By all accounts, 2016 was a very challenging year. In reflecting on the whole, however, we see that in spite of considerable challenges, we made great strides forward….
ULSTER, New York, August 12, 2016 – A dynamic new farming project developed by Northeast Farm Access, LLC, and funded by 12 individual impact investors, has closed on its first 214-acre parcel, just off Ulster Avenue in Ulster. The historic former Chambers Farm will become the anchor location of the Esopus Agricultural Center, LLC, envisioned to include multiple area properties. Local officials immediately praised the new project….
NEFA’s three agricultural centers can yield even greater benefits than tons of clean local food. They can play a critical role in enhancing wildlife and pollinator habitat and groundwater quality, and reinvigorating the area economies—all factors in what is referred to as agroecology.
NEFA’s new Agroecology Program, made possible with donor support, is designed to conduct scientific and social-science research and implement practices to bring each property to fullest functioning on every level….
The first of Esopus Agricultural Center’s three anticipated farm purchases, the Chambers Farm, is scheduled for closing July 27th in Kingston, with dozens of people collaborating to make it all happen.
Our NEFA team and many supporters have worked hard since last October to get us so close. Local and town official meetings have been positive, with the community engaged and supportive. Though in March the land was still brown, the video above, shot then, gives you context of this unique space.
Some of the other details:
4 Farmer-Lessees Lined Up
Four experienced farm operations are finalizing 30-year lease terms to begin fall 2016. One, Rosette Salad, is already on the land, growing some 100 acres of organic spring mix lettuces, herbs and kale. The remaining fields are ready to plant September 1 by EAC’s prospective other farmer-lessees. The adjacent woodlands and waterways of this unique property are thriving. Our farmers:
Scenic Hudson Work Under Way
The Scenic Hudson Land Trust Inc. process is well under way, with valuation of conservation easements now expected in August. (More on our collaboration with Scenic Hudson.)
Second Farm Under Consideration
Esopus Agricultural Center, LLC’s next proposed farm purchase, a fabulous conserved 300-acre farm in nearby Kerhonkson/Rochester, is going very well. Current and additional prospective farmer-lessees have expressed interest in the land and buildings there.
August 11 Farmworker Rights Event
On August 11 at the Esopus center, NEFA and the new nonprofit Seed Song Farm Center are hosting a conversation about farmworker rights. Read the invitation.