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NEON:  The Northeast Organic Network Focal Farm Studies

As part of the NEON project, we collaborated with 11 exemplary organic vegetable and cash-grain farmers throughout the Northeast to develop in-depth case studies describing their farming strategies. We conducted interviews as well as repeatedly sampled beds or field sections of specific crops over 2 years. We used this information to better understand how their cropping system and rotations impacted pests, yields and economics. We tried to answer several questions:

  • What are the production strategies & yields of key crops?
  • What are the weed problems and how are they managed?
  • How do farmers determine crop mix and rotations?
  • What are the problem pests for key crops and how are they managed?
  • What practices are used on the farm to manage soil health & fertility?
  • How profitable are some of these organic crops and systems?
  • What research is needed to help Northeast organic crop farmers?
Cases will being posted here as they are completed. For all of the farms, a picture gallery below highlights key features.

  • New Leaf Farm, Dave and Christine Colson, Durham, ME
    salad greens, tomatoes, winter squash, brassicas.
    Case Study | Photo Gallery

  • Beech Grove Farm, Anne and Eric Nordell, Beech Grove, PA
    garlic, storage onions, lettuce, potatoes, carrots. Photo Gallery

  • Blue Heron Farm, Lou Johns and Robin Ostfeld, Lodi, NY
    lettuce, strawberries, garlic, beets. Photo Gallery

  • Fair Hills Farm, Ed Fry, Chestertown, MD
    corn, alfalfa

  • Kestrel Farm, Tom and Merrilee Harlow, Westminster, VT
    lettuce, parsnips, winter squash. Photo Gallery

  • New Leaf Farm, Dave and Christine Colson, Durham, ME
    salad greens, tomatoes, winter squash, brassicas.
    Photo Gallery

  • Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens Farm, Penn Yan, NY
    spelt, soybeans, field corn, processing snap beans & cabbage.
    Photo Gallery

  • Myer Farm, John Myer, Ovid, NY
    soybeans, spelt, field corn, winter wheat, alfalfa hay. Photo Gallery

  • Paradise Organics, Chris Petersheim, Paradise, PA
    lettuce, kale, tomatoes, winter squash. Photo Gallery

  • Spiral Path Farm, Mike and Terra Brownback, Loysville, PA
    lettuce, winter squash, tomatoes, chard. Photo Gallery

  • Upper Forty Farm, Kathy, Bennett and Andy Caruso, Cromwell, CT
    green beans, winter squash, tomatoes. Photo Gallery

  • Watershed Organic Farm, Jim Kinsel, Pennington, NJ
    tomatoes, winter squash, lettuce, strawberries. Photo Gallery