Stephen Panasci

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I am a farmer and Landscape Architect. I run my own design and consulting business, Agrario Design, that works with land owners, farmers, cooperatives, and conservation groups to plan, design, and implement strategies for sustainable tourism, sustainable agriculture, and ecological restoration. 
I am looking to provide professional design and consulting services to a variety of land owners and land stewards to create or enhance the ecological and agricultural productivity of their landscapes, and/or plan ways to engage with the larger public. These strategies include planning eco- and agritourism opportunities and designing the related infrastructure, planning regenerative agricultural and agroforestry systems, and designing components of ecological restoration and creating plans for the long term management of the ecological systems on site.  As a Landscape Architect, aesthetics are always considered along with the more functional aspects of design. I also aim to support cooperative structures with a goal of sharing or creating more access to agricultural and natural lands in a way that enhances the environment and the cultures who live/work with them. All sites are different and require individual attention and planning. There is no required size of a site to enhance ecological and/or agricultural productivity. Strategies can be implemented on larger farms as well as smaller gardens.
I can work for a diverse array of clients including private land owners, farmers and land stewards, conservation groups and land trusts, and other public and community groups. Depending on the project, I would work with allied professionals to ensure that the vision created can become a reality on site. 
Please view my website for Design and Consulting services: agrariodesign.com
I am also looking for land for myself in the upper Hudson Valley to create a home base for my business that incorporates all aspects of what I provide to others. I am looking to either own, lease, or partner on land. I am interested in market gardens, agroforestry, creating a native plant and agroforestry focused nursery, diversified grazing operations, and incorporating elements of eco- and agritourism. I am looking to take my own personal first step in managing a diversified agricultural business, but also interested in evolving into a cooperative structure welcoming to all people, and supporting marginalized groups. I have experience with market gardening, nursery production, and native fruit crops. I have minor experience with cattle management, but am eager to be involved with other types of livestock operations.  

Description of marketing method:

Direct to consumer, partnering with added value producers, and restaurants. Would utitilize online farmers market tech to process orders that has arisen during the current climate with COVID-19. This can be a long term strategy to broaded the direct sales market with less times spent "hitting the pavement."

Does this farmer have a business plan?

Yes

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Capital Area
    • Albany
    • Rensselaer
    • Saratoga
    • Washington
  • Hudson Valley
    • Columbia
    • Dutchess
    • Greene
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Rockland
    • Sullivan
    • Ulster
    • Westchester

Desired acreage:

11-20, 21-50, 51-100

Infrastructure required:

Onsite housing, Water access, Electrical Access

Description of water access required:

In addition to a well or spring capable of providing for general living and farm irrigation, I would love to be on a property that includes or is near a clean body of water: lake, stream, etc. Wet areas on the property are useful for some agroforestry and native plant crops that support the nursery business while enhancing these unique environments. 

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Ornamentals, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

Also looking to grow native nut crops - butternut, hazelnut, black walnuts, hickory, and possible chestnuts. 

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

I am looking to manage land, but also invest in the infrastructure for my landscape design and consulting business for the future. My business plan is currently for a 1/2 to 1 acre market garden to begin creating revenue in the short term, while investing in agroforestry crops and the nursery for the not-so-distant future of the business. Long term business plan is fluid as I'd like to form partnerships and participate in a cooperative structure. 

Additional Information

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

Yes

Experience & education:

Farm internship/apprenticeship, Farmer training or workshop

Experience description:

I have a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture degree and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree. I am a licensed Landscape Architect with 5 years of experience working as a project designer and project manager at a Landscape Architecture firm (Sikora Wells Appel). My educucational background incorporated hands on opportunities focused on Permaculture, Ecological Restoration, and general Horticulture in addition to Landscape Architecture. I have worked in public gardens, on private gardening crews, urban and rural farms in the US and internationally through work exchanges (WWOOF). Farms I have worked on included organic and regenerative vegetable production, beef cattle, organic grain production, orchards, sustainable timber and mill, ornamental and native plant nursery production, smaller livestock operations with pigs, poultry, sheep, and horses.