Since 1992, John and Jen Bokaer Smith and a hardworking crew have been growing vegetables, fruit, and healthy well-nourished families on 10 acres at EcoVillage Ithaca. The farmland is protected by a permanent conservation easement through the Finger Lakes Land Trust and is Certified Organic by NOFA-NY. John and Jen are retiring after 27 years of farming, and West Haven Farm is for sale! If you recognize the importance of preserving agriculture near cities, have a passion for connecting people with the food they eat, and are committed to sustainable farming, this may be the right situation for you! See www.westhavenfarm.net for more info.
This small farm is a unique combination of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and U-Pick models, and supplies seasonal small fruit to members in the greater Ithaca, NY area. With about 5 acres in production, and a wide variety of berries including strawberries, blueberries, currants, gooseberries and many more, farmer Katie Creeger helps kids and adults connect with the food they eat and the land that grows it. Kestrel Perch was featured in Organic Gardening magazine.
The third farm at EcoVillage Ithaca is set aside specifically for beginning farmers, who each hone their skills on quarter acre plots and share the use of a tractor, water supply and the deer fencing which protects this 5-acre site. 2014 will see at least two vegetable farmers, and a livestock farmer raising pigs. Additional space is available. Apply at Groundswell.
Personal and Community Gardens
Many villagers also tend gardens close to their homes. Edible landscaping is commonplace, with foundation plantings of berry bushes, front paths flanked by kale and kitchen herb gardens within easy reach. Each neighborhood has a deer-fenced community garden for those who want to grow even more. Cooperation helps with the planning, hard work and fun. We share seed orders in the Winter, have seedling exchanges in Spring, and share advice and swap chores in the Summer. The Fall sees us sharing our harvests and putting on canning parties for food preservation to eat throughout the winter.