Transforming local agriculture

 “From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew …”

-- Sonnet 98, William Shakespeare

Five hours and ten minutes before the end of April, an audience of about 125 persons gathered in the SUNY Ulster cafeteria outside Stone Ridge. They were there to find out more about the future of local agriculture from the most recent, most earnest and most well-heeled entrant into that world, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub at the 1255-acre former Gill Farm on the Hurley Flats just west and southwest of Kingston.

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