate Star Route Farm with my farm partners Walter and Susan Riesen. Together, and in collaboration with a strong community of new farmers, we’re working to establish food security for this region by reinvigorating the family farm tradition of New York City’s food shed.

This will be our life work.

Business Description

Star Route Farm is a happy collaboration between the land-owners, the Peachins; their long-time neighbors, the Riesens; and Tianna Kennedy, a transplant farm-partner.

Originally a dairy farm and then a horse farm for the last 150 years, our 70 + acres of farm land is nestled into a small one-road valley in the Northern Catskill region of New York state. In the last few years, we have been transitioning the land into a diversified organic farm.

We pay great attention to practicing sustainable farming methods and benefit from rich farm land with decades of naturally fertilized soil and fresh water sources. We use no synthetic or artificial fertilizers or pesticides. All of our produce is grown in soil fertilized with aged compost and green manure crops on permanent beds. This means that tilling is done only once to establish the beds and then never again, protecting the soil from erosion and evaporation of vital nutrients. Almost all of our plants are started by seed on the farm, either in the field or greenhouse. Furthermore, for the past three years we’ve been taking soil samples and have begun remineralizing the soil, using only organic sources of minerals, to be sure the crops have a high level of nutrients and the soil is mineral-rich.

With these production practices, we strive to give you the best food possible and to replenish the land for future generations. Healthy plants make for a healthy environment and delicious, nutritious food.

We realize that a farm can’t survive in isolation but must be part of a economically viable agricultural community. To this end we work collaboratively with farms in our region to aggregate and market food in the CATSKILLS and NYC.

We’ve created the607csa, which is a multi-farm CSA for the CATSKILLS and NYC. Working together, small family farms in our region can scale to meet the standards and volume to compete in markets with the larger industrial food system.

What is the purpose of this loan?

We’ve been awarded an NRCS grant for a season-extending high tunnel! The catch is that it’s a reimbursement grant, which means we first have to purchase and construct the high tunnel before we’re awarded the funds. We’re hoping to cover the initial cost of the high tunnel purchase and construction through Kiva Zip.

Contact Information:


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