Growing interest in gardening at Pitney Meadows Community Farms

August 16, 2018 11:28 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - From beekeeping to growing gourds, operations at the Pitney Meadows Community Farms have come a long way in a year, and there's no sign of them slowing anytime soon.

"We have 72 gardeners now who come all the time and they're growing their produce and harvesting it,” Garden Director Natalie Walsh said.


Cassey Schofield and her family a few of those gardeners who are growing their own vegetables at Pitney Meadows this summer.

Schofield said she and her husband want to teach their kids about sustainable farming.

"Eating locally in being engaged in practices that allow us to eat more locally was important to us,” Schofield said.

But joining the community farm is about more than food.

"Our kids have been really excited to spend a lot of time here this summer,” Schofield said. “And it's been a really family-friendly place to spend time this summer."

Walsh said that was the idea.

"We have a great group of people here,” Walsh said. “Gardening is part of it and gardening together is a big part of it, but the community is really why people come."

The not-for-profit has already started forging relationships with local food banks and educational institutions in the area, including the Franklin Community Center Food Pantry and Skidmore College. 

Farm Director Ken Kleinpeter said they'd love to develop those programs further.

‘There's a possibility of students coming out to work on the farm or environmental science students or all of that to kind of connect with the farm,” Kleinpeter said.

That's not all; Kleinpeter and other farm leaders have big plans for the 120 acre plot of land.

"We will be starting with vegetable operation but the vision is a sensible, sustainable rotation of livestock, vegetables and small grains,” Kleinpeter said.

Over 70 people have already signed up, and there are 30 people on a waiting list to start gardening at Pitney Meadows next year. Leaders also hope to add nature trails throughout the grounds in the future.

If you'd just like to check out Pitney Meadows Community Farm there are a few different community events coming up later this season. You can find the details on their website.


Emily Burkhard

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