STORY FARMS – Catskill, NY
The day was warming up as dietetic intern Kelly Smith and I pulled into Story Farms. Our first impression was that it was beautiful – fields ready to plant, high top green houses on one side, big old classic red barn on the right.We met with James Story, part of the family team that includes his father Jim, brother Mark, and his uncle Matt and cousin Matthew. The farm is over 100 years old, and they farm over 700 acres. One brother and a cousin handle the dairy side of the farm, with about 40 cows. Like most of our farmers, his family started working with Price Chopper by delivering to local stores. They have worked with Price Chopper for over 10 years. This is a very diverse farm -potatoes are one of their main crops, as well as sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, and pumpkins. They also grow timothy, alfalfa, hay and field corn. The high top greenhouses in their fields are a little unique – these are a somewhat portable design, and they are built every year in a new place on the farm, to protect the health of the soil and plants. They were just planting the tomatoes that day, a little behind their schedule because the windy weather over the course of the previous week had prevented them from putting the plastic over the ribs of the building. James shared that this is the first of three plantings for tomatoes – one high top greenhouse planting, and two in the fields later in spring and summer. They also plant sweet corn, which is his favorite vegetable, eaten raw, right from the field. When asked how we can help people eat more of our great produce, James offered he thought the best way would be to show them how easy it is to enjoy it, and that the prep really only takes a minute or two. Story Farms is always checking out new varieties of crops, and they embrace their tried and true varieties as well. James shared that he loves farming – there is something different to do every day. They all looked pretty busy, so we kept our visit short and sweet, but we will be back to see how pretty this farm will be when the fields are green with plants.