Your Farmers

Jon Ronsani:

Farming became a part of my life in 2006.  As a recent college graduate, I had a great interest in where my food was coming from.  Instead of following my friends to New York City to pursue our careers in music, I decided to move back to Hudson, NY.  I also decided to join a CSA in Philmont, NY.  As a newcomer to the CSA movement, I thought that all members had to take some part in growing the food that they were going to eat.  I called the farmers up and asked them if I could do some volunteer work on their farm.  They were more than thrilled to accept my offer.  I spent the next 5 seasons at that same farm, learning the craft.  In 2007, I became a full time employee learning how to grow vegetables, milk cows, rotationally graze cattle, and care for an orchard organically.  Every year thereafter, I gained a little more knowledge and confidence in what I was doing.  In 2011, I started my own business, Lineage Farm.  I was able to rent five acres from my father’s cousin to use for vegetable growing.  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) was the model I had chosen, and I found sites in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Philmont, and Albany.  That year I had 65 members on 2 acres of land.  That was the year with two hurricanes and a snow in late October.  With all the lessons learned, I decided to expand to 5 acres in the second year, which also marked my business partnership with Jen.  2013 and 2014 marked years of growth, a marriage and the birth of our son Sam.  We set out to embark on the next phase of Lineage Farm, adding more acreage to our operation and most importantly diversifying what we are growing.

Jen and Sam

Jen Ronsani:

Before farming, I wore many hats – domestic violence counselor, runaway/homeless youth shelter cook, mediator and trainer of mediators, movie projectionist and landscaper.  While I was passionate about each position I took, I reveled in working outdoors (and during daylight hours) in my position of landscaper.  In 2008, a friend hired me as her part-time farm worker on a small CSA garden.  I was quickly hooked on growing food, especially good food shared with neighbors.  The next season, I took a full time position at Hawthorne Valley Farm as a farm apprentice.  There, I learned much more about small-scale vegetable growing, marketing, milking cows, and rotational grazing.  I followed that season with a concurrent job at a small vegetable farm in northern Pennsylvania and attendance at the Beginning Women Farmer’s Whole Business Planning Course in New York State.  This was my introduction to Holistic Management, which we currently use as a guide in our business and financial planning.  In 2011, I helped start a different farm, Great Song Farm, with a friend who is still running this farm successfully today.  In 2012, I joined Jon at Lineage Farm, and the rest is history.