April 21, 2021
By WVLT SUNY New Paltz Intern Marguerite Royo
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) is proud to have a conservation easement on Old Ford Farm, located in Gardiner on Old Ford Farm road. Old Ford Farm is a small family farm that specializes in delicious raw milk, eggs, poultry, pork, and beef products. Becky and Joe Fullam manage the farm, and I had the pleasure of talking to Becky to learn more about the farm and its origins.
Old Ford Farm got its start in 2008, after Becky and Joe found a property that was protected for agricultural use through the WVLT. After clearing and preparing the land, they began to grow vegetables and got flocks of laying hens, meat chickens, turkeys, pigs, and some dairy cows. From there, these operations have grown and evolved throughout the years, expanding to become what the farm is today.
As first-generation farmers, Becky and Joe’s passion for farming began in their college days, when Becky was introduced to the concept of sustainable agriculture as a means to improve our health, society, and the environment. Joe was an engineering major, and was able to apply those skills doing something he loved when they started the farm.
This past year, the farm experienced a spike in sales and support which was felt across the sustainable farming community after the pandemic hit. This encouragement from people buying their groceries from local farms is so important, as small farms can face many challenges such as having access to adequate farmland, dealing with the increasing effects of climate change, and just the sheer work it takes to manage all of the operations. Farms like Old Ford Farm rely on that community support to exist, and hopefully, that support can continue to be counted on for years to come.
Old Ford Farm has recently transitioned away from its CSA program, and all of its products can be found at the 24/7 self-serve farm store. The farm store sells a mixture of the farm’s own products and products from other local farms that have similar values and practices, resulting in healthy and delicious food.
Old Ford Farm’s milk comes from a small herd of grass-fed Jersey cows, so customers can enjoy fresh high-quality dairy right from the source. It is sold in half-gallon glass jars using a bottle deposit system, where the jars can be washed and returned to the farm for sanitization and reuse. With their milk comes endless possibilities of dairy creations and delights, and a guide for homemade butter, yogurt, and cheese can be found on their website.
Regarding the poultry, the farm’s Cornish-Cross chickens and Broad-Breasted white turkeys graze in movable pasture pens, helping to fertilize the land with their manure in the process. All the poultry is fed with non-GMO grain that is free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. The farm also sells beef and pork products from animals that are grass-fed and given non-GMO grain. The farm store also has a range of vegetables from other local organic farms whose offerings change depending on the season.
Supporting our local farms can make a world of difference for our environment, health, and community. The best way to show this support is by going out and purchasing food from these farms, so be sure to head down to Old Ford Farm and try out all they have to offer.