Systems-mechanical Cultivation and Infrastructure

  • Sister's Hill Farm 127 Sister Hill Road Stanfordville, NY 12581

If you want to make a living farming, systems are what it is all about. Very few of us become farmers because we are psyched about developing systems. But if we don't address this issue we quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the workload and the daily decisions. If we don't take the time to develop good systems, all farm work goes slower, we make less money, work more hours, or both. I got into farming to work with my hands, be outside, and do something positive; but what I discovered along the way was that I was fascinated by systems. On my farm tour I will show you the tools and infrastructure that I have designed and created that make the daily work of running a farm manageable, pleasant, fun, and efficient. I'm a firm believer that a farm should be something that serves your life, you don't want to be a slave to it; life's just too short! By developing good systems, you take control. 

Our farm tour will focus primarily on two systems; mechanical cultivation and infrastructure. When discussing weed control I’ll show you how we mark out a grid on our beds with a belly mounted marker, how we plant precisely to those beds by hand, and how we cultivate them with a Buddingh Basket Weeder. With regard to infrastructure you'll see our loading dock and produce washing station, including our root washer and our pressure washer based set-up for cleaning harvest bins and bunched roots.  I’ll also demonstrate how we use our mini and regular pallet system, electronic pallet scale, ergonomic height adjustable wash tank, and our cooler. To give you a sense of our size and scale; we grow strictly for CSA, I train three full season apprentices, and we grow about 250 full weekly shares on 5 acres with no double cropping. Most years we harvest around 90,000 pounds of veggies for our members