Ecological Collaboratory Learns from Wellspring Forest Farm and School

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Gabriel describes the farm’s mushroom operation. Credit: Jonathan Miller/Einaudi Center

Agroforestry extension specialist, Steve Gabriel, works for the Cornell Small Farms Program in addition to owning and operating Wellspring Forest Farm and School with his wife, Elizabeth. Their farm and school run on ecologically conscious agroforestry principles, where each final product they sell is dependent on another aspect of their farm. Their principles of farming in an interconnected system depend on the idea that “everything in nature is connected.”

Wellspring Forest Farm and School was chosen as a project example in the Ithaca area for the first Ecological Learning Collaboratory. The Collaboratory was an opportunity for attendees from around the world to learn about alternate ways to farm and to share information about

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Steve Gabriel of Wellspring Forest Farm in Trumansburg, New York, describes the farm’s erosion control measures. Credit: Jonathan Miller/Einaudi Center

practices from the global north and the global south as a cross-culture collaboration. The event shared different ecologically sound farming principles that have institutional support through faculty at Cornell University. Faculty involved have focuses in health, food, livelihoods, environmental sustainability, and social justice. The intersection of how all these things can work together was demonstrated through visits to the Ithaca area projects.

Steve and Elizabeth Gabriel’s farm is just one example of the diverse and vibrant farms throughout New York State. To learn more about other initiatives and the Collaboratory event, check out this article from the Cornell Chronicle.

Kelsie Raucher

Kelsie is from southwest Missouri and grew up on a 150-acre farm helping her family buy and sell horses and cattle. She credits FFA for finding her passion for agriculture and food issues and desiring a career as an “agvocate.” Since coming to Cornell, she has gained interest in local production, global food issues, and environmental impacts of and on agriculture. She joined the Cornell Small Farms Program in May of 2018 and is excited to gain experience to complement coursework in the Agricultural Sciences major and Communication major.

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