The Windbreak Planting Project is Taking Root!

We're beyond thrilled to unveil an exciting new endeavor here on our Farm: the Windbreak Planting Project! As we excitedly and quickly gear up for spring, we're embarking on a journey to not only shield our crops, but also nurture our ecosystem and engage with our land in a whole new way.

Lets Shield Our Crops!

Picture this: it is late April, the sweet smell of summer is teasing our senses, and the strong westerly winds sweep through, as they do without fail, threatening to damage our delicate crops just as they're taking root. It's a scenario we're all too familiar with. But fear not, because our Windbreak Planting Project is taking root and is here to save the day! By strategically planting native trees and shrubs, we aim to create a protective barrier, or shall we say “fortress,” against these fierce winds, safeguarding our crops and ensuring their healthy growth, complimented hand-in-hand with even more far reaching land resilience and conservation outcomes!

A special thanks to the gracious startup grant funding from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, who also were impressed with the multifaceted nature of this project's impact! Our grant proposal stood out because of the resilient agricultural benefits like protecting against wind, restoring areas along waterways, creating habitats for pollinators and wildlife, promoting biodiversity, and storing carbon.


Our farm's history is rich, and as farming practices and knowledge of ecosystem repair and restoration expand, so will our approach to land and agriculture management here at Pitney Meadows. Once dedicated to dairy and corn silage production, trees within our farms’ limit were actively removed to better serve the land's purpose at the time. As we turn a new leaf, we’re shifting our considerations and now venturing into new land management practices, recognizing the importance of wind protection in our annual cropping systems. Windbreaks have long been tried and true strategies in supporting crops and their yields, but it doesn’t stop there… from better water retention, supporting our pollinators, insects, birds, and our soils’ fungi, the benefits are overwhelmingly apparent. It's a shift in mindset, but one that promises a multitude of benefits beyond just shielding our plants.

Growing Beyond Expectations

What started as a simple solution to wind damage has blossomed into a multi-faceted project with far-reaching implications. Here's a quick glimpse into what's in store:

Site Selection:
We've carefully chosen the 3.4 acre planting area for our windbreak, straddling the historical watercourse that meanders through our property into the Geyser Creek. This natural divide not only guides our planting efforts, but also plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecosystem's balance. Believe it or not, this will also aid in the restoration of the streams’ water flow and quality, which is yet another added bonus.

Plant Selection:
Our soil's unique composition calls for a thoughtful selection of plants. Drawing on archaeological reports and advice from our trusted collaborators at Saratoga Sand Plains, Albany Pine Bush, the US Forest Service, the Ndakinna Education Center, we've curated a list of species tailored to thrive in our sandy-loam soil, ensuring both resilience and biodiversity.

Digging Deeper:
But wait, there's more! Our project extends beyond crop protection: from water course restoration, to fostering pollinator and wildlife habitats, and a natural addition of an educational walking trail, honing in on the interpretive and educational use in plant identification, wildcrafting, and indigenous native plant usage.

Get Involved: Let's Grow Together!

We invite you to get your hands dirty with us as we bring this Windbreak to life! The project will be mightily aided by over 200 Environmental Education students from Saratoga Spring High School to begin the planting in May.

We invite you to join us on May 4th, 2024, 10am-4pm, rain or shine, and help us plant the 1,500 baby plants! This is a legacy project that will grow and flourish for years and years to come… spend the day with us and become a part of the catalyst to this legacy, having a profound and lasting impact on the ecology at Pitney Meadows! All levels of expertise are welcome! Our planting day will begin with a “how-to” session and farm team friends will be around to plant with you!

Register here! 


Stay tuned for updates as our Windbreak Planting Project takes root. Let's sow the seeds of change and watch our community flourish!

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