Young Milan farmers offer vegetable shares

Great Song Farm, in the heart of Milan, is celebrating its second year of providing fresh vegetables to the surrounding community, using organic and biodynamic principles and practices.

Begun last year by Jennifer Carson and Anthony Mecca, the farm operates through CSA—community supported agriculture, Within a CSA, consumers, or members, are shareholders in the farm: they invest at the beginning of the season and then share in the bounty of produce weekly throughout the summer and fall.

Jen and Anthony, who were later joined by a third partner, Lisa Miskelly, began Great Song with a vision of creating a farm that would become a vibrant part of the surrounding community. Their vision took hold in the land of Larry and Betti Steel, landowners and co-participants in Great Song Farm, who had been seeking farmers through the Columbia Land Conservancy’s Land-Link program, which matches land-owners with farmers. The farm began to unfold on the Steels’ 90-acre property, with flat, fertile, sod to be plowed up for growing vegetables, hillsides of pasture and hayfield to graze animals, a barn for storage and animal housing, and a woodlot providing fuel to heat the greenhouse.

Great Song focuses on using draft horse power to work the vegetable fields, pull in firewood from the forest, and be living partners in the farm operation. A year ago, the farmers met Kate and Sunny, a team of Suffolk Punch draft horses experienced in farm and forestry work. They were ready to continue their careers at Great Song. Along with helping the farmers lessen their reliance on fossil fuels in growing food, the horses allow the farmers to remain in close touch with the soil they work and the plants they grow. Horse work fosters the connection with the land and natural world, which is the basis of holistic farming practices.

While the work of a farmer can be demanding and ceaseless, every day offers simple joys and surprises—the CSA members who stop by to visit on a spring afternoon, the verdant plants popping out of the potting soil in the greenhouse, the nutritious and tasty food prepared for lunch, the company of the cows and horses — as Lisa, Jen, and Anthony move through their work each day.

Great Song continues to support the community that surrounds them by hosting community events, work parties, and gatherings—to allow a space in the natural world for people to connect with one another, to get to know their farmer, and to know where their food is coming from. The farm is located at 475 Milan Hill Road. Shares are still available and folks are invited to join now for the remainder of the season.

To speak with Jen, Lisa, or Anthony, call 845-758-1572 or email greatsongfarm@riseup.net. More information can be found at www.greatsongfarm.com.

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