Stonewood Farm is a small, certified-organic vegetable and flower farm located in Millbrook, New York. We also grow blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apples and offer the freshest eggs from our small flock of happy, free-range hens.
Our growing methods combine traditional farming practices with modern approaches to small-scale, sustainable agriculture. We till minimally, rely on simple hand tools for cultivation, and strive to produce an abundance of high-quality vegetables, fruits, and flowers while continuously nurturing the health of our soil. We grow with only untreated, non-GMO seeds.
1. Support the next generation of farmers by providing access to land. We employ farmers who have the skills needed to manage all aspects of field production, marketing, and sales. We provide continuing education opportunities and encourage them to pursue their individual agricultural interests.
2. Create a connection between our land and our local community by growing healthy food and beautiful flowers of the highest quality. Because we are blessed to be part of a community that embraces small-scale, sustainable agriculture, we are able to sell all of our products within two miles of the Farm. We host tours and events at the Farm so that our customers and community have the opportunity to know their farmers and see firsthand how their food is grown. We also partner with other local businesses and organizations to share the bounty.
3. Donate a portion of what we grow to our neighbors who are most in need. We co-founded the First Harvest Pantry at Lyall Federated Church in the Village of Millbrook to provide to those in our community with the least access to quality, fresh food. Each season, we and several other local farms and businesses donate a portion of our produce and products to First Harvest.
Al Esposito joined Stonewood Farm as Manager in 2017, continuing a career that focused on the many aspects of organic agriculture and horticulture. He brings 30 years of knowledge and experience as an organic grower to Stonewood.
Al’s expertise includes growing certified organic produce and flowers, floral design, and raising small livestock. Having served as a board member and board chair of both Foodshed Alliance in Northern New Jersey and Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, he is passionate about promoting organic agriculture, regional agricultural sustainability, and food justice. He is also an alumnus of New Jersey’s Agricultural Leadership Development Program.
Here at Stonewood, Al ensures that our crops are grown using sustainable methods that include cover cropping, minimal tillage and crop rotations to build and maintain the health and productivity of our soil while enhancing our environment. He enjoys directing farm activities year-round, sharing his skills with young farmers and engaging our community.
In 2000, Ken Holzberg and Tom Kopfensteiner purchased the 15-acre parcel in New York’s picturesque Hudson Valley that would eventually become Stonewood Farm. It was heavily wooded back then, without any structures or improvements, but its crude stone drainage systems and gnarly old apple trees suggested a more productive past.
With advice from community resources and local experts, they selectively cleared the property themselves—for five long years—to return it to its agrarian roots. Along the way, they learned invaluable information about it’s natural features: the seasonal position of the sun, the slope of its topography, views to be captured, trees to be preserved and protected, soil and drainage conditions to consider, ledge outcroppings to be avoided.
In the end, the land told them where the buildings, farm, pond, and other improvements should be. This intimate understanding of their property was key to successfully designing a farm and homestead that function harmoniously with nature.
Today, Stonewood Farm is made up of a small cluster of vernacular structures surrounding a central courtyard, graced by a large pond and tumbledown stone walls, overlooking abundant gardens brimming with hundreds of varieties of vegetables and flowers. Designed by Ken, the buildings are infused with carefully-selected vintage and natural materials, architectural antiques, and the work of fine craftspeople, providing a sense of age and timelessness that pays respect to nature, history, the surrounding landscape, and agrarian values. They also create a lovely setting for our on-farm events.