The Farm

 

The Farm

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About

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.

 

Mission

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.

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Farmers

Andrew Williams and Melissa Cipollone graduated together from the Farmer Training Program at The Organic Farm School in Whidbey Island, Washington. They ran their own small vegetable and flower farm near Savannah, Georgia before deciding to return to the northeast, where they grew up, to farm for the long term.

Andrew’s interest in food began at a young age. His mother tended a garden at home, cooking delicious meals for their family with the fresh vegetables she grew. Today, Andrew follows in his mom’s footsteps, preparing home-cooked meals with the food they grow on the Farm. His love of cooking motivates his interest in working with Millbrook’s chefs who strive to create seasonal menus using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. 

Melissa’s appreciation for small-scale agriculture began while she was living in New York City. Her interest in environmental sustainability and food justice led her to discover a thriving community of urban farmers growing surprising amounts of food in the smallest of spaces. What she learned from these farmers continues to influence her. Here at Stonewood, she favors intensive and efficient growing methods that aim to make the most of limited space while also building the health of the soil. 

Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams

Melissa Cipollone

Melissa Cipollone


History

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.