Emily DiGiovanni

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Farming Status and Plans

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I currently have a moderate seed bank of heritage, organic and disease tolerant seeds that I am hoping to cultivate for both production and seed saving purposes. I grow organically, integrating indigenous methods with Permaculture / agroforestry, along with traditional small-scale agriculture practices. Integrated pest management, composting, soil enhancing cover crop / crop rotation, companion planting, mulching and a no waste system are all things I have a strong knowledge of. I hope to grow a diverse range of crops, including - but not limited to - garlic, tomato, Chile pepper, greens, culinary and beauty/therapeutic herbs, bee flowers, squash, beans, peas, flax, buckwheat and sunflowers. I have a background in growing in a variety of climates, but I grew up in the Northeast so I have a strong affinity and connection to this part of the world. I look at growing as “turning the jungle into a garden, without removing a single flower”. It is a symbiotic relationship between the farmer and what nature is already telling us and providing, guiding the land to produce what will not be resource draining or damaging to the ecosystem.

Description of marketing method:

Local farmers markets, online sales, developing farm to restaurant contracts, cooperative sales if possible. Social media platform development (I am a skilled photographer and writer). Events on the farm (can be advertised through flyers at local businesses, through local non profits, newspapers, libraries, online forums and social media) - from “harvest for dinner” style events, to workshops ranging from sustainability topics to cooking and herbalism (depending on the space and resources available). I have a lot of ideas. Can also market to people living in more urban areas looking to experience a working farm and wanting a break from the city. I am very open to ideas and discussing the vision of the landowner / potential partner. 

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

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

Desired acreage:

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

Infrastructure required:

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

Description of buildings required:

Ideally, space for processing, drying and storing where dust can be contained, light can be regulated based on the crops needs, and has solid air flow. A walk in would be helpful, but can be worked around based on sales locations / timing of harvesting. If there is a greenhouse, I would utilize it for cooking greens production and seed starting. An area for composting (if not already set up, I can do so).

Description of farm equipment required:

Not required, but helpful - tiller, irrigation system, basic farm tools (I have some), water catchment barrels, trays for seed starting are the basic needs I have.

Description of water access required:

Ideally, a small pond or well water pump that can be used for a basic irrigation system. There are barrel methods of irrigating through rainwater, which can be supplemental or stand alone. I have a lot of experience in drylands farming so can be creative if need be.

Description of fencing required:

Ideally, solid fencing that wildlife cannot intrude on for certain crops (like cooking greens). Some crops can be openly farmed without as much risk, so I’m flexible.

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Ornamentals, Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

Cattle - Dairy, Equine, Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry, Other livestock

Description of livestock/crops:

Mainly organic, heirloom and indigenous seed varieties. I am open to suggestions or requests. I am capable of growing a vast variety of fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, trees and shrubs, berries, some grains and herbs. My ideal growing plan includes ~ Garlic, Chile pepper, tomato, cooking/salad greens, squash, bee/tea/ ornamental flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs, flax, buckwheat and, in the long term, berry bushes, fruit trees, poultry and apiary development. I have experience with goats and sheep, so I am open to that if landowner wishes, or they are already on the property and need care.      

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

Farm Management, For Lease, Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

Ideally, a two year partnership initially, expanded upon after seeing how things are progressing on communication, financial and production fronts. 

Additional Information

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

Unsure

Experience & education:

Formal agricultural education, On farm work experience, Farm internship/apprenticeship, Farmer training or workshop

Experience description:

I have experience gardening a variety of vegetables through my childhood and teenage years. In my 20s, I interned at an organic farm with crop production in a field and greenhouse, chickens for egg production, sheep and goats for dairy and meat. I then went on to supervise a learning garden with a crew of interns. I worked on small scale agriculture and sustainable garden development in Africa for over three years, including agroforestry / permaculture gardens, tree nurseries (mainly fruit, timber, fuel wood, medicinal varieties of trees) and women-based cooperative farm initiatives.  I have a Permaculture Design certification and have implemented small scale seed banks, along with practiced seed saving methods for a number of years, as well.