Years in operation: 7
Annual revenue: 10k-50k
(Average over last three years)
Oxbow Farm is a family farm, owned and operated by first generation farmers, Tim and Noelia Springston. We currently grow on approximately 2.5 acres with the potential to expand our field production to 15 acres. Our produce is grown without the use of any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides and we sell directly to our local community through a year-round farmers’ market in Ithaca, NY.
Inside the Farm
How is your approach to farming different than other farms in the same category?
Our approach to farming is three-fold: do no harm, create a resilient food supply, and maximize the potential of our short growing season, all with the goal of getting the best food into the hands of our customers. Our farm has always been a chemical-free farm. Our commitment to chemical-free pest and weed management supports a safe work environment for our family, assures our customers of a robust food crop at the stand, and promotes a diverse on-farm ecology that buffers us against pest and disease outbreaks. Many sustainable and organic farms find using certain pesticides necessary, but we are committed to a strict policy of no pesticide use of any kind EVER. We are committed to feeding our sometimes challenging glacial till soil with compost as well as using cover crops and crop rotations to maintain soil fertility. We strive to manage the farm as a whole ecosystem and it rewards us with food that people love and come back for. Another unique aspect of our farming approach is that we save our own seed for as many crops as we can. Seed saving allows us to select for traits that we care about such as flavor, size or shape, and adaptability to our farm environment, including tolerance to the specific microclimate of the farm. This aspect of food production is especially important to us as we recognize the critical need for resiliency in our food system. Lastly, Oxbow Farm is located at the bottom of a valley and greets the first and last frosts of every season. As a response to this reality, we have built a total of six season-extending hoop houses to date. This extension of the season enables us to provide bountiful greens from as early as April and into the early winter months. All of our hoop houses are also mobile, which allows us to move each one onto two to four individual field plots per season. This mobility greatly reduces the ability for greenhouse pests to proliferate while also enabling us to extend the harvest window of any given crop.
How does your different approach contribute to a long-term profitable growth strategy for your farm and other small farms like yours?
Currently, season extension allows our farm to supply our community with fresh food for approximately 9 months out of the year. Our goal is to be able to harvest food every single week of the year and to extend the season for specific, high-value crops such as salad greens in April and fresh carrots in January. On-farm seed selection of our favorite crops also enables us to differentiate ourselves from our talented local competition in current retail and future wholesale markets. Our growth vision includes higher-volume harvests of certain crops in order to develop wholesale accounts for consistent income streams beyond market sales.
How would you specifically use a Mortgage Lifter Lift or Mini Lift?
The Mortgage Lifter Lift would be used to make equipment and infrastructure improvements to increase efficiencies in the field management and post-harvesting aspects of the farm. First, we would build an enclosed washing station to improve and simplify the post-harvest process. Next, we would build a walk-in cooler for longer-term crop storage, which would reduce harvest days and increase sales opportunities. Lastly, we would purchase a sickle-bar mower attachment for our BCS tiller to manage our cover-cropped fields and outlying fields that are not yet in production.
Please share why you are so passionate about your farm and/or farming in general.
Oxbow Farm has grown from a hope and a dream to a family business that connects us deeply with our community and with each other. Through farming, we have been able to do good work, care for our homestead, stay close to family, and provide for a basic human need.
Share & Support
Want to spread the word about this small farm? Here are some ways to connect and get the word out. And be sure to tell your friends to vote for this farm using the button below. The eligible farm receiving the most votes will be awarded our Readers' Choice prize.
Link to this page: