Our First Season
In the fall of 2005, Dani discovered a course at Cornell Cooperative Extension called “Building Your Small Farm Dream” and suggested that she and David take the class to get some ideas for making the farm productive again. Here’s what happened next, according to David.
“Dani worked full time plus for the state and I have a full time business off the farm. When we started the class we thought that maybe we would plant a few cold hardy grape vines. Since taking the class (and still doing our full time gigs) we have done the following on our farm: made maple syrup for the first time (11 1/2 gallons) and sold it, planted 140 Christmas trees, had our first honey harvest from our bees and sold the honey, planted, grew, and sold 3500 square feet of vegetables, planted 36 cold hardy grapevines of 11 varieties, opened and operated our road side produce stand, planted raspberries, rhubarb, asparagus, cherries, and apricots for future years' harvest, and picked and sold pears and apples from trees already on our property. Oh, and we also got certified organic on August 1st. We also made piles of compost and prepared a new field for expansion in 2007. Our contact with Cornell Cooperative Extension has led us to attend numerous training sessions on production and marketing for most of the crops we now have."
Dani Baker grew up spending summers in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. She also tended the family garden, developing a love for the soil and a love for the beauty of nature. Dani believes in the importance of eating wholesome natural foods with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Spare time is spent hiking, cross country skiing, or in the seat of one of her many kayaks and canoes, interspersing aerobic paddling with nature photography. She also spends time serving on committees for various not-for-profit organizations. Dani retired from her psychologist position at the NYS Department of Corrections in 2007 to devote full time to the farm.
David Belding grew up in northeast Ohio, near the birthplace of the Mother Earth News, and read it cover to cover from the first edition. His Aunt Maudy introduced him to the joys of vegetable gardening while he was still in elementary school. David’s dream was always to own an organic farm. In high school he did research papers on methane generators and geodesic domes, among other interests. David also owns an industrial services business called CNC Services.
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