{Know Your Farmer} Kilpatrick Family Farm Tour

squash blossom…I see you….

As stated on a previous post, on July 31st the Kilpatrick family opened their farm to the public for an intimate tour. Miles & I joined fellow From Scratch Club members Amanda with her husband Eric and their daughters Ellie, Jordan & Jacklyn, and Sarah and her 2 1/2 year old son Collin.

When they said tour, they meant TOUR with all capital letters. Kilpatrick brothers Michael and Phillip hosted a nitty-gritty tour of the history and running of the farm. We visited numerous growing tunnels, fields on & off site, meat animals, investigated irrigation pipe, studied Brussel sprout and broccoli plants and ran through puddles and found sticks and dragged them through the mud (well, that was the favorite activity for the 8 & under set) while answering all of our questions with great detail.

The farm was started by Michael Kilpatrick, now 23 (!!!!) in 2001 to make some extra money. With the help of his brother Phillip, other siblings and various hardworking volunteers and employees in 2002 they debuted at local farmer’s markets and have been going strong ever since to include 12 acres total in 5 fields and an almost year-round CSA Program. This summer season has 150 families subscribers. In full disclosure, I am a devoted market stand customer and will be enjoying a fall (and most likely winter) share in the coming colder months.
As for their growing practices, they are as close to an organic farm without federal certification, which can be costly in many ways. They are apart of two certification programs: Certified Naturally Grown and NOFA’s NY Farmers Pledge.
From their website:
“Based out of New Paltz, NY, Certified Naturally Grown is an organization which allows small farms to become certified without the high cost and regulations of the National Organic Program.  We pledge not to use chemical insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds. As part of this program, we are inspected once a year by our farmer peers and our customers. There are over 750 farms from 47 states in this program.

Another program we abide by is NOFA NY’s Farmer’s Pledge. This document is a substitute for those who don’t want to pay the high cost of certification (between $2000-$5000) It still adheres to the national organic standards and goes beyond it in some areas (employee relations, food miles and  the encouragement of biodiversity).”

As for the tour, the highlight for the kids was the visit with the family’s animals. Goats, raised by Hannah Kilpatrick, strictly for family and friends though she sells goat kids, meat and egg chickens, raised by Jonathan Kilpatrick, and lastly, the pigs. Sarah & I were late to the tour (oops- my bad) so we sadly missed the greenhouses where tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, parsley, cucumbers and okra are grown. In the various fields we saw broccoli, onions, squash, mixed greens, leeks, Brussel sprouts, and their honey bees.

Michael and Phillip were perfect hosts, answering all our questions (Amanda’s husband Eric had A LOT of questions- I believe he missed his true calling) and handled our school/gaggle/troupe of kiddos. Kilpatrick Family Farm’s next farm tour is on October 9, 2010.
You can pick up their beautiful produce at numerous farmers markets; Saratoga Farmer’s Market- year around, Glens Falls Saturday Market-year around, Queensbury Farmer’s Market, Summer Market Only and Rutland, VT Winter Market Only. In addition you can sign up for their upcoming fall and/or winter shares, more information here. They are also very involved in social networking and post numerous interesting articles on their Facebook page. They also have a newsletter.
{Kilpatrick Family Homestead from one of their satellite fields}
In closing, I bow to farmers. The never-ending hard work and technical know-how is mind-blowing. My family eats amazingly fresh, delicious, colorful and as Miles would say “yummy” foods because of the Kilpatrick Family and others like them. In a culture where most food in grocery stores are pulverized to within an inch of its life and shipped to and from all over the world, it is so truly comforting to know where the food you ate last night and will eat next week came from and WHO took the time and love to grow it. Thank you.

5 Comments Add yours

Start a conversation --> We love feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s