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Lessons from the Land

The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming and the Cornell Small Farms Program have teamed up to create a new column called Lessons from the Land, which first appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of the Small Farm Quarterly.


Lessons from the Land captures and shares the stories of and lessons learned from farmers, homesteaders and land workers around New York and the Northeast.

Too often, farmers and homesteaders exist in isolation; working long hard days, both overcoming significant and unpredictable challenges and also witnessing earth’s abundance.  Stories are a way to connect, unite, and share ideas, information and experiences.

We want to hear stories from growers of all types and sizes, on real topics, that matter!

Each issue has a theme (see below for upcoming topics). Submissions of 400 – 800 words may be submitted online HERE. We will publish only nonfiction submissions. Feel free to submit your name, farm name, city and state or submit your piece as “anonymous” if it allows you to be more honest.

We reserve the right to edit your submission to meet space limitations or to be sensitive to privacy issues.  We will share changes with you before publishing. Because of space limitations, we are unable to print all the submissions we receive. Selected entries will be published in each issue of the Small Farm Quarterly as well as online on the Groundswell Center and Small Farm Program websites.

coverFall 2016 Submissions

Water Woes and Triumphs

The 2016 growing season has been abnormally dry in the Northeast and farmers are feeling the heat.  Contrastingly, June 2015 was one of the wettest on record. Here is a small selection of farmer stories dealing with too much or too little water, and the ways they’ve had to change their practices to adapt.

Read the Fall 2016 submissions here.

Winter 2017 Submissions

Tools: Assets and Liabilities

Farmers describe their successes (and shortcomings) with various tools, tractors, and other accouterments around the farm.

Read the Winter 2017 submissions here.

Upcoming Topics & Submission Deadlines:

Being Prepared


Deadline: February 10 (Spring Issue)