Tag Archives: flooding

Hancock Permaculture Courses Lucky Dog Organic Farm

flooded field in GoshenPURE CATSKILLS



Hancock Permaculture Design Course

Spring 2014 – begins June.

CONTACT: Andrew Leslie Phillips



Hancock Permaculture Center

HAMDEN, NEW YORK: To be held at Lucky Dog Farm, Hamden N.Y. With additional field visits to local regional farms and homesteads and the New York City Watershed.

 Five weekends over five months – June thru October – miss one, make it up later. Graduates receive the official permaculture design certificate which enables you to teach permaculture.

Lucky Dog Farm is a working organic farm, catering business, farm store, food hub, three hours from NYC in the picturesque northern Catcalls. Accommodation available at Lucky Dog’s Hamden Inn. Camping also available. Contact: hollyway@gmail.com

Special guest lecturers:

Wes Gillingham, Project Director, Catskills Mountain Keeper, the north-east’s leading antifracking organization.

Laurie Schoeman, founder Intervention Green addresses climate change and city planning.Laurie works on climate change and sustainability issues with government agencies in NYC.


Andrew Leslie Phillips

: Hancock Permaculture Center;. Studied with Geoff Lawton and Bill

Mollison and known for his approachable teaching style.

Maria Grimaldi:

Degree in Environmental Psychology and diversified background teaching

gardening, farming, plant science, cooking with New York Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic

Garden, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NOFA-NY and Sullivan County Community College



Kyle T. Murray

: Catskill Mountain native brings youthful energy to this group. Studied with Andrew

Leslie Phillips, Hancock Permaculture Center, Albert Bates and Christopher Nesbitt at Maya

Mountain Research Farm, Belize. Alumni Paul Smiths College of the Adirondacks. Skills and

project experience include Land Surveying and Forestry, Arboriculture, Watershed Management,

and Natural Building

Erika Medina:

Certified Master Gardener and Naturalist. She lives in an off-grid homestead where

she runs a small CSA, raises bees, chickens, heritage ducks and turkeys. She and her husband

own and operate

One Earth Energy, a renewable energy design and installation company,

Dr Nancy Eos:

Family & holistic medical doctor, attorney. Studied with Dave Jacke (i2008).

Graduate of first Financial Permaculture course, Hohenwald, TN. Active with Transition Towns

Sullivan and Transition Towns Delaware – localized credit cards, stock exchanges, time dollar

enterprises, business funding, Think Local First campaigns.


: Five modules over five months – first weekends May thru September.


: Hamden N.Y., northern Catskills. Three hours from NYC. DIRECTIONS


: $220 per weekend with five organic meals.


: $440 covers two sessions and ensures a place in this course.

Send check and register:

Hancock Permaculture Center

372 West Front Street Hancock NY 13783



More course details at:


“Care of Earth. Care of people. Return of surplus to both.”



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Filed under Alternative Energy, EDUCATION, Environment

Rondout Valley Growers Association Farm to Community Series FOOD MATTERS



Food Matters!

A Series of Farm-to-Community Conversations

A Day in the Life of a Local Farmer

Friday, Febrary 24, 6:30-8:00pm, Accord Firehouse Find out from local farmers what it takes to work the land, grow crops and raise livestock that keep us happy and healthy. Chris Kelder of Kelder’s Farm, Deena Wade of Transition Marbletown and a group of local farmers will talk about the real-time world of farming right here in the Rondout Valley. Suggested donation: $5. The Accord Firehouse is at 22 Main Street (entry in rear).

Goodnight Irene: Lessons in Resilience

Friday, March 9, 6:30-8:00pm, Accord Firehouse Our region was walloped by Hurricanes Irene and Lee, and many of our local farms were hit hard. Find out from farmers how they have recovered and how we can help strengthen our local food resources for a secure future. Suggested donation: $5. The Accord Firehouse, 22 Main Street (entry in rear).

Food Landscape: Farmer, Food and Family

Friday, March 23, 6-7:30pm, Marbletown Elementary School Did you know that our valley has some of the best farmland in the United States and we are lucky to have a great variety of farmers? Come find out about the bounty outside your door. This evening is part of the “Breakfast for Dinner” event organized by the Marbletown Parent Teacher Friends and the Chefs Consortium. Join the fun with optional dinner prepared with local food, Zumba (r) workout for all ages, local food exhibits and farmers who will share with you how our local food is created. Kids are welcome! Suggested donation: $5. Dinner is $7 for adults, $4 for children, with reduced family pricing. Marbletown Elementary School is at 12 Pine Bush Road in Stone Ridge.



This program of RVGA’s Rondout Valley Growers Education Project is fiscally sponsored by the Open Space Institute as part of their Citizen Action Program. Co-Sponsored by: Transition Marbletown, Town of Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission, Marbletown Parent Teacher Friends & Chefs Consortium.

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Filed under Environment, FARMERS MARKETS, Local Business, Local Farm Food Event, Locavore Challenge Event, Sustainable Farming, Transition Towns, Workforce Development


There were cloud bursts and heavy rains AGAIN all last week and threats of flash flooding of the the many creeks and rivers here….but there were also periods of sun that broke through the storm clouds. Coming home at sunset the other day as I drove past my neighbor’s field I became awestruck by the double,  enormous rainbow that dominated the landscape. I stopped the car and contemplated the message from nature of better times ahead for our New York farmers. Our October calendar  will be filled with celebrations of our harvest as well as plans for a brighter future for New York farmers.

It reminded me of this passage from the Old Testament

From Genesis 9

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

The dictionary defines a “covenant” as an agreement.  Perhaps if we take better care of the earth and pay attention to our human impact on climate change and our soil and water resources….. the “rainbow” can fulfill its promise?

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NYS Ag Commissioner Announces Allocation of first $5 Million to Soil and Water Conservation Districts

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine  has  enlisted the assistance of Soil and Water Conservation Districts to begin assessing damage in agricultural disaster areas and to begin identifying projects to restore farms and farmland.  Initiating the Governor’s $15 million Agricultural and Community Recovery Fund (ACRF), the first allocation of $5 million, the conservation component, will provide funding for farmers to restore farmland damaged by Hurricane Irene and prevent further damage in the future.

The Soil and Water Districts will determine land eligibility based on site inspections of damage. For land to be eligible, the Hurricane must have created
a new conservation problem that, if left untreated, would: degrade the State’s natural resources; impact public drinking water supplies, present ongoing
pollution risks to surface and groundwater; pose threats to production facilities, impair farm safety; affect the land’s productive capacity; or present challenges to farm production that are too costly to implement without state assistance.

Farmers in eligible counties should contact their local Soil and Water District. A list of  NYS Soil and Water Conservation District county offices can be found under Regional links on the right.


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I was struck by reading this article in Forbes Magazine by Todd Essig entitled Surviving Hurricane’s Irene Agricultural Disaster  just how important the connection between climate change and food supply is as an ongoing Locavore Challenge.  This is an excerpt from Essig’s  finally tuned article that relates to our Region.

Among those for whom Irene’s pain will continue are consumers with any sort
of relationship to local foods—from the committed locavore to farmers’ market
shoppers to those who nibble an occasional autumn apple. But the pain can be
lessened, and the benefits of local food preserved, by reconnecting the
food-weather link and developing more realistic expectations…………

Feeling an intimate bond between food and weather, a bond farmers live with
every day, is unfamiliar these days. Nationwide distributors buffer us from any
direct contact with the table-side consequences of weather, other than a few
pennies more or less on commodity prices. They do this by mixing food from
multiple regions into a single geographically diversified inventory thereby
managing risk from catastrophic weather in any one region. Unfortunately, they
also minimize reward, eliminating much of the taste, health benefits, and
advantages to the local communities in which the food was raised. In fact, much
of what we buy from these nationwide inventories should be called a “calorie
delivery system” rather than food.”

To read the entire article go to http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2011/08/30/surviving-hurricane-irenes-agricultural-destruction/

It is worth taking the time to do so.

Keep in mind Essig is a psychologist who writes for Psychology Today AND Forbes.

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Ways to Save a Wet Garden–Hudson Valley Seed Library

September 7, 2011

Ways to Save a Wet Garden    http://www.seedlibrary.org/

Alright–who invited Irene to the garden party? She’s a lousy gardener–always
overwatering everything!–and so is her cousin Lee.

Have these tropical visitors got you down? We understand. They’ve wrought

Here’s a little perspective. The average August rainfall for the Hudson
Valley is around 3.5-4 inches. In the past 10 days the region has seen 11-15
inches. Since August 1st, the region has seen 18-22 inches of rain. That’s
almost half our YEARLY average, all in about 35 days! Most of the region has
already exceeded its average annual rainfall for the year with four months or
potential precipitation left to go.

Before and AfterBefore and After

Due to this extreme rainfall, and the winds that came with Irene, our farm,
and many other farms and gardens, went from being almost at their peak in terms
of beauty and production–to a sodden, floppy, ripped up mess. Our corn patch was
flattened, the sunflower stalks snapped, the pepper plants fell over, the
pollination tunnels blew off, the soil turned to jello, the pole beans were
knocked over, the soybeans started to break apart at the joints,  and all sorts
of seed and pods that should have been enjoying the dry breezes of late summer
were soaked. This latest bout of rain (5 inches in the past three days!) has put
the nail in the coffin of many of our tomato plants and produced another round
of “water balloon” peppers. It’s been depressing to see much of the hard work of
the season turned to soggy rags.

But plants are resilient, and I think gardeners are, too. We pulled up the
corn stalks and hung them to dry in the hoophouse, righted-up the leaning
peppers, harvested everything we could, and generally did what we could to help
surviving plants catch their breath and keep on growing. It will be interesting
to see which varieties are most skilled at surviving saturation and we are
confident we still have enough local seed to keep the Seed Library thriving.

Here are some tips for how to safely wade through your plot and rescue some
of your soggy bounty.

1. Harvest. If the plants are dead or dying, harvest. Tomatoes will
ripen-up indoors on a windowsill or counter. Green peppers are edible and almost
red ones will ripen more after they are picked. Carrots can be pulled up and
kept in the fridge. Winter squash can be harvested and brought in to cure. (One
exception: The USDA recommends NOT eating any plants that were flooded by a
waterway such as a stream or river due to potential contaminants in the

2. Tread lightly. Wet soil is easily compacted, so stick to well worn paths
and be extra careful to avoid walking in planting beds.

3. Stake. If your plants are still alive but have fallen over, carefully
stake and tie them up so they can recover. It’s often best to wait for the soil
to dry out just a bit before doing this, as saturated plant tissue turns the
plants brittle.

4. Breathe. This is gardening. Every year presents new challenges. Save what
you can and compost the rest. Keep on sowing–perhaps we’ll have a long, warm fall or a mild

Visit our website for photos and more tips on fall growing.


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