Andy Weyenberg

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I am currently working on a certified organic vegetable farm. I have volunteered on a number of farms in the past 4 years while working as a carpenter in the field of home remodeling, and I am well versed in permaculture and biodynamic farming, indoor mushroom production, vermiculture, as well as Dr. Elaine Ingham's soil food web practices. I am looking to establish a diversified fruit, nut, and berry orchard with a mushroom production and vermiculture component. I plan to use solely regenerative organic practices on the land. Ultimately, I would like this site to serve as a retreat space and meeting grounds for a diverse group of artists, philosophers, scientists, and craftsmen, in an effort to break out of the cycle of specialization and stimulate the innately polymathic nature of the human mind, while igniting or rekindling connection to the intricate and beautiful web of the natural world. All of this aside, it all starts with a successful farm.

Description of marketing method:

I plan to sell the mushrooms and much of the fruit and berries directly to resturants. The worm castings from the vermiculture operation will likely be marketed towards various small gardening stores, directed towards home growers who want the best fully organic fertilizer that nature can make. The annual vegetables, herbs, and flowers will be sold in the farm store/stand once it is established and through various farmers markets, such as the union square greenmarket. The remainder of produce, mainly fruits, will be marketed through a you-pick enterprise.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

Yes

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

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

Desired acreage:

21-50, 51-100, >100

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Other Crops

Description of livestock/crops:

The main crops will be fruit trees and berry bushes, with some nut trees planted for production in the future. Within this diversified orchard, I will also be growing herbs and flowers. I also plan to grow mushrooms using both indoor and outdoor cultivation methods, and to establish a vermicompost operation to help manage waste streams. There will likely also be annual vegetable production, especially in the early years as the trees and perenials become established.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Partnership, For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

Because I am planning on long-term investment options in the land (ie. fruit and nut trees), and due to the specificity of my long-term vision, I believe that land ownership would be my best option. I am, however, open to a partnership with someone with simmilar desires.

Additional Information

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

Unsure

Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education, Farm internship/apprenticeship, Farmer training or workshop

Experience description:

I have some formal training, in that I have taken a number of courses pertaining to mushroom production (indoor and outdoor), permaculture, and the soil food web, but most of my experience thus far comes from spending time volunteering and working on various farms. To supplement my lack of formal education, my partner in this endeavor has a degree in agriculture from Cornell University. This past season, I have worked full-time as a farmhand on a certified organic vegetable farm in Brewster, NY. Previous to this, while working full-time (mostly as a carpenter) I have spent nearly all my free time volunteering on farms during the past 4 years.