Steven Siegelski

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Farming Status and Plans

Years actively farming:

2-5

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I am currently helping with management of an organic farm in New Paltz, New York. We grow all different types of vegetables and a select assortment of fruits on about 10 acres of land. My partner Nellie (who has worked in agriculture for 10 years) and I are looking for either management, partnership or a lease of land to be farmed at a small scale (2-5 acres) with sustainable practices. This translates into using methods of composting, crop rotation and by extension cover crops as our means to keeping the soil healthy and vibrant. In an ideal scenario we would rely only what is regionally or locally available to manage soil fertility and therefore the overall health of crops.

Description of marketing method:

We aim for working with a CSA model as community is a strong value for the both of us.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

  • Adirondack Region
    • Clinton
    • Essex
    • Franklin
    • Hamilton
    • Herkimer
    • Warren
  • Capital Area
    • Albany
    • Fulton
    • Montgomery
    • Rensselaer
    • Saratoga
    • Schenectady
    • Schoharie
    • Washington
  • Central
    • Chenango
    • Cortland
    • Madison
    • Oneida
    • Onondaga
    • Oswego
    • Otsego
  • Finger Lakes
    • Cayuga
    • Livingston
    • Monroe
    • Ontario
    • Seneca
    • Schuyler
    • Tompkins
    • Wayne
    • Yates
  • Hudson Valley
    • Columbia
    • Delaware
    • Dutchess
    • Greene
    • Orange
    • Putnam
    • Rockland
    • Sullivan
    • Ulster
    • Westchester
  • Western
    • Cattaraugus
    • Chautauqua
    • Erie
    • Genesee
    • Niagara
    • Orleans
    • Wyoming

Desired acreage:

1-5, 6-10, 11-20, 21-50, 51-100

Infrastructure required:

Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Farm equipment, Water access

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Beef, Cattle - Dairy, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

Our aim is to have a diversified crop plan that would incorporate a wide range vegetables and include some fruits. Tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash, leafy greens, beans, peas, berries-essentially we would provide a CSA-styled gamut of vegetable and fruit. We would also be open to having livestock as a source of both food and fertility for the soil. Nellie has much experience managing livestock having helped look after a flock of 600 egg laying hens and at the same time managed a herd of 20 dairy cows plus a bull and milking about 11 at a time. 

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

We are looking for a management position that could develop into leasing and/or partnership. We feel it would be best to slowly integrate so that both parties feel comfortable and trusting of a transition. This is not to say that we are not open to other possibilites or arrangements.

Additional Information

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

Unsure

Experience & education:

On farm work experience, Farm internship/apprenticeship

Experience description:

I have worked on farms for five years now. I started at Green Gulch as an apprentice which is a 5 acre diversified vegetable farm about 45 minutes North of San Francisco. I moved back to the Hudson Valley and worked as a farmhand on a 25 acre organic vegetable farm, then moved on to a similarly sized organic vegetable farm for two years. I took a one year break to do a residency at a cloister and then left to help with managing the 10 acre organic vegetable farm I am on now. Through these experiences I have operated a wide range of tractor equipment for tillage, cultivation, mowing and a little bit of spray equipment. I also am trained in operating a Planet Jr direct seeder. In using all these implements I have operated all different types of tractors from John Deeres to Kubotas to Case International Tractors. I am also able to operate a skid steer. I have basic irrigation experience using both drip and overhead. I have managed a wash and pack room and the orders coming off the field and into the markets. I have done plenty of greenhouse work seeding in flats and beds in hoophouses. I have also had the opportunity of managing a crew in my current position and in my past position as a wash and pack manager.

Nellie has helped manage and operate a small-scale raw milk dairy for 3 years. There she also helped raise chicks and maintain their health, took care of 600 laying hens, helped with slaughtering turkeys and worked in the 1 1/2 acre vegetable operation. She is also experienced in treatment-free beekeeping and queen raising. She has experience working with goats and sheep. She has a permaculture certification from the Permaculture Institute in Santa Fe County, New Mexico as well as a 300-hour training certificate in clinical herbal studies. She is also proficient in operating a tractor with a loader and bail-hugger.