Leslie & Joshua Sowa

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Farming Status and Plans

Years actively farming:

Less than 2

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

Hello! Personally, I'm beyond excited to have land to grow more vegetables, raise chickens, goats or sheep, and even perhaps a few pigs. Those goals are more personal and less profit-focused. For income, I plan to begin a flower farm and agrotourism business. I'd like to grow and breed several varieties, saving and selling seed and dried products. I've been planning this venture for many years now, and am so excited to begin. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Description of marketing method:

I am currently enrolled in both the Farm Business plan and Social Media and Online Marketing classes through the Cornell Small Farms extension program. This will help me to formulate a strong marketing strategy to begin once we find the right property!

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:

21-50, 51-100, >100

Infrastructure required:

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

Description of buildings required:

Outbuildings would be a large plus as it would reduce our upfront costs, however if the land is ideal and the price is affordable, we may be able to make something work.

Description of water access required:

A well or other reliable irrigation source would be essential.

Crops and Livestock

Primary crops:

Other Crops

Primary Livestock:

Goats/Sheep, Pigs, Poultry

Description of livestock/crops:

I plan to begin a flower and herb farm, starting small but hopefully growing extensively as we have the resources to expand. I have years of experience making personal care products ranging from soap to salves to beeswax wraps, and that will be an important element of the farm business. I will also be growing an extensive vegetable garden for our family as well as neighbors or perhaps a farm stand. For the first year or two we would like to have a smaller quanitty of animals as we learn our animal husbandry skills. From there, I can see a larger rotational grazing program being a key component of the farm, especially in order to improve soil health. 

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Sale

Description of tenure options desired:

My husband and I are looking to buy a property to raise our family on and hopefully to pass on to our children. We are especially passionate about improving soil health so that they have fertile land for fenerations to come!

Additional Information

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

Yes

Experience description:

I spent my childhood visiting my grandparents farm, I would ride the tractor with my grandpa, climb all over the hay bales, scoop up barn kittens, and admire the cows. I want to give that same experience to my children and theirs after them. Unfortunately because of where I went to college and then spent my 20s working, I didn't have access to a farm to work on, but we've been planning and saving for about 5 years in order to make a move out to a rural area and begin farming! Fortunately my husband started a new remote job in 2020 so now we are finally able to make that dream come true! My training is in enviornmental science and my husband is a civil engineer. We are handy, driven, and absolutely love tackling projects together. I've been reading, watching, and studying everything I can get my hands on. I've had a vegetable garden my whole life and love nothing more than getting my hands dirty. I also know that the best learning experience I will have is once we have our land beneath our feet and can finally begin farming full time.