Quality Food and Meaningful Farm Work
Our Thanksgiving Farm encompasses over 300 certified organic acres spanning Stonewall Preserve, Tutto Bene Farm, Hadley, Vista, Sweet Hill and our Main Campus, or home farm – all local farms within Sullivan County, NY. Each year, the Farm grows over 60 different kinds of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, and is home to three orchards. On our farms, we raise several species of livestock including beef cattle, laying hens, pigs, as well as bees for honey. Thanksgiving Farm supports 300 Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) share members, which includes staff, families, and other members of the community.
Thanksgiving Farm serves a dual role at the Center. The first is to provide quality food for those we care for. The Farm is certified organic as well as Demeter Certified Biodynamic*, and both certifications ensure we are following the highest standards in terms of food quality and land stewardship. Additionally, our cows are 100% grass fed and all livestock is pasture raised.
The second role of the Farm is to provide meaningful work opportunities for students and residents, known as farm participation. We utilize the Farm for students as a green classroom space, which helps students learn in a reduced stress environment. In our adult program, farm work is directed toward skill acquisition which can ultimately translate to vocational opportunities for our adult population.
Healing Gardens and Herbal Workshops
DNA is committed to the use of medicinal and culinary herbs throughout our programs. We have gardens grown specifically for these powerhouses of flavor and healing. The gardens not only produce top quality herbal products, but they also create harmonious and sensory spaces that people at The Center enjoy.
We have three designated herbal workshops where our students and residents work with herbs, creating culinary blends, herbal teas, and dried products for consumption throughout the agency. These workshops make it easy for anyone to participate and learn the principles of herbal therapies, as well as the biodynamic method we use on the farm.
*About Biodynamic Farming
The biodynamic method dates back to 1924 and is one of the original approaches to organic farming worldwide. What distinguishes a Demeter Certified Biodynamic® Farm from a certified organic farm is that a Demeter Farm is managed as a living organism. Day-to-day management is aimed at creating a holistic farming system that is minimally dependent on imported inputs (feed, hay, seed, manure, etc.) for its survival. Ideally, everything required to maintain the vitality of the farm arises from within the living dynamics of the farm itself. Thanksgiving Farm currently holds both USDA Organic and Demeter Biodynamic® certifications.