Copake Agricultural Center reached full capacity this spring, when Lineage Farm relocated across the county to the former Alice Belt Farm and home, leasing 14 acres for vegetables (with 7 in cultivation and 7 in cover crops), plus 5 for starting a herd of cows and growing hay. As when the first three farms joined NEFA’s then-new debut project in spring 2014, it’s an impressive story of hitting the ground running—and then some.
The main greenhouse is up, and has been crammed with seedlings for weeks; a few acres of deer fence are under way, plus a walk-in cooler and a tomato hoop house—despite hidden underground boulders that firmly tried to convince Lineage’s Jon and Jennifer Ronsani otherwise when they attempted to dig in the first hoop-shaped bows to support it.
The Ronsanis weren’t taking no for an answer, because there are mouths to feed starting in June, when harvests in earnest begin. Not just theirs and their 2-year-old son, Sam’s, but those of the 200-member Lineage Farm CSA (join via this link; details below), plus 55 more families in the project they founded called Good Food for Hudson. Good Food for Hudson provides free or sliding-scale CSA shares weekly—with local bread and eggs included—from June to October to those who could otherwise not afford it. (More on how you can support that effort in the video below.)
Like their new neighbors Mx Morningstar, Sparrow Arc and Tiny Hearts farms, Lineage chose the Copake Agricultural Center opportunity specifically because it offered stability—a real home to grow real longterm plans to reality.
“After spending the last six years looking for the right land and situation, we are very excited to have the opportunity to settle down and create a farm,” says Jon (above), a biodynamic farmer since 2006. “To create this farm we needed a secure longterm land base, and people who have interest in it as much as we do.”
“Working with NEFA, we have found this match. We have never seen another model that is so willing to work with farmers and views the farmer’s work as an integral piece in creating this picture.”
The Lineage Farm CSA (More than Vegetables!)
Lineage’s 200-member CSA (with capacity for more to join) includes not just farm-fresh vegetables from June through October, but also add-on features: Berry Shares and Egg Shares and Honey Shares and even Flower Shares (supplied by across-the-street Copake Ag Center neighbors Jenny Elliott and Luke Franco of Tiny Hearts Farm). Weekly pickups are at Copake, Hudson, Croton, White Plains and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Join online at this link, where there is more information about all of that.