Michelle Vitner

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Farming Status and Plans

Years actively farming:

Less than 2

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

My sister Kathleen and I have formed an LLC called Mother Gaia Greens, specializing in microgreens in an indoor growing environment, we have begun to sell to area restaurants and are seeking customers for direct delivery. We hope to expand this spring into market greens such as Kale and salads, eventually some herbs.  Our goal this year is to create a thriving full-time produce operation, locally focused. We also intend in the future to own our own land for farming, living on-site with our families and expanding into honeybees, goats, mini-jersey cows, hens, aquaculture and mushrooms, all as organic as possible and with sustainability as a main goal. We want to help improve soils and contimnue to learn about good composting techniques and permaculture cycles, we enjoy making compost and our 5 little hens help out with manure. 

Description of marketing method:

We are currently marketing via social media and word of mouth along with soliciting restaurant and health food stores directly, we will be starting a farmers market in the coming weeks. 

We will also be advertising soon in a local publication.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

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

Desired acreage:

1-5, 6-10

Infrastructure required:

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

Description of infrastructure:

We are interested in inquiring about onsite housing, but that is not a requirement as such.

Description of buildings required:

Ideally a greenhouse or at least a high hoop house for our greens.

If we are able to expand in our business, we would like to add hens for eggs and possibly goats so a coop and small barn.

Description of farm equipment required:

small tractor or even no tractor at first.

Description of water access required:

We would like water via a greenhouse but could set up lines from a water source.

Description of fencing required:

at first, none, unless expanding later into hens/goats, then would seek moveable electric barriers for the hens, but fencing would be best with goats.

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Vegetables, Fruits

Primary Livestock:

Goats/Sheep, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

We currently are focused on greens- microgreens and salad greens/market greens, but want to expand into other areas within a year or so. Livestock will be a part of our holistic systems approach eventually, but we currently do not have livestock. We own 5 of our own hens at home and would love to expand that on a leased site.

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease

Description of tenure options desired:

We are a new, small farm business and see ourselves growing quickly in skills and experience throughout the coming year, we are initially only seeking a small lease on an acre or less if possible. We would do well with greenhouse infrastructure that allows water and electricity access, but could also use tall hoop houses. We have Family Farm insurance in place for our business.

Additional Information

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

Unsure

Experience & education:

Farmer training or workshop, Other

Experience description:

We have been studying soil building and raised bed garden production, cornell course on Mushroom production, are enrolling in an advanced workshop on microgreens too. We will be actively partaking in courses in food safety, farm and business management, holistic land management through cornell coop for small businesses, Northeast Organic Farm Association NY, Inc, Farm Inc, as well as continue to follow informal learning such as articles and videos of Joel Salatin, Curtis Stone, Justin Rhodes and others.