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Biodynamics, Compost, and Small Grain Production

  • Hawthorne Vally Farm 327 County Road 21C Ghent, NY, 12075 United States (map)

Since 1972, Hawthorne Valley has been producing high quality, Biodynamic and organic foods in upstate New York. Our Biodynamic farm includes dairy cows, vegetables, a creamery, organic bakery, sauerkraut cellar, and more. Our Farm Store is a full-line natural foods store open 7 days a week. Our farm spans 400 acres of woodlands and rolling hills, open fields and meadows, and flowing creeks and streams. We lease an additional 300 acres in the area. At the heart of the farm is the closed herd of cows which, to a large degree, provides the pulse for and rhythm of the adjunct operations. The cows furnish the milk for our Creamery operation; prescribe, to some extent, the cover and feed crops grown to nourish them and the horses, pigs, and laying hens; and provide, along with the other farm animals, the basis of our compost, which is essential for building soil fertility to ensure a continuous, regenerative cycle. The farm includes: 

• A 55-cow dairy herd which supplies milk to the Creamery
• 12 acres of vegetables which support a 300-member CSA, weekly farmers markets and wholesale accounts.
• The 2.5 acre Corner Garden which provides produce for Farm Store and departments and programs across campus
• 60 acres of food and feed-grade small grain production
• 20 pigs who eat the "waste" whey from the Creamery
This visit will include an overview of how Hawthorne Valley incorporates Biodynamic farming techniques (which HVF has been following for over 40 years). We will also explain and tour our compost operation from which we annually produce 400 tons of high-quality fertilizer  to be spread onto our vegetable, grain, hay, and grazing fields (pastures). We are further implementing a hot control fermentation process using the bedded pack from our manure shed, front-end loader created and turned windrows, biodynamic preparations, and fabric windrow covers.