Tag Archives: philosophy

Growing Under Cover Neversink Farm Claryville New York–Beauty More Then Skin Deep!


Winter growing is a challenge for northeast farmers but a visit to NOFA-NY Certified Organic Farm in Claryville New York in mid-January demonstrates that it can be done and done well. Kate and Conor Crickmore are meticulous farmers and surprisingly Conor declared emphatically that aesthetics was a “very  important part of the operation.” Maybe it’s Conor’s background as a restaurant owner in New York City rather than his commitment to the USDA regulated  details of growing organic food that prompted this comment. But one would have to agree, that in spite of the long-term belief that organic food might not look as good as conventionally grown food, when it comes to marketing your product “aesthetics” does matter.

“It all ties in together anyhow” said Conor. Methods of harvesting, proper packaging, labeling, getting produce to market so that it is beautiful also reflects the care that goes into growing food “on a human scale”. Nothing at Neversink Farm is overreaching in scale or volume, yet Neversink offers diversity of products that the Crickmores are developing slowly and carefully paying strict attention to National Organic Practices (NOP).

Growing under-cover in hoop houses are an important part of Neversink’s year-round operation. In summer, it is cucumbers and tomatoes “They must have even heat” says Conor, “to develop a sweet juicy flavor.” And with his restaurant background, one can see that flavorful food is what it is all about, from his slower, growing meat chickens and  heritage breed layers  to the stunning Tansworth pigs that add to the farm’s diversity and manure source.

 Employing a “stacking of functions” the Neversink poultry flock prepares the ground in the high tunnel for early spring planting. In the warm weather the poultry are truly free ranging guarded against predators by two donkeys who are kept primarily for their contributions to soil fertility.

The winter crop consists of  mixed salad greens, including Mizuna and Tatzoi which are put into rotation with spinach and lettuce in the greenhouse beds.  The greens are delivered in “just picked” condition, washed, nicely  packaged (with a gold label) to specialty food stores  and restaurants in the area.

The greenhouse crop varies as the months progress into spring taking advantage of the natural course of the sun in fall and winter. Neversink CSA subscribers, retailers and farmers market customers were also treated in late fall to greenhouse grown carrots. Conor remarked that “no carrots or potatoes are left” so storage is not presently a problem. Everthing is kept to scale with appropriate yields for the season’s demands and marketing opportunities, remembering their motto “Human Scale Sustainable Agriculture.”

For more information and to appreciate the diversity of this outstanding organic farm please visit the Neversink Farm  website where you may find information on food events, farm tours and CSA subscription as well as more insight into the philosophy that inspires “beautiful” organic farming which goes much deeper than appearance.


Comments Off on Growing Under Cover Neversink Farm Claryville New York–Beauty More Then Skin Deep!

Filed under Beginning Farmer, Environment, Sustainable Farming

Producer, Actress Artists Celebrate Agriculture Agrarian Acts and Farm Trucking Dogs

Its been a tough year for many farmers in the Catskill, Hudson and Delaware Region, but many of our NOFA-NY members take a break to have some fun and celebrate the new farmers culture.

Tannis Kowalchuk , director of the NACL theatre in Highland Lake, New York  produced  AGRARIAN ACTS and has sent along a  video for those who missed it last September in celebration of the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge.  Tannis farms in Abramhamsville PA with her husband Greg Swartz at Willow Wisp Farm, a NOFA-NY Certified LLC farm,  in addition she is an actress and theatrical producer and has devoted her life to theatre and growing herself, her family and organic food.

vimeo http://vimeo.com/32789028

Mark Dunau of Mountain Dell Farm in Hancock New York produced this film with his friends to reflect on his weekly trucking schedule to New York City restaurants, with all of his dog friends. Every week after an abundant harvest of gourmet greens Mark and his crew, some of them canine,  truck to New York with the harvest. Mark sent us this to help us develop a sense of humour and survival after a difficult farming season. Mark served on the NOFA-NY Board of Directors for many years  and instituted the NOFA-NY Farmers’ Pledge.


Comments Off on Producer, Actress Artists Celebrate Agriculture Agrarian Acts and Farm Trucking Dogs

Filed under Beginning Farmer, Local Farm Food Event, Locavore Challenge Event, Sustainable Farming

Permaculture Cottage ~ Beyond Consumerism…Life after Debt.

I found this link to a Permaculture website in Ireland. Halfway around the world, a different culture? Yet so much like our Catskill Hudson Region.

Check it out!

Permaculture Cottage ~ Beyond Consumerism…Life after Debt..


Comments Off on Permaculture Cottage ~ Beyond Consumerism…Life after Debt.

Filed under Alternative Energy, Environment, Gas Drilling Hydro-Fracking, Sustainable Farming, Transition Towns


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?

1 Comment

Filed under Sustainable Farming, Uncategorized