Posts Tagged ‘USDA Farm Service Agency’

Sandy sent this March 20 update from the Letterbox Farm Collective in the Hudson Valley. Farmer Nichki is Sandy’s niece.

“We can see the ground! All of a sudden, our fields and beds have emerged.  We’re checking the soil daily to see if it’s thawed enough to get started.  In the meantime, we’re wrapping up a very full winter of projects, events, and olympic-level planning, and taking a deep breath before the neverending days of the growing season begin.  Its time to start seeds, take soil tests, and take stock.

“Six months ago, through lots of work, lots of luck, and the incredible support of our community, our team of farmers and land partners were able to purchase the land underneath our farm.  Farming with land security is entirely different than farming with a one-year lease …

“We’ve long been inspired by the Community Supported Agriculture model and have spent many years planning the CSA of our dreams.  We’re so proud to finally introduce our 2015 Meal Share, a ‘Full-Plate’ CSA designed to bring you a whole, compelling, and meal-based experience of eating from the ground. …

“Pigs. Now that we have land security and access to more outbuildings, we can finally bring on the larger livestock.  …

“While sometimes farming seems like a poor career choice, there are a couple things that make us feel luckier than everybody else.  The USDA Farm Service Agency’s Microloan program is one of them.  FSA Microloans are nifty little loans for up to 50k at generous interest rates, just for farmers to start or expand their operation.  …

“Inspired by the success of our September farm dinner with Momofuku Ko (the pictures are in!), we’ve officially opened up our land for weddings, parties and celebrations. … All proceeds from events go directly toward land renewal and restoration projects (this year’s projects are all about planting trees). …

“Our very own Nichki received a Farmer Grant from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE) to develop a comprehensive enterprise guide on raising rabbits humanely on pasture.  Watch out for ‘Pastured Rabbit for Profit’ hitting your PDF libraries and farming conferences this fall.”

It’s quite an inspiration to see these young people take on the hard work farming — learning and innovating as they go.

On a related note, New Englanders too far away to take advantage of a CSA in New York may want to check out some local community-supported-agriculture opportunities, here. The list is from EcoRI.

Photo: Letterbox Farm Collective

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