Hawthorne Valley Farm (est. 1972) is a diversified, 900-acre Demeter certified 650A Biodynamic® farm (Demeter remains the oldest ecological certification organization in the world) in upstate New York. Our farm is also USDA certified organic and Animal Welfare Approved. Learn more about these certifications here.
By definition, Biodynamic is a comprehensive form of organic farming that heals the planet through regenerative agriculture.
- Sustainable farming means healthy farms. Biodynamic farming is a regenerative approach that emphasizes self-sustainability.
- Wholesome food means healthy people. Biodynamic farmers never use GMOs, synthetic chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides.
- Holistic stewardship means a healthy planet. Biodynamic farms integrate plants, animals, water, air and soil into a regulating ecosystem.
We currently have about 14 acres in vegetable production. Our two-acre Agawamuck 12 Star Fields (formerly Corner Garden) supplies the farm store, and feeds the children at our Waldorf School and those attending our Farm Camps and Visiting Students Program. The other 12 acres supply our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, as well as our Greenmarket and Farmers Market booths in New York City and the Hudson Valley. In addition, we grow about 60 acres of Biodynamic grain – 15 acres of rye for our bakery, and an additional 45 acres of triticale, spelt, barley and oats for livestock feed.
The remaining acreage is a combination of forests and fields that support our dairy herd by providing grass for their nourishment. In turn, the herd provides the ‘black gold’ (manure) for our compost which fertilizes and builds the health of the soil. As an added bonus, the herd produces roughly 1,000 pounds of milk a day on average – that amounts to about 45,625 gallons per year! We sell the milk in our store and use it to produce cheese, yogurt, probiotic smoothies, buttermilk and quark in our creamery.
Our rough estimate is that we feed between 700-800 families per year. In 2016, we were able to donate approximately 3,000 pounds of produce to charitable organizations.
Six full-time farmers and eight apprentices work hard year-round to tend the plants and animals of the farm, in addition to monitoring the health of the whole farm organism. Please follow this link for brief biographies of our Farmers. Click here to find out about our apprentice opportunities.
The Mission of Hawthorne Valley Farm
Our vision statement reads, “nurturing the land that nurtures us” and we take this statement seriously. Our goals are: to establish a true Biodynamic farm; to connect children and adults with the land and the food that nourishes them; and to provide agricultural products of the highest quality. Through the farm’s products, we hope to open an educational dialogue about our environment, our economy, and ourselves.
Adding value to our farm products through our creamery, farm store, and bakery allows us to grow our farm in a balanced way–with less stress on the land, plants and animals. The income from these “value-added” activities coupled with the greater profit margin from direct marketing (as described in the next paragraph) permits the farm to maintain a reasonable and “human” scale. Thus we are able to avoid the ‘conventional’ monoculturally-based, industrial-scale, factory-farming methods which are prevalent in the country today.
Local and regional direct marketing of our products through the farm store, the Green Markets in NYC, and the CSA program allows for a social interaction that brings people onto the farm and helps to develop long lasting connections. Further, providing our farm products to the other initiatives of Hawthorne Valley Association such as the visiting students program and the school allows us to develop deeper relationships with their participants as well.
Finally, our relationship with the on-farm learning and vocational training programs bring many young people onto the farm. It is our hope that the ongoing dialogue amongst us all will contribute to an increased awareness of the importance of sustainable living and working practices.
|Total acres owned (all under Conservation Easement)||500|
|Total acres leased||400|
|Acres in vegetables||15+|
|Number of dairy cows||65|