On Monday, September 12, the Catskills CRAFT group will meet from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mountain Dell Farm in Hancock, NY. Catskills CRAFT, or Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, is an educational networking group for beginning farmers. Farm interns, employees and operators of recently established farm enterprises are welcome to attend the event.
For the past 20 years, Mark Dunau and Lisa Wujnovich have been supplying their customers with fresh products late into the harvest season using a floating row cover technique that extends their growing season and has increased their production by 50 percent. With just five acres in production, Mountain Dell Farm is growing 50 types of vegetables and supplying leafy greens to health food stores, local restaurants, community supported agriculture (CSA) customers and high-end restaurants in New York City.
Success with season extension through the use of row covers will be the focus of the CRAFT visit. Fabric tarps cover their fields to retain moisture and heat during the coldest parts of the growing season. The first hour of the farm visit will include a tour and discussion of these techniques. Following the discussion, the group will share a potluck meal.
Catskills CRAFT brings a national model aimed at developing beginning farmer networks across the country to the region. More details on the group and the monthly farm visits planned throughout 2011 can be found at www.catskillscraft.org. Contact Sonia Janiszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-720-1020 for more information.