Note: this profile was written in 2008 after visiting Huguenot Street Farm, and much of the information is no longer up to date. Farmers Ron and Kate have moved on to other projects (focusing primarily on the CoolBot), and Huguenot Street Farm is now being run veganically by a new farmer, Gavin. We’ve left the original farm profile from 2008 below, though we recommend visiting the Huguenot Street Farm website to learn about their evolution and transition.
Farmers Ron and Kate have a model veganic farm on 77 acres in New Paltz, New York, conveniently located only 1 mile from the downtown core of this town with 14,000 residents.
Growing over 125 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and flowers, including heirloom varieties, Huguenot Street Farm runs a 21-week CSA for 200 families in the region. CSA members can also take advantage of a large U-Pick garden.
They chose veganic because supporting factory farms and “putting what we consider to be toxic waste products onto our otherwise clean fields seems completely counter to our goal of organic clean living”. While many organic farmers rely on slaughterhouse by-products for fertilization, the Huguenot Street farmers do not want to support animal confinement, and are concerned about the bio-accumulation of hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics in the bodies and waste products of factory farmed animals.
Their fertilization techniques include green manures, cover crops, and rock powders, and they have carefully planned their crop rotations.
Since they don’t transport animal waste to the farm or spread it on the fields, they find that veganic farming saves time and fuel costs.
The farm also leads in innovation, having developed a solar electric tractor, and a radiant heating system for their greenhouse.
Ron has worked to develop and promote Participatory Guarantee Systems, which provide low-cost certification to small organic farmers, and which encourage the farmers to increase their knowledge of organic practices. He works with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements to promote PGS around the world. With the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, working as their International Organic Certification Consultant, he developed a PGS program for India.
To learn more about becoming certified through a participatory guarantee system in North America, visit Certified Naturally Grown, a program originally founded by Ron and Kate in 2002. In the past, Certified Naturally Grown also had a “Certified Veganic” program, though it was discontinued due to a lack of participating farms.