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Light Up the Farm with Sustainable Energy

2012 Field Day Series offers “How-to” information on incorporating solar panels, wind turbines, radiant heat, passive solar and ecological stewardship practices into your farm or homestead.

This 10KW wind turbine on Cross Island Farm combined with a 7KW solar array provides all the farm’s electricity needs.

Have you been considering transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy on your farm or homestead?  The farmers in the 2012 “Light Up the Farm with Sustainable Energy” field day series are eager to show you how.  The farms in our 2012 series are producing a wide range of products spanning vegetables, poultry, milk, eggs, honey, garlic, koi fish, and even lemons and figs!  And they are all doing so using sustainable energy.  Solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind turbines, radiant heat, and a variety of other ecological production techniques are empowering these farms to stabilize their energy bills into the future and conserve resources for the next generation. During these farmer-led, inspiring tours, you’ll learn about how to decide what renewable energy source is right for you; grants and loans available for financing; installers that work with farmers; and other sustainable production techniques.  All field days are free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.  Sponsored by Northeast SARE and the Cornell Small Farms Program.  To learn about funding opportunities from NE SARE, visit www.nesare.org 

Region:  Central NY, Schoharie County
Address:  116 Davis Rd. Summit, NY 12175.

October 5, 2012. 10am – noon.  Energy from the Sun! Summit Naturals Organic Farm.  Leo Siemion will give us a tour of the sustainable energy features on his 25 acre organic farm. The farm produces 11 varieties of garlic in raised fields, eggs from heritage Dominique breed of chickens, and bottled honey, comb honey and beeswax candles from 12 bee colonies. Leo and his farm crew have spent the past several years raising approximately 450 pond bred Koi fish for retail sale. Thier 60 X 21 foot high tunnel is double walled plastic and excess solar heat is circulated through 250 feet of corrugated pipe 2 feet underground. This active solar heating system allows Summit Naturals to grow greens throughout the winter. Their smaller glass greenhouse attached on the south side of the family home has 520 feet of corrugated pipe, 5 feet underground which runs through an insulated stone pit and radiates back up thru the concrete floor. Leo has been able to produce tropical fruits such as oranges, lemons, and figs in this green house. The 9.4 KW grid tied PV electric system consists of two separate arrays:  Each array has three pole mounts and its own inverter. Their roof mounted evacuated tube solar hot water system provides all of their hot water needs. The farm is considering an electric tractor purchase in 2013 to use the excess electricity they now produce and reduce diesel fuel needs. More info on Summit Naturals at http://www.summitnaturals.com  Free and open to the public!  Refreshments will be provided. Map  | Register here or email vws7@cornell.edu

Region:  Fingerlakes, Tompkins County
Address:   266 Blackman Hill Rd., Brooktondale NY 14817.  

October 12, 2012. 10am – noon.  Farming Off-Grid.  One Earth Farm.  Erika and Mauricio Medina will give us a tour of their small off‐grid permaculture farm.   The farm provides vegetables, eggs, raw honey, turkeys, chickens and wool from a small flock of Finn sheep.  A 3kW solar photovoltaic (1.5PV is currently installed) system powers the family and farm’s current electrical needs (including water pumping).   Erica and Mauricio have a small CSA and offer workshops at the farm in sustainable living skills, renewable energy, and permaculture. They also run a Renewable Energy Business (One Earth Energy) which designs and installs solar PV and solar thermal systems with a specialty in off-grid/battery based systems.  If you are interested in low-input, off-grid farming and homesteading, this tour is for you!  Free and open to the public!  Refreshments will be provided. Map  | Register here or email vws7@cornell.edu

Region:  Central NY, Oneida County
Address: 7874 Water St. Oriskany Falls, New York 13425 

October 19, 2012. 10am – noon.  Wind, Water & Pasture: Managing for Sustainability.  Fuess Meadows Organic Dairy. Kevin and Christine Fuess use multiple energy and ecological conservation strategies on their 100 acre organic dairy.  In early 2012, they worked with the company “Earth, Wind and Solar” to install a 10KW Bergey Wind Turbine.  The Fuess’s took advantage of grants and tax credits available to farmers and rural businesses so that the costs associated with the purchase and installation were affordable.  Additionally, the Fuess’s conserve water by using pre-cooler water to supply fresh drinking water to their pastures. Their herd of 40-50 milking cows are rotated though one acre sections of pasture.   Each lot has its own supply of fresh water piped through a network of tubing for all the grazed pastures.  Another method of land conservation for the farm is the recent installation of a French Drain which aids in managing waste.  If you’re interested in wind power or sustainable energy for a small dairy, this field day is for you!  Free and open to the public!  Refreshments will be provided Map  |  Register here or email vws7@cornell.edu

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