The organic ‘Farmer in the Dell’

Hudson Valley organic farmer shares his insights

organic farming in the hudson valley new york

According to the Department of Agriculture, there are over 18,000 certified organic operations in the U.S. – a number that has increased 245 percent since 2002.


Obviously, lots of people are into buying organic products for their families, but have you ever wondered what growing those organic items is really all about?

READ MORE: Local mom talks pros and cons of living organic in the Hudson Valley

Matthew Benson, an area organic farmer who owns Stonegate Farm in Newburgh, sat down to talk a bit about what he does and why he does it.

“When you buy local and organic, your food hasn't been on a truck for three days. [It’s not] food that has lost about half its nutritional density in the first 48 hours after being picked. The tomato you buy from your local farmer has not been picked green, shipped a long distance, and doused with ethylene to turn it red," he said.


“At the local organic farm, you’ll get things you can't at the supermarket: salad loaded with borage, nasturtium, blossoms of radish, arugula, and mustard that has all kinds of textural diversity. A salad can be delicious and full and symphonic and not just something you put dressing on. A salad can be something that doesn't even need dressing."

READ MORE: Raising vegans... when ethics and parenting collide


“Local, organic food doesn't have transport burdens and petroleum burdens that tax the atmosphere, the environment, and the wallet. It's just better for you. It's better for the planet. It's not downloading all this chemistry into our bodies, much of which is basically toxic and carcinogenic. It's a huge difference. By buying something that’s grown locally, you are participating in your community in a different way. Organics isn’t just about food – it’s a way of being in the world.”

READ MORE: Click here to read the full article in our September issue

Joan Miller, M.A., is a freelance writer, ordained minister and hypnotist as well as a certified yoga, Pilates and pole dance instructor who enjoys gardening with her family in Montgomery. This is the second of a two-part series on organic living.