Quincy Farm

Summary: Quincy Farm, run by Luke Deikis and Cara Fraver, is a vegetable farm on the Hudson River in Easton, New York. The farm is approximately 40 acres of rich bottomland soils. Cara and Luke are proud to be only the second family stewarding this land since 1774. Using organic practices, Quincy Farm produces exquisite vegetables for five farmers’ markets and their CSA members in Ballston Spa. They expanded their production to accommodate three winter markets in 2012, and are excited to offer CSA shares to additional communities in 2013.

Quincy Farm exists as a viable farm only through the help of two non-profits, the Agricultural Stewardship Association and The Open Space Institute. These non-profits helped protect the land and bring its price to a level Cara and Luke could afford. Without that assistance, they’d still be landless and searching. Quality farmland is a resource that we as a community, in every sense of the word, from families to towns to states to the world, need to protect. We all need to eat and there is immense value in preserving a diverse and healthy environment such as Quincy Farm.

History: Luke Deikis and Cara Fraver grew up in rural Michigan and Pennsylvania. They lived together in Brooklyn, NY for five years before committing to a passionate pursuit to find farmland. In 2007, dissuaded by their lengthy search for farmland, the sky-high real estate prices, and their lack of farming experience, Luke and Cara put their land search on hold and decided to apprentice for good farmers. Apprenticing turned out to be one of the most valuable decisions they made in their pursuits as new farmers. The experience allowed them to spend their time learning from farmers committed to passing on their knowledge. Luke and Cara were able to strategically define what they were looking for in farmland while learning good farming practices.

In 2010, Cara and Luke gave up on the concept of a traditional land purchase. They realized that they would not be able to borrow the money needed through traditional channels, nor would they ever be able to pay off a high six or seven figure debt required for a farmland purchase. From that realization, they educated themselves on every alternative land tenure option out there and reached out to all the existing alternative land-access and preservation organizations in their region. They did extensive outreach through personal and professional networks and via the web, communicating their search for farmland while articulating a passionate commitment to their pursuits. Their search terms expanded from purchasing to including ground-leases and lease-to-own opportunities. They spent every free day visiting properties and talking with landowners and saw dozens and dozens of properties, though there were several attractive opportunities nothing was just right. In June of that same year, they came upon the perfect fit: a property for sale called the Wright farm. From that day, they have choreographed a delicate dance amongst two nonprofits, themselves, and the landowners. One organization has bought the property, and another the development rights with agriculturally friendly restrictions against further development. In April of 2011, they closed on the farm and sold at three farmers’ markets that season. Cara and Luke’s journey in pursuit of long-term access to quality farmland has been challenging but their passion never faltered and they feel fortunate to put down roots at Quincy Farm.

Resources: 

The Agricultural Stewardship Association

The Open Space Institute

Farm Profile: Quincy Farm
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