Introducing our 2021 Farm Business Incubator Cohort
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 our newest cohort of Incubator farms: Big Dream Farm, Choy Division, Ever Growing Family Farm, and Grassroots Farm. These farms will attend a series of Winter Intensives in 2021, and will benefit from comprehensive technical assistance throughout the 2021 growing season and beyond.
Big Dream Farm is a lamb and African vegetable operation in Saugerties, NY run by farmer Kama Doucoure.
Doucoure grew up between Niger and Mali in West Africa, where he helped out on a family farm from a young age. Moving to New York City at age 24, Kama quickly learned about GrowNYC’s FARMroots Farm Beginnings training program, and enrolled in their business training course. Kama moved to the Hudson Valley in 2018, where he spent a growing season at Glynwood as a livestock apprentice. Since then, Doucoure has acquired a parcel of land for a small flock of lambs; secured a Kiva loan to purchase necessary equipment and infrastructure; and has grown an enthusiastic consumer base in the greater New York City area.
The Glynwood Incubator team looks forward to helping Kama with land access, infrastructure, and strategies for scaling his model.
Choy Divison is a small-scale CSA specializing in East Asian vegetables. Founded in 2019, Choy Division started as an urban farm in Astoria, Queens before relocating to the Chester Ag Center as part of Dig Acres’ incubator program.
Farmer Christina Chan currently cultivates half an acre and delivers her vegetable CSA to members in New York City. Using regenerative agricultural techniques in the Black Dirt region of Orange County, Chan makes all of her farming decisions with soil biodiversity and ecosystem health in mind, not just productivity. In addition to prioritizing sustainability, Christina views farming as a tangible way to celebrate Asian American culture, cultivate community, and provide fresh, accessible food to her CSA members.
Glynwood’s Incubator team looks forward to helping Christina with soil fertility, succession planting, and with land access as she tries to acquire her own farm.
Ever-Growing Family Farm grows rice and vegetables using traditional African growing methods in Esopus, NY. Through a SARE grant, the farm is additionally conducting on-farm research to compare different planting methods and seed varieties.
Owned and operated by Nfamara Badjie, his wife Dawn, cousin Moustapha Diedhiou and son Malick, the Ever Growing Family Farm team includes additional children, grandchildren and an extended "family" of friends and volunteers. Dawn and Nfamara purchased a plot of land in Ulster Park in 2013 with the hopes of starting a farm. When Nfamara--originally from a tribe in The Gambia known for growing rice--noticed the composition of the soil was wet and clay-based, he suggested they grow rice. For the next three years, the family operated a rice CSA, building paddies and harvesting rice all by hand. Since then, the family has slowly been able to invest in rice cultivation equipment from Japan.
Ever Growing Family Farm grows specialty heritage rice varieties from around the world, and hopes to expand rice offerings in future seasons. As they continue to grow, the farm is committed to continuing to use traditional African growing practices, hosting community planting and harvesting events, and donating 10 percent of their profits to combat hunger in Africa. The Glynwood Incubator team looks forward to working with Ever Growing Family Farm on business planning, high tunnel production, crop diversification, and agritourism.
Grassroots Farm is a grass-fed beef operation in Stone Ridge, NY. Farmer Ryan Martens is transitioning herd management from Charles Noble, and looks forward to expanding the herd in the years to come.
With a focus on regenerative agriculture, Martens uses intensive rotational grazing to manage his pastures and feed his animals. He believes strongly in the benefits of 100% grass fed beef for animal health, human health, and environmental health alike, and communicates this via direct-to-consumer sales. Selling quarters and halves of beef locally, Grassroots Farm additionally has a meat CSA, and is a member of the Hudson Valley CSA Coalition.
The Incubator team will help Ryan navigate pasture improvement and management, cattle breeding, business development, and infrastructure as he expands his operation.
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