- Hudson Valley
- Ulster County
Emerging farmer: 2 years or more of on farm work experience
Currently farming part-time
Primary reason for farming
Farm will generate a portion of my income
Farming status, plans, and practices
Mirkwood Farms is currently managing three sites in the Rondout Valley growing thousands of Chestnuts, Persimmon and Hickory trees. These trees are extremely low maintenance that don't require spray and have many benefits for the ecosystem and landscape. Trees can be spaced up to 60' wide between the rows leaving lush forage for grazing animals and gives them the shade they need for the summer months. Dappled shade also helps more grass grow in drought years by providing shade and moisture in the field. Tree crops can also bring diverse incomes to hay fields while also bringing the beneficial effects of dappled shade and moisture to the soil.
We create lease contracts with the landowners that entail how we will manage the plantings on their land and share the revenue from the tree crops. We provide and trees, tree protection tubes and maintenance.
These tree crops can be extremely profitable and can yield over $10,000 per acre when they reach maturity. Reach out to learn more about the exciting economics of these emerging markets.
We would love to continue to improve the health of our watershed in the Hudson Valley by planting more fields with diverse tree rows to support farm health and ecosystem health.
Tree crops are proving to be one of the most important land management tools for sequestering carbon and reverse climate change: https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/perennial-staple-crops
Looking forward to connecting!
-Costa & Anna
Farm Experience & Education
- Farm internship/apprenticeship
- Formal agricultural education
- Farm manager
- On farm work experience
Currently: Managing High Falls 3 Planted Sites,
1 Year with Wellspring Forest Farm, managing agroforestry systems. Mushroom production, Maple syrup, ginseng, fruit tree planting managing.
2 Years at Hawk Meadow Farm, managing agroforestry systems, mushroom production, black locust lumber management, maple syrup, nut trees.
2 years at New Leaf Forestry, managing maple stands, forestry, wildlife management, thinning, tree planting, habitat improvement.
2 Years at High Falls Farm, managing agroforestry systems, mushroom production, tree planting, tree maintenance
Farming Plans and Practices
Farming method or practice
- Organic (certified)
- Organic (not certified)
Chestnuts, persimmons and hickories are both high quality grazing animal/wildlife food as well as high value staples in many emerging markets. Chestnuts can be roasted or dried and ground into flour for a highly nutritious gluten-free flour. Persimmons can be eaten fresh and dried into a sweet holiday treat with a similar texture to dried mango. Yellowbud Hickory nuts are now being pressed for a high heat cooking oil that taste similar to pecan oil. We are building a processing facility for these three tree crops so they can become more commercially viable in this region.
There is a growing appreciation for agroforestry grown crops that support more sustainable and regenerative farming practices while building ecosystem health. We currently sell at farmers markets in the region but as we expand our processing we will be shipping our dried products around the country such as; Chestnut Flour, Dried Chestnuts for Gluten Free Beer Brewing, Dried Persimmons, Hickory Oil.
Farm business plan or farm resume
Our crops are all tree-based and only need open field space for planting. We do not require irrigation. We maintain trees by mowing around them two times a year and pruning in the late winter.
We are open to planting trees at any site if there is an agreement for us to maintain the trees and harvest from them. We are looking for a long term partnerships that see the value in tree crops and animals working together to build soil and create more resilience in our local economy.