Hello everyone! My name is Dan and I’m super happy to be the latest contributor on the Essex on Lake Champlain Blog. Bringing an old farm back to life is not for the faint of heart and I’ll be chronicling the journey and sharing my thoughts here as well as over on my blog, ADKFarmerDan.com.
We bought 80 acres in April of this year in Willsboro on Mountain View Drive. Aside from the barn, garage and pasture you see in the photo above, we’re basically starting from scratch.
Abraham Lincoln once said “the finest art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land,” and it is precisely this art I am immersing myself into.
Those close to me know that farming has always been a passionate topic of mine and I feel it’s a way I can make a difference locally in the community while also building an ecological and sustainable business. The world needs more small farms and I am hoping to do my part!
A Little Bit about Me
Years ago, I used to drive a forklift in a Hudson Valley, NY warehouse. Then later on I luckily got the chance to live in Stavanger, Norway and work in marketing. Somewhere in between the warehouse and the executive washroom, I built a chicken coop and raised some chicks. Just 25 hens and I sold their deliciously fresh eggs to friends, family, and colleagues to rave reviews. I was hooked and knew this was a potential path.
Some might say I’m cheap. I would say that I’m debt-averse. Having spent most of our savings on the land, it’s going to take us a while to bring the farm back to its former glory.
Combining A Love of Place with A Passion for Artisan Fare
The place: My wife and I have always had an affinity for the Adirondacks. We spent many a vacation hiking, camping, kayaking and fishing around the Park. We always thought it would be the perfect place to put down roots. Now the seeds have been sown.
The passion: While living abroad, we were extremely fortunate in being able to travel and imbibe the rich food cultures of Scandinavia, Europe and even a taste of Hong Kong. More important than just eating and drinking our way around, which we did, we knew we wanted to dive in and get some first-hand experience in the food cultures. We volunteered on a farm milking goats & making chevre in France. We learned to make artisan breads in Tuscany. And we volunteered time assisting farmers in Copenhagen with their resilient Icelandic sheep flock during the lambing season.
Triple Green Jade Farm
Triple Green Jade Farm is the name of our “future” farm project. We know that Essex County and the Champlain Valley in particular is undergoing a renaissance in terms of growth in local food and agri-tourism. While we have some ideas on what we want to do on the farm, we’re still listening to see what niches and gaps we can fill in the region.
There is a certain level of safety in running a diverse operation for the farm. Like other farmers before us, we are looking to create food enterprises that are mutually beneficial in terms of ecology and economy. So we’ll see what develops.
There are still a whole of lot steps to be made along the way, like renovating the barn and building a home, but the goal is to create an eco-minded farmstead and provide food that mirrors the wild and natural beauty of the Adirondacks.
So glad to have you along in the journey. Thanks again for having me!