Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our Second Journeyperson Farm Visit at Sullivan Farm

Yesterday, Bill and I visited Sullivan Farm in New Milford for our second Journeyperson Farm Visit.  Joe Listro, one of CT NOFA's journeypeople, was hired as farm manager in February and since then, has started managing the vegetable production, hay production, farm stand, interns and education programs, and a variety of other responsibilities around the community farm.  We were glad he could make time to meet with us!
First we looked at the vegetable plot as you'll see below.
While we were in the vegetable garden we were joined by Joe's mentor, Dina Brewster of The Hickories in Ridgefield. Dina's mentor stipend is supported by the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program distributed by the National Institute for Agriculture.  Just during our visit Dina offered advice on growing practices, cover crops, marketing, fencing, working with the National Resource Conservation Service, record keeping . . . I can go on and on.

We walked around the farm for over an hour, looking at current vegetable and hay production and his equipment (a seed spreader below). 
We were excited to hear that Joe will soon be applying for organic certification for Sullivan Farm, though the farm has already signed the Farmer's Pledge!
Joe also laid out his plans for the farm including several new vegetable plots, fruit bushes and possibly a small orchard and even space for Christmas trees. 

We also visited the sugar house where Sullivan Farm will again process sap to make maple syrup this winter.

For more information on Sullivan Farm, check out their website.You can also read this New Milford Spectrum article from March.  For more information on the Journeyperson program (which will be accepting applications for 2013-2015 in just a couple months) please visit our Journeyperson Page. The journeyperson program is for farmers just starting to independently farm, and provides a mentor, free admission to CT NOFA events, business and education stipends, and the support of the greater regional NOFA network. 

Here's to cooler days!

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