This month’s featured Member Maker is Seed Song Farm and Center in Kingston, NY. Farm manager Creek Iversen describes their community-centered programs and why Currents connect with their mission in our Q&A below.
1. Please describe the work you do at Seed Song Farm.
We are rekindling a cultural reverence for the land by making healthy farm food and experiences available to all in our community. The farm grows chemical-free vegetables, flowers, herbs, berries, saplings, and forest products, and uses them to feed and bring our community together to celebrate. The bounty of our farm is distributed through our weekly vegetable pick-up (CSA), our farm store, and charitable donations. Through the CSA program, members choose from a diverse seasonal vegetable offerings that includes U-pick flowers and other items, farm animal visits, and strolling the farm.
Last year, during the pandemic, we were able to feed 38 families through our Farm Feed your Neighbor crowdsourcing fundraiser.
2. What is your background and how did you start your business?
I have a background as a naturalist, environmental educator, and teacher. After a year as a barter CSA member, It was clear that a community farm was an excellent vehicle for involving the public in land stewardship and food and land justice work together. I became a sustainable community farmer in 2008 and went on to manage farms in Long Island, New Paltz, and Hurley before landing near Kingston.
Seed Song Farm and Center was founded in 2016 to build a community around growing good food, educating the public, and celebrating the land through the arts. In June, we held a summer solstice with local indigenous groups that featured a ceremony and a funny original theater piece. In July, the farm hosted the annual Brassroots Festival; in August was an Arm-of-the-Sea giant puppet theater performance celebrating earth heroes. September and October are for sunflower and pumpkin picking, and musical celebrations of the harvest.
3. How do you choose the programs you offer through Seed Song? What is special about them to you?
Programs at the farm are chosen carefully through the lenses of our own mission, as well as the needs of our community. Our summer camp programs, through our non-profit education center, provide youth with farm-focused experiences that target holistic development, connection to the natural world, and honoring of each child’s interests and enthusiasm. Our seasonal U-pick programs (sunflowers, peas, pumpkins, and more!) allow people to experience the farm and the joy that comes from picking produce straight off the vines. Every winter, we host maple sugaring programs that guide our guests through the maple sugaring process and its connection to the wisdom of the Esopus Munsee—the native people of the Kingston Area. Our programs bring our community together through education, celebration, and gratitude for the land and its bounty.
4. Can you share any exciting projects you have coming up?
This season we planted both a small traditional fruit orchard, and the first phase of a food forest, and also expanded our community tree nursery. In August, collaborated with a local Hempcrete sustainable building project.
In September, Seed Song Farm will host U-pick sunflower programs every weekend. Throughout October, our U-pick pumpkins and fall fun weekends will feature farm-fresh food, live music, and family friendly fall activities.
Seed Song Center offers youth education programs throughout the fall, spring, and summer. Our youth programs connect children to the land through creativity, exploration, and education. I think what people find most exciting about our project is that it is active and family filled with beautiful, committed, interesting people who have somehow found their way to this land, drawn to the skills-learning and healthy hard work and the Center that is being created together to evolve our community.
5. How did you get involved with Hudson Valley Current?
I was attracted to the idea of being part of an interdependent community of makers and users using a modified barter system.
6. Why do you use Currents in your business?
The Hudson Valley Current directly speaks to our mission at Seed Song Farm and Center. All of our efforts thrive to support our community, and the Current allows those dollars to stay right where we want them to—among our beloved community members. We value both the power of local business and the Hudson Valley community. Currents make it possible for us to fiscally show our gratitude.
7. How can people learn more about you and your business?
To learn more about our business, programs, and goals please check us out at SeedSongFarm.org, where you can also subscribe to our newsletter. Give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram @SeedSongFarm. We hope to see you at a future program! People are never turned away for lack of funds.