My name is Sylvester Taliaferro, and I’m 58 years old. My family and I own and operate Taliaferro Farms (www.TaliaferroFarms.com), a 32 acre organic farm located in New Paltz NY. We grow 30 different vegetables, melons, berries & apples. I’m a first generation farmer, meaning I wasn’t born into it, but farming has become my passion. I’ve worked in the industry all my working life (sense 14 years old).
Taliaferro Farms (www.TaliaferroFarms.com) is a family owned and operated organic vegetable & fruit farm. We own 32 acres and rent an additional 30 acres. The farm was purchased by me & my wife in 1995. It was an old broken down apple orchard with no infrastructure. We started from scratch with little to no capital. We immediately started a soil building program so as to put the soils in shape to begin farming organically. We planted our first crops in 1998. Our biggest challenges were and still are maintaining infrastructure and scratching and saving for the capital to do it. The farm markets its produce through a CSA program, regional farmers markets, restaurants & some bulk wholesale. We are working hard to put the necessary improvements in place to begin the process of passing the farm to the next generation. In this process we are also putting the farm in an agricultural / conservation easement. This means that the land can never be developed and must remain in farming. We are most proud of the fact of the impact we have made on all the people that have come in contact with the farm via it’s produce raised awareness as to what farming and eating local is all about.
Any time we have the extra capital to help things operate smoothly the business always moves forward. In this case a couple of small pieces of greenhouse equipment ($1000-1500), the ability to purchase trays ($600-1000), potting soil ($1000-1500) and amendments ($500-800) to get most of our greenhouse planting done at once and not have gaps and to afford an extra bit of labor ($3000-4000) if needed at the beginning of the season is a giant help. Let us not forget fuel for heating the green house ($1000-1500). Any time I’m not stressing over money I’m a better manager & clearer thinker. This can only have a positive impact on everybody involved employees and family.