|Beginner farmers establish networking community through Catskills CRAFT group|
WALTON, NY - The Catskills CRAFT group hosts four on-farm trainings at regional farms this summer. Topics include designing your farm around topography, raising mixed livestock on the family farm, and marketing your farm products. 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.
Training sessions are open to beginning farmers looking for expertise in starting their own farms. Meetings are free and combine hands-on learning with a potluck dinner. Catskills CRAFT brings a national model aimed at developing beginning farmer networks across the country to the region. More details on the group can be found at www.catskillscraft.org. Contact Sonia Janiszewski at [email protected] or (914) 720-1020 for more information.
The four summer Catskills CRAFT trainings are:
June 1st, 6:00-9:30 p.m.
Without Walls EcoPracticum Potluck Social
Location: Camp Shomria, 52 Lake Marie Road, Liberty 12754, Sullivan County
Without Walls' Eco Practicum is an environmental sustainability and action program for undergraduate students and recent grads. The program participants get hands-on experience farming, caring for livestock and creating a healthy community. As part of their first unit, "Growing Enough Food: The Role of Organic, Local Produce in the Global Food System," they have invited Catskills CRAFT to a potluck where students will talk with local farmers. Transportation is available; email [email protected] for details.
June 11th, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Burnett Farms On-Farm Training: Farm Design by Topography
Location: 1901 Bramley Mountain, Bovina 13740, Delaware County, NY
Burnett Farms is nestled into a high Catskills saddle comprised of pasture, tillage fields, forest and ponds. Working within this diverse landscape, designing the farm and its processes has been both rewarding and challenging. Steve will share the approaches he has taken to designing his farm, his "predictable failures and lucky successes." A potluck supper will follow.
July 16th, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stony Creek Farmstead On-Farm Training: Raising Mixed Livestock on the Family Farm
Location: 1738 Freer Hollow Road, Walton 13856, Delaware County, NY
Kate & Dan Marsiglio
A small family farm located just off the Franklin-Walton Road, Stony Creek raises pastured turkeys, broilers, pigs, eggs and a wide variety of organic vegetables. The farm also hosts workshops and school group tours in addition to offering overnight farmstays. Stony Creek Farm's training will focus on raising mixed livestock. A potluck supper will follow.
August 6th, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Sherman Hill Farmstead On-Farm Training: Marketing Your Farm Products
Location: 9626 County Highway 21, Franklin 13775, Delaware County, NY
Linda Smith & Morgan George
Sherman Hill Farmstead in Franklin will provide training on marketing your farm products. A family-owned, sustainable farm producing goat-milk cheeses since 1993, the farm expanded their product offering in Fall 2010 by adding cow-milk cheeses, both fresh and aged, including several raw milk varieties. A potluck supper will follow.
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 organizations, government agencies and community stakeholders to achieve its purpose. For more information, visit www.nycwatershed.org.
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