John Learn

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I am the owner and operator of an edible plant nursery Mandala Farm - www.mandala.farm.  Mandala Farm is a local regenerative agriculture plant nursery offering a wide variety of edible fruits, nuts, herbs, and vegetables, with over 15 different types of berries and other resilient plants and fun foods.  
Mandala Farm is a unique provider of specialty perennial edible and medicinal plants for progressive gardeners, farmers, homesteaders, and organizations. 
We are located in Staten Island, New York with satellite locations in the Hudson Valley in Ellenville, NY and the Finger Lakes in Wilseyville, NY. I am in partnership with 2 local land owners which support its operations, establishing perennial systems with fruit and nut crops.
I am an event organizer with a non-profit group which is currently seeking land, the
Bodhivastu Foundation for Enlightened Activity. Bodhivastu is working to establish a
monumental world peace project which will incorporate regenerative agriculture as part of the project. This will provide the surrounding community with nutrient-dense, clean sources of food and medicine. By designing with whole ecological systems in mind, we will use techniques to mitigate ecological issues such as drought, flooding, and erosion. The agricultural practices will focus on building soil in the process of growing food. Please see here for more information about the project: http://www.thegreatawakening.org/stupa-of-the-great-awakening/
For many years, Bodhivastu has been carrying on humanitarian activities in Nepal and the United States by leading efforts in emergency relief, providing solar powered electricity and clean water access in underserved rural areas, and hosting interfaith events.
In my agricultural efforts, I integrate support species, pollinator attractants, forageable bird crops, native plants, annual crops, and other short-term yielding crops while the longer-term establishment of the perennial system is developing.
While farming practices is a complex topic, I have always practiced organic or better
standards. My farming practices integrate techniques prioritizing water storage in the
landscape and efficient use thereof, breeding for resilient and desirable genetics,
appropriate species selection, etc. I integrate designs in perennial polycultures and practice holistic biological orchard management.

Description of marketing method:

Direct to consumer, restaurants, chefs. Value added products.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Hudson Valley
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Rockland
    • Ulster
    • Westchester

Desired acreage:

21-50, 51-100, >100

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits

Description of livestock/crops:

Perennial fruit, nut, vegetable, herbaceous, and floral crops. Annual herbaceous, floral, etc support crops.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

Thank you for taking the time to read my description here.  I am an event organizer with a non-profit group which is currently seeking land, the Bodhivastu Foundation for Enlightened Activity. Bodhivastu is working to establish a monumental world peace project which will incorporate regenerative agriculture as part of the project.
This will provide the surrounding community with nutrient-dense, clean sources of food and medicine. By designing with whole ecological systems in mind, we will use techniques to mitigate ecological issues such as drought, flooding, and erosion. The agricultural practices will focus on building soil in the process of growing food. Please see here for more information about the project: http://www.thegreatawakening.org/stupa-of-the-great-awakening/
We are looking for land for long-term development as perennial-based, multi-storied,
polyculture cropping systems. We are open to working with an already-established farmer, in transition of ownership of the land.  This situation might be the ideal, actually.
We are definitely interested in land options which are suited towards developing housing and potential operations such as a farmstand or commercial kitchen.

Additional Information

Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?

Yes

Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education

Experience description:

I am the owner and operator of an edible plant nursery Mandala Farm - www.mandala.farm.  Mandala Farm is a local regenerative agriculture plant nursery offering a wide variety of edible fruits, nuts, herbs, and vegetables, with over 15 different types of berries and other resilient plants and fun foods.  
Mandala Farm is a unique provider of specialty perennial edible and medicinal plants for progressive gardeners, farmers, homesteaders, and organizations. 
I am located in Staten Island, New York with satellite locations in the Hudson Valley in Ellenville, NY and the Finger Lakes in Wilseyville, NY. I am in partnership with 2 local land owners which support its operations, establishing perennial systems with fruit and nut crops. 
I am a consultant for farm and landscaping projects and have helped to design and install projects in the Northeast. I breed certain species of edible plants for desirable
characteristics and serve as a Program Leader and Board Member for 2 local non-profit environmental group, educating people on ecosystems, flora, and fauna in our local ecosystems.
I owned and operated my own farm to table catering business for over 7 years and
developed positive relationships with many local farmers in my area.