Phillies Bridge Farm
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Phillies Bridge Farm is a non-profit farm located in Gardiner, New York. Its mission follows the model of community-supported agriculture, and the land itself is one of the oldest farms in New York state. Its 65 acres of land were donated by owners Mary and Jim Ottaway in 2002 in order to create what would become the Phillies Bridge Farm Project, which also supports educational programs. The farm's mixed vegetable fields comprise approximately six acres, and the majority of the produce is sold to CSA shareholders.
In 1677, under the creation and establishment of New Paltz, New York, the land of Phillies Bridge was purchased from the Lenape people by French Huguenot settlers, and remained under the ownership of descendants of Jan LeFevre for seven generations. The original barn house began construction in 1745 and completed in 1850. In 1984, Mary and Jim Ottaway purchased the property. Their intent and hope was to create a demonstration farm for sustainable and organic techniques. By 1999, the couple began run a CSA, the first non-for-profit CSA in the area. By 2002, the Ottaways donated the land to the non-profit entirely. Following this, the farm issued a conservation easement for the property to the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and the Open Space Conservancy. In return for this easement, which ensures the land will remain agricultural and restricts development, the Open Space Institute paid Phillies Bridge Farm $50,000.
Phillies Bridge Farm is supported by grants, donations, and shareholders. Farm decisions are made in part by the Phillies Bridge Farm Project board of directors. One such decision, in August of 2013, was to end the season early, citing "personnel problems, insect/rodent infestation, equipment breakdowns, soil inadequacies from overuse and infrastructure weaknesses" as the reason, along with the resignation of the executive director at the time, Donna Eis. The board also fired its two farm managers.
Education plays a large role in the Phillies Bridge mission. This is carried out in numerous ways:
- "Growing Together” is a program for parents and their toddlers,
- the farm holds a summer camp for children ages 5–12,
- hosts local school field trips,
- has internships for college students,
- and runs a farmer training program for adults.
- "http://www.agrilicious.org/Phillies-Bridge-Farm-Project". External link in
- "mission & history | Phillies Bridge Farm Project". philliesbridge.org. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
- "http://www.osiny.org/site/PageServer?pagename=news_pressID_33". External link in
- "Daily Freeman News, "New Paltz's Phillies Bridge Farm Project done for 2013"".