East of Hudson: Providing Critical Support to New Farms

East of Hudson: Providing Critical Support to New Farms

Agriculture in the East of Hudson (EOH) Watershed is under pressure from rising land values, urban expansion, development, increased regulation, and the loss of essential agricultural infrastructure. The Watershed Agricultural Council’s (WAC) EOH Program is the primary source of support for farms, playing a critical role providing technical assistance, implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) and creating a network to support agricultural operations in Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester and Fairfield Counties. In the past year, the WAC welcomed three new farms into the EOH Program; Castle Hill Farm, Salinger’s Orchard and Bluestone Stables.

Castle Hill Farm is a 43 acre equestrian training facility located in the town of Southeast, NY and is owned and operated by five-time Olympian, McLain Ward. In response to a request from NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the EOH Program provided technical assistance to address a resource concern and worked with the farm to develop a Whole Farm Plan (WFP) to upgrade the farm’s existing nutrient storage and management plan.

Salinger’s Orchard is a 78 acre farm located in the town of Southeast, NY. The orchard has been in production since 1901 and is currently run by Tim Salinger, the fourth generation of his family to operate the farm. With support from Putnam County Department of Planning, the WAC worked with the farm to complete the Agriculture Environment Management (AEM) assessments and developed a WFP to protect water quality and improve farm operations. The EOH Program has eight BMPs planned for implementation including an agrichemical handing facility, a compost facility, waste water infiltration and a nutrient management plan.

Bluestone Stables is a 20 acre sport horse facility located in the town of Lewisboro, NY and is owned and operated by Amy Lowrey and Faith Pedowitz. The EOH Program was recommended to the farm owners by Arcadia Farm, a long-standing participant. Bluestone is located in a high-priority basin and is bordered by protected wetlands and the Waccabuck River. The EOH Program worked closely with the farm to identify resource concerns and develop a WFP that protects water quality in this highly sensitive area. There are eight BMPs scheduled for implementation at the farm including two heavy use areas, fencing, waste water infiltration and nutrient management planning.

The EOH Program continues to provide crucial support for our farm partners to protect water quality while supporting working farms in the NYC Watershed. Read more of the 2022 Annual Report here.

Program Stats:

  • 83 Whole Farm Plans
  • 7,426 Acres
  • 2,430 Animal Units
  • 818 BMPs Implemented