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Keith Stewart

Year of the Dove

 We live on an old dairy farm which still has a functional barn. The lower part of this barn (once the milking parlor) has always been a favorite spot for

Where Have All the Farmers Gone?

Old farmers never die. They just hoe away.” So said the message in a birthday card sent me by a former employee. On the front was a cartoon-like rendition of

The American Chestnut

NOT SO LONG AGO, the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) by many accounts was the most prized and plentiful tree in our eastern forests. It was said that a squirrel could

Locally Grown: Why Organic?

FIFTY YEARS AGO, organic farming was, at best, laughed off as a joke by the agricultural establishment (the land-grant colleges and federal and state departments of agriculture). At worst, it

Locally Grown: Deer Defense

IN ANY SOCIAL GATHERING WITH PEOPLE I know who don’t make a living growing vegetables, I’m invariably hit with a few gardening questions: What’s causing the dark spots on the

Murder in the Coop

ON AVERAGE, WE HAVE about 20 chickens living on the farm at any one time. Most are hens, though we always keep one or two roosters to maintain the natural

The Legacy of Mohonk

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, I was invited by the head gardener at Mohonk Mountain House, just outside of New Paltz (Ulster County), to talk to the hotel’s guests about heirloom

For Want of Sheep

AFTER AN ABSENCE OF FOUR months, spent mostly in Ohio, George has come back to the farm for another season. We are glad to have him. His sprightly manner, boundless enthusiasm

When It All Goes Wrong

A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, I paid a neighbor with an excavator to dig a hole six feet deep in some fallow land behind the pond. Then, with grim resolve,

Buying a Farm

WHEN MY GIRLFRIEND AND I set out to buy a farm 23 years ago, we had only a vague notion of what we were looking for—having lived in New York

Trees On The Farm

ONE OF THE NICE THINGS about owning a piece of land is that you can plant trees on it. When the work is done, you can stand back and conjure

Cover crops and green manure

THE MORE I FARM, the more I appreciate cover crops and green manures. Though they don’t go to market with us and are therefore never seen by our customers, these

City Farmers, Urban Agriculture

IN MARCH OF THIS YEAR, I was invited to be a speaker and panelist at an Urban Agriculture Conference hosted by the Horticultural Society of New York. At first, I

When It Rains

AFTER A CHALLENGING SUMMER with surprising fluctuations in weather and too many hungry deer, we were banking on a congenial fall with plenty to harvest and bring to market. We

High Times For Garlic

GARLIC IS OUR SIGNATURE CROP and it has been for 20 years. It is, to a large extent, the crop on which our farm’s identity and reputation rest. Because we

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!