WALTON, NY - On Monday, August 8, the Catskills CRAFT group will meet from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lucky Dog Organic Farm in Hamden, NY. Catskills CRAFT, or Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, is an educational networking group for beginning farmers. Farm interns, employees and operators of recently established farm enterprises are welcome to attend the event.
In fewer than ten years, Lucky Dog Organic Farm has grown to encompass a farm store, wholesale operation, community supported agriculture (CSA) program, farmers' market sales and two on-farm restaurants. With this growth, staff size has expanded to include seasonal and year-round employees. Farm staff will discuss their approach to planning for and adapting to the growth of a farm business. The first hour of the farm visit will include this discussion of planning for and adapting to growth. Following the discussion, the group will share a potluck meal.
Catskills CRAFT brings a national model aimed at developing beginning farmer networks across the country to the region. More details on the group and the monthly farm visits planned throughout 2011 can be found at www.catskillscraft.org. Contact Sonia Persichilli at [email protected] or 914-720-1020 for more information.
From June through November, beginning farmers are invited to gather at a farm for an instructional visit. There are six Monday evening visits planned for the 2011 season. Each visit includes an overview of the farm as well as a hands-on demonstration of one or two specific topics. The end of the season closes with a final farm visit and planning session for the following year's tours. You can read about at the group's first farm visit with Willow Wisp Organic Farm at www.pre-catskills.blogspot.com/2011/06/catskills-beginning-farmer-group-off-to.html.
CRAFT host farms demonstrate the growing diversity of agriculture in the region and address a range of relevant agricultural challenges and techniques. A full schedule and host farm background can be found at www.CatskillsCRAFT.org. Catskills CRAFT is made possible with leadership support from Catskills region beginning farmers, financial support from Farmhearts, and administrative support from the Watershed Agricultural Council. For more information on Farmhearts, please visit www.farmhearts.org.
The purpose of the Watershed Agricultural Council is to protect both the rural, land-based economy of the watershed region and its drinking water quality for over nine million people. Working with farmers, agribusinesses, forest landowners, forest industry professionals and others, the Council seeks to enhance both business profitability and environmental stewardship. It also champions the use of conservation easements as an option to keep land within a working landscape context. The Council works through partnerships with other nonprofits, government agencies and community stakeholders to achieve its purpose. For more information, visit www.nycwatershed.org.
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