Ben Harris

I am an organic vegetable and flower farmer with about ten years experience, including four in which I had my own farm in CT. Currently seeking land opportunities in NY State.

Preferred counties/regions

  • Capital Region
  • Hudson Valley
  • Finger Lakes

Desired acreage

  • 6-10
  • 11-20
  • 21-50
  • 51-100

Farming Status

Beginning farmer: 10 years or less of experience managing a farm business

Not currently farming

Primary reason for farming

Farm will generate a portion of my income

Farming status, plans, and practices

I am the former proprietor of Root Down Farm in Simsbury, CT, a small no-tractor, no-till organic vegetable and flower farm that supplied a 50-member CSA, farmers markets and wholesale accounts in the Hartford area. Currently I am seeking a long-term land tenure arrangement in eastern NY State, southern Vermont or Western Massachusetts. I am open to a straight sale, long-term lease or possible business partnership. I am looking to dig in for the long term and it's important to me to live on the land that I farm. I am committed to organic and sustainable practices, regenerative agriculture, and creating a beautiful, sustainable, and vital community resource that will feed and nourish animals, plans and humans for generations to come. 

Farm Experience & Education

  • Farm internship/apprenticeship
  • Farm owner
  • Farmer training or workshop
  • Formal agricultural education
  • Farm manager

I have had the great privilege and living and working on some beautiful farms in my early 30s. I also have a certificate in ecological horticulture from UC Santa Cruz. And for four years (2014-2018) ran my own operation, Root Down Farm, in central Connecticut. 

Farming Plans and Practices

Farming method or practice

  • Biodynamic
  • Organic (certified)
  • Regenerative/Sustainable

Primary crops

  • black outline of a carrot Vegetables
  • black outline apple icon Fruits
  • black outline of a flower Flowers or Ornamentals

Primary livestock

  • Black outline of a chicken Poultry

In the past, we grew about 30-40 vegetable crops for CSA and a wide selection of annual flowers. 

Marketing Method

In the past, I have sold through CSA, farmers market and wholesale accounts. At present, I don't have a specific vision of how I want to market my produce. I'm open to various possibilities. 

Farm business plan or farm resume

I do not have a business plan or farm resume

Farmland Needs

Infrastructure required

  • black outline barn icon Barns - Equipment Storage
  • black outline electrical icon Electrical access
  • black outline house icon Farmer housing
  • Black outline of a water drop Water access

Housing and bars for storage are crucial. Surface water is highly preferred. Greenhouse/hoophouse also crucial, but can be erected if it's not already present.

Desired Tenure

Tenure options desired

  • For Lease
  • For Sale
  • Business Partnership
  • Cooperative Model
  • Other Tenure Agreement

Open to various options. But stable, dependable land tenure is vital. 

Estimated price range for a lease or a purchase of a farm property

500-1M

Has this farmer received a pre-qualification from a lending institution?

No

Will this operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?

Yes

Ag Updates

Dairy Cows eating silage in the barn.

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Leslie Hamilton, Triple H Farms, Geneseo, NY October 15 2018Photo essay for the American Farmland Trust and Great Lakes Protection Fund illustrating farms and landowners working together to conserve the land and resources.

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We get asked all the time what average rental rates are for a county or region! Cornell Cooperative Extension is working to survey farmers, farmland landowners, and agribusiness professionals to create an up-to-date snapshot of farmland rental rates and custom harvest fees. Your response to this survey will help us to provide the most accurate information! 

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