On March 15 and 16, Hawthorne Valley Farm (HVF) served as one of two distribution sites for the Hudson Valley Farm Bulk Order’s fourth annual pick up. Thirty-six area farmers came to HVF over the two days to pick up supplies that were ordered as part of the farmer-to-farmer cost savings program.

The Hudson Valley Farm Bulk Order Program was started by Hudson Valley farmer Faith Gilbert in 2021 as a farmer-to-farmer cost savings program designed to combine purchasing power to achieve product discounts on necessary farm supplies and reduce shipping costs. The program is now coordinated by Ella Schwarzbaum and works with 9 vendors to source everything from cover crop seeds, harvest knives, bulb crates, fertilizer, seeding trays, potting mix, and irrigation parts. The orders are then sent to either HVF or Tributary Farm in High Falls, NY, for distribution to participants.

“We’ve served as a distribution site for the Farm Bulk Order Program from its inception,” says Spencer Fenniman, HVF Farm Director. “Faith, and now Ella, have done great work developing a program that meets a real need from farmers, and we at Hawthorne Valley have been happy to support the program’s growth.”

In 2021, the first Bulk Order program served 63 farms, collectively purchasing $140,000 in farm supplies and passed on $17,000 of discounts to participating farms. This year, 82 farms participated, purchasing just over $200,000 worth of goods with a savings of $42,000 passed on to farmers.

“It’s been amazing to take over coordination of the Hudson Valley Farm Bulk Order Program since it really demonstrates what a community can do when it works together,” Ella Schwarzbaum says. “Both distribution sites worked for several days to receive, sort, and distribute orders, right on the brink of the start of the growing season. This year we had a huge jump in both the number of farms participating and the amount of money spent and saved. A coalition of farmers in the Catskills has reached out about expanding the geographic reach of this ordering program, and we are generally considering adding a third distribution site to accommodate the growing interest in the program. It was really exciting to see a number of first time Bulk Order participants, and I hope the number continues to grow as the program becomes more established and word of mouth spreads.”

To learn more about the Hudson Valley Farm Bulk Order, please visit their website.