learn more about our land, our farming practices, & our farmers...
about the farm
Hartwood Farm is a diversified family-run farm, specializing in seasonal vegetables and herbs, and year-round pasture-raised eggs. We founded the farm in 2012 after years of looking and over twenty combined years of working on other farms.
Hartwood Farm is 70 acres, with ten acres managed under active production (we grow four to five acres of vegetables each year, with the rest rotating through cover crops), 30 acres of pasture, and 25 acres in a young sugarbush (that we dream of tapping one day!).
We are committed to raising healthy and delicious food to feed our central NY community. Hartwood Farm prides itself on growing crops using only practices and products approved for organic production, with the long term goal of building up the good soil health and biodiversity that helps grow the best tasting vegetables.
how we farm
Hartwood Farm is not certified organic, but follows all rules and practices approved for organic certification.
We use a range of practices designed to conserve and build soil and biodiversity, while raising delicious and healthy crops. These include using cover crops to protect soil from erosion and leaching, rotating crops to naturally reduce disease and pests, irrigating with drip systems to minimize water use, and only using natural, organically approved sprays.
We grow a mix of heirloom and hybrid produce, strive to buy our farming inputs and supplies locally, and manage our land with the goal of long term productivity in mind.
We welcome questions about any aspects of our farming operation–please contact us here!
about our farmers
The Hartwood Farm family includes Matt Robinson and Maryellen Sheehan, our loyal dog Arlo, and a large group of excessively social laying hens.
Maryellen grew up in Indiana, working with horses and being an indentured garden servant for her father, before beginning working on diversified vegetable and livestock farms in the northeast in 1998. Matt grew up on a family homestead in NH and worked for many years as a carpenter. After meeting in NH in 2001, we started a market garden and CSA farm on leased land in 2002. In 2008, we decided to change pace for a few years so we headed out to NY where Maryellen managed a large educational farm and Matt was the field manager at the awesome Hearty Roots Community Farm in Tivoli, NY.
In the winter of ’11-12, we were ready to take the plunge and look for land in CNY, and were lucky enough to find this farm! Hartwood Farm sits in a breezy upland spot in the hills of Fenner, with moderate temperatures and great limestone soils (though in some places they are a bit heavy on the stone part!). The farm is 70 acres–40 are open, tillable acres of prime rolling land, 20 acres lie under an immature sugar bush, and the remainder are in wetland, pond, and biodiversity enhancing hedgerows. We grow vegetables on 4 acres, and use the rest of the land for hay and mulch crops, and for pastured hens.
And why central New York? For a lot of reasons… first, we are passionate about growing hops, and love the Madison County region in its role as the historic center of east coast hops production. Second, we wanted to stay in the northeast, and wanted to find land that had high quality soil, but was also affordable on farmers’ incomes. And finally, CNY is the perfect mix (and midway point between) Matt’s NH home and Maryellen’s Midwestern family, so we have a perfect mix of mountains and lake effect!
We moved in February 2012, started planting in March, and delivered our first CSA shares in early June. We provide for CSA members in Fayetteville, Liverpool, Syracuse, and at the farm, and attend the Cazenovia and Farmers Markets.
We look forward to growing for you!