A new farm for the Tellos

June 16, 2011

It’s been almost twelve years since Nestor and Alejandra Tello first joined the New Farmer Development Project in 2000 as the project’s first farmers. They’ve now become one of the project's true success stories, growing from modest beginnings with a few hundred chickens to a flock of 4000 lay-ers, on-farm honey production, and some diversified vegetables to boot.

Most recently, after 10 years of renting land, Nestor and Alejandra were finally able to purchase their very own 25 acre farm in Coxsackie, NY late last year.

Tello's Green Farm keeps its loyal customers happy at 8 Greenmarkets and 3 CSAs throughout New York City.

Click here for more info about the Tellos and the New Farmer Development Project.

NFDP presents at NOFA-NY

February 4, 2011

Eleven New Farmer Development Project farmers participated in this year’s NOFA-NY annual winter conference, which brought together nearly 1400 organic farmers, gardeners, activists and eaters from around New York state.

NFDP participants included Nestor Tello, the Project’s first farmer, who gathered information for his recently purchased 25 acres in Greene County, NY, and Martin Rodriguez, who had the opportunity to present his unique method of cultivating Mexican culinary herbs to Spanish-speaking conference attendees.

NFDP provided simultaneous interpretation for Martin’s presentation, as well as 6 workshops and 3 keynote presentations during the 2-day conference, whose theme this year was "Digging Diversity." Look for video clips of Martin’s presentation on the NFDP website in the near future.

NFDP Graduates 13 Immigrant Farmers

January 20, 2011

On the ten-year anniversary of the New Farmer Development Project, the project completed another successful farmer training class, La Nueva Siembra. Designed specifically for immigrants with agricultural experience who are interested in starting their own operation, the course concluded a successful run with 13 graduates. These future farmers hailed from Guatemala, Mexico, Taiwan, Haiti, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the U.S., and learned to develop business plans as diverse as their backgrounds. From an online mushroom CSA to urban aquaculture, their ideas are now entering the new planning phase, with individual assistance from the NFDP staff for the 2011 growing season.

Offered Tuesday evenings from October to December and concluding with a weekend intensive, La Nueva Siembra covered a wide range of topics including Goals and Skills Evaluation, Finding Land, Finances, Labor and Development Laws, and Marketing and Production Plans, to name a few. To increase the effectiveness of the curriculum, many students took advantage of workshops organized by NFDP and its partners throughout late summer and early fall – Marketing in the Market, Seed Saving, Farm Tour and Tractor Safety. Participants also had the opportunity to attend various conferences with the NFDP staff and current farmers throughout the fall and winter, and will continue to do so as 2011 progresses.

As “real world” complementary elements to the class, four guest farmers gave presentations, advice, and answered the multitude of questions for class participants. The NFDP sincerely thanks Martin and Gaudencia Rodriguez, Sergio and Paz Nolasco, Jorge Carmona, and Nestor Tello for sharing their precious time and invaluable experience with the LNS class of 2010!

Congratulations to all the graduates and best of luck! We all look forward to following your stories as your farming plans unfold!

NFDP's 10th Anniversary

December 22, 2010


This past Saturday night, more than 40 graduates of the "La Nueva Siembra" training program celebrated the tenth anniversary of GrowNYC’s New Farmer Development Project.

“There were 75 total guests, with 8 current farmers and more than 40 graduates from La Nueva Siembra, including 5 participants from the most recent 2010 class," reported Chris Wayne, NFDP Coordinator. Special guests included both the founding director of the project, Rachel Danifer, and the previous director, Kate Granger. Also in attendance were long time Cornell Cooperative Extension agent and NFDP training specialist John Ameroso and his wife Linda.

Nestor Tello, an egg and chicken producer from Dutchess County, was the winner of the evening’s raffle and took home a broadcast seeder and a 50lb bag of cover crop seed. He hopes to use the seed on a new piece of property that he is in the process of acquiring in Greene County.

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