Groundswell News January 2014From the Director Welcome back Rachel! We're so pleased to welcome back Rachel Firak, who returned to Groundswell as o


Groundswell News January 2014

From the Director

GodinGreen Beans

Magic beans from Joanna's homestead garden. Can you name the variety? Send your guess to

Welcome back Rachel!

We're so pleased to welcome back Rachel Firak, who returned to Groundswell as our Program Assistant in December. It's great to have her on board again after a long absence.

We also want to welcome three awesome new Groundswell Steering Committee members. As founder and master breadmaker at Wide Awake Bakery in Mecklenburg, Stefan Senders is a shining star among our local foods entrepreneurs. Mary Kate Wheeler has several years of experience as an educator and in working with small farms, and also participated in our CRAFT program. Megan Vidler participated in our Certificate Program, is taking our Farm Business Planning Course, and will be raising pigs at our Incubator Farm starting this spring. Together they bring a wealth of experience, insights and energy to the Groundswell Team. Welcome!

Joanna Green


NEW! Farm-Based Education Internships Offered in 2014


Interns will learn to manage programs like our Homesteaders Network. Here Network members gather around shiitake logs at Sean Dembrosky'a Edible Acres in Trumansburg.

Make a difference while building your resume!

Groundswell's farm-based education programs provide a unique training experience for aspiring educators. This year we are offering two full-season Internships in Farm-Based Education.

Both of these positions run April - October and require a commitment of at least 12 hours per month. Each intern will assist with managing one of our educational programs, and will gain experience in program design and delivery, marketing, and evaluation. A Groundswell Center Internship Certificate and a small stipend will be awarded at the end of the season. If you're interested in applying, send us an email.


Time to join Groundswell's Finger Lakes CRAFT for the 2014 season


Building the CRAFT community one potluck at a time.....

A community of experienced and beginning farmers, farm interns and employees

Groundswell Finger Lakes CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) meets monthly throughout the growing season at each of six Mentor Farms to learn about that farm operation, ask lots of questions, share knowledge and network. CRAFT membership is open to all farm interns, employees, aspiring and experienced farmers, including organic, conventional or other. To join the CRAFT, first join as a member of Groundswell HERE. Then fill out your CRAFT membership form HERE. There is no additional fee for joining the CRAFT.
Join CRAFT today!


NEW! Trainee Video: Rafael Aponte

Rocky Acres 2

Watch the video on our You-Tube channel!

Groundswell grad plans an educational farm with urban connections

“I’ve never been a farmer before," explains Rafael Aponte, Groundswell trainee and Co-Chair of our Steering Committee . "I grew up in the Bronx and my experience growing things was just houseplants and a community garden. I was an afterschool educator for high-school youth for a long time. I really wanted to bring that education piece to food, and talk about some of the issues - why people don’t have food, how is it produced and how we can do it sustainably. Now we have ten acres and we’re looking to start a small organic farm.”

Watch Rafa's video profile HERE.
Check out other Groundswell Trainee Videos HERE.


Volunteer Spotlight: Susannah Spero


Susannah Spero

This talented Intern is helping Groundswell to better serve refugee farmers

This month we're pleased to spotlight volunteer intern Susannah Spero. Since last September Susannah has been working with us on our New American Farmers Project.

Before joining Groundswell, Susannah worked closely with refugee families from Africa and Asia as an intern with the New Farms for New Americans program in Burlington, Vermont. There she helped manage several acres of crops at the Intervale Center farm and designed trainings on farming and marketing for 60 refugee families.

Susannah's experience and insights have proved to be invaluable in positioning Groundswell to better serve refugee families in our community. She helped us think through many of the barriers they face in trying to farm in the United States. Last fall she helped us to plan a pilot project for local refugees, which we are beginning to implement this year. Read more...


How To Get Into Farming With No Money


From the Small Farmers Journal

We thank local farmer Aaron Munzer of Plowbreak Farm for sending us this article, originally printed in the Small Farmers Journal in 1980. Still relevant today.

By Raymond Charles Babb

“Let’s assume the beginning ‘farmer’ has absolutely nothing. Nothing but a will to farm and a reasonably normal body. To realistically think about simply buying a farm, stocking and equipping it, is out of the question... The very first thing you must do is search out a farmer, preferably a farmer who farms close to the way that you want to farm....

"Your primary goal is to find a farmer that needs your help, will give you a couple of buildings and will pay you an honest wage which would be divided into cash and feed for your future stock, plus allow you to plant a big garden. This fellow will not be as hard to locate as you might think, but what you absolutely must be willing to give in return is your very best efforts, reliability, loyalty and all those things which make for 'damn good help'." Read more...


New listings from our Local Food & Farming Classifieds

Goat Sticker Website copy

Kingbird Farm 2014 Internship

Full-time internship on one of Groundswell's outstanding Mentor Farms. May-November. Certified organic livestock and herb/vegetable farm in Berkshire, NY. The internship includes work and learning with hogs, cattle, horses, poultry, greenhouse propagation, marketing, and fieldwork. Compensation- minimum wage plus education and housing. More.

Chicken tractor, dog houses for sale

6' x 10' Chicken tractor, enclosure with nesting and roosting boxes. Suitable for up to 12 layers. In good usable condition, but a couple of minor repairs recommended. Also 2 Dog houses, matching. Made from solid wood machinery shipping boxes. Good condition, except for roofs. More.

Farmland available

110 acre farm, approx. 30 acres in two fields divided by a creek and beaver ponds. Looking for a younger farmer with a vision. Possibility of sharing farmhouse or locating your own domicile on the property. More.

Work in exchange for housing

Under the Tree is a small scale farm and craft homestead in Brooktondale, NY. We are looking for a couple to live in our private apartment in exchange for part time farm help. Our main activities for this year will include fencing, planting, trellising, and mulching. More.

Lambing Help Wanted

Small sheep farm (45 head) in Spencer, NY looking for help during our lambing season, from right around now until late March. Pay negotiable depending on experience. This position could extend into a full time farm assistant during our spring season as we raise pigs and chicken/ducks for Greenmarkets. More.

Work for CSA share

We are a small, well established organic vegetable farm/garden project in our 5th year of operation in Cayutaville, NY. We are looking for 2 additional, hard working and committed individuals with some vegetable growing experience. This is a work-for-share CSA. Hours: Average 2-3 hours per week, per person. Compensation: Organic vegetables, herbs and fruit. More.
See More Classifieds


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