Introducing the 2020 Farm Business Incubator Cohort: Part 2
Glynwood’s Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator was established to provide customized technical assistance to new and growth stage farm entrepreneurs. Whether farms need assistance in business planning and financial management, social or ecological sustainability, or legal advising and marketing, Glynwood’s Farmer Training staff works with each participating business with a tailored approach reflecting individual farms’ needs and goals.
This month, we’re excited to introduce you to three more Incubator farms: Gilded Farms, Maple View Farm, and Fat Apple Farm.
Brandon Horton is the owner and farmer of Gilded Farms.
Lettuces grown by Kyle Nisonger, owner of Maple View Farms.
Pasture-raised sheep at Fat Apple Farm, owned by John Agostinho and Nicole Martini
Gilded Farms is located at the Chester Ag Center. Founded by farmer Brandon Horton in 2020, the farm specializes in vegetable and herb production as well as apiculture. Horton was originally intending to wholesale a large portion of his vegetables to restaurants this season. Due to unforeseen market disruption, however, he is seeking alternate distribution channels. Horton is currently selling produce at the Piermont Farmers Market.
This spring, the farm ran a successful Kiva campaign, raising $6K from 74 different lenders. Horton is in the process of purchasing honey bee equipment and marketing materials.
Despite beginning his farm operation in unprecedented times, Horton remains optimistic and grateful. “Although the challenges have already presented themselves in 2020, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with these amazing seedlings and this beautiful land!...[I’m] grateful every day to be out on the farm as an essential worker, amongst fellow farmers feeding my hometown community, in an area thriving with diversity and inspiration!” Horton is additionally committed to using food as a tool for justice. Gilded Farms donated 200 pounds of produce at the beginning of June, and set aside a portion of market proceeds to give to the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Maple View Farm is a small-scale vegetable and herb farm located on a retired dairy in Poughquag, NY. Farmer Kyle Nisonger grew up on a family farm in Ohio, and broke ground in the Hudson Valley in 2017.
In past seasons, Maple View Farm has supplied wholesale vegetables to several restaurants and grocery stores in the Hudson Valley. Due to the global pandemic, Nisonger has added retail outlets to his wholesale portfolio, and adopted a CSA model earlier this spring. He partnered with two nearby farms--Maitri Farm and Pancake Hollow Sugarworks--to distribute pork shares and maple syrup at the Maple View Farm store. Finally, Maple View has been contracted to sell produce to Local Food for Every Table, an initiative buying fresh food from local farmers and donating it to emergency food programs in the Hudson Valley. With diversified economics and top-notch veggies, Nisonger has adapted well and is ready to focus on growing vegetables.
Fat Apple Farm is a diversified livestock and breeding operation in Pine Plains. Raising pastured pork, poultry, eggs, grass-fed beef, and grass-fed lamb, Fat Apple is dedicated to ethical and regenerative farming that elevates the health of the animals and the land alike. Farmer John Agostinho has worked hard to rebuild the soil using cover crops, rotational grazing, and soil monitoring practices. Their herd of Red Devons have stand out genetics and Fat Apple is keenly interested in advancing breed improvement.
John and his wife Nichole Martini focus on direct-to-consumer sales at their farm store. They also wholesale to other area farm stands and have burgeoning relationships with charcuterie producers.
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