It’s not just the money. It’s the land. The announcement in December of the purchase of the 1255-acre Gill Farm on the Hurley Flats for $13 million by the New World Foundation appears to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime blockbuster moves which will mark a major turning point for Hudson Valley’s agricultural economy. As surely as the building of the Ashokan Reservoir a century ago to export a needed resource to New York City proved a watershed moment in Ulster County’s subsequent history, this carefully considered investment, executed properly, could be the historic cornerstone move in accelerating the transformation of a large monocultural form of cultivation harvested by migrant workers into a more intimate relationship with the huge metropolitan market to its south.
At least that’s the plan. For Ulster County agriculture, it’s a very big deal.
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