Critz family pitches in to run a diversified Central New York farm

CE-MR-3-Critz Farms3by Pat Malin

CAZENOVIA, NY — The Critz Farms produces maple syrup, grows blueberries, apples and pumpkins. It boasts a corn maze, a cider mill, a variety of farm animals, an annual music festival, a gift shop and even two enclosed playgrounds.

It’s easy to forget that raising Christmas trees is the farm’s bread-and-butter activity. [Read more…]

Oxen an educational mission for 50-year showman

CE-MR-1-Oxen-and-ed-1cby Kara Lynn Dunn

Herb Stacy of Lowville has worked with oxen for more than 50 years. He learned how to train them in a “five-minute lesson from my father,” he says.

“We were on the farm in Denmark, NY, and I told him I needed to move manure but could not afford a tractor or horses, so he said, ‘Use oxen.’ He told me to halter them and walk one at a time until they followed commands and then yoke two together. Once they learn, they respond to just voice commands,” Herb says. [Read more…]

Aspen Ridge Farm: naturally-raised meats

CE-MR-2-Aspen-Ridge-by Tamara Scully

Hidden down an old dirt road, Aspen Ridge Farm is home to Meredith and Bucky Acly, their two young children, and the assorted livestock they raise in rural Warren County, New Jersey. The 25-acre farm, located in Oxford, is home to pastured broilers, laying hens, pigs, dairy cow, veal calves, and Icelandic sheep. [Read more…]

Successful urban farmers use intensive agriculture

CN-MR-1-Urban farmersby Sanne Kure-Jensen

There are many benefits to farming in urban areas. Most urban farmers enjoy being close to their markets and customers. They also spend less time and money transporting goods to customers than rural growers. Urban sites generally offer easy access to potable water. Most urban farmers have fewer wildlife problems than their rural counterparts. Urban environments also tend to be 6 – 8 degrees warmer than rural areas. This is partly due to the heat island effect of pavement and sidewalks. [Read more…]

Grasstravaganza 2014 promotes love of the land through understanding

CEW-MR-3-Grasstravaganza3by Troy Bishopp

MORRISVILLE, NY — Aldo Leopold once said, “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” This sentiment was an overarching theme at the three-day Grasstravaganza 2014 event that brought 150 farmers, ag educators and conservation professionals together to peer deeply into soil health, pasture productivity and creating wealth by nurturing the land. [Read more…]