Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Men's Journal: Red Hook is 'Best Place to Start an Organic Farm'

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Albany/HV: Men's Journal: Red Hook is 'Best Place to Start an Organic Farm'
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Last month's edition of Men's Journal Magazine named Red Hook the "Best Place to Start an Organic Farm." Our Beth Croughan went to the town in Dutchess County to find out why.

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- A 'locavore' is someone who seeks out locally grown foods and according to Men's Journal Magazine, Red Hook is their hotbed. However, Jordan Schmitt doesn't just seek the food out. She helps to grow it.

"Working with my body outside and producing something that I'm really excited about for other people to share,” said Schmitt.

Schmitt helps produce food for more than 600 people to share. It's called 'community-supported agriculture.'

"In return for your investment in the farm, you come every single week or every other week to the farm or to a pickup location, and you get your share of the vegetables," explained Ben Shute, the co-owner of Hearty Roots Farm.

The more than 600 community members at Hearty Roots Farm have the opportunity to come and pick their food or even plant it. This weekend, it's potatoes and onions.

"It's more than just a kind of an economic transaction. We have members who come to the farm every single week and can wander through the gardens and pick flowers and things like that and they really have a direct connection with where their food is being grown," said Shute.

Shute says it's the town leader’s direct connection with their food growers that helps make Red Hook a special place for farming.

"The Town of Red Hook has really made a strong effort at recognizing its agricultural history and the importance that agriculture plays in our town’s economy and in terms of all the benefits, the scenic benefits of having farms in our town, the cultural benefits of having homegrown food in our town,” said Shute.

With more than two dozen farmers in town, there's plenty of homegrown food in this local economy. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP