Small, Hand-Made Business
When one designs a business enterprise, you can choose a big high-production style or a small, hand-made style. High-Production style creates more income, and demands less time. It matches and compliments the economic structure that we live in currently. Small, Hand-Made businesses require lots of personal time and effort, and create very little income (compared to High-Production businesses), not enough income to support normal households in this current economic structure.
But there is something graceful, beautiful, and powerful about Hand-Made, Hand-Grown, Small-Scale production. And this is especially true when it comes to food production.
We are eating food and nourishing ourselves from it. So we've made the choice to develop this small business. Of course this means we have to find other income sources, and we have to make sacrifices - or rather, adjustments or prioritizing - when it comes to the spending of income. But, we feel it makes for a fuller and richer lifestyle.
We think it is very important and intrinsically healthy for people considering starting a small farming enterprise to acknowledge this decision-making process.
What We Produce at our Garden-Farm
A diverse array of heirloom vegetables, greens, mushrooms, and berries. We grow over 150 varieties of vegetable crops. Our vegetables are sold only through our CSA program.
A full compliment of over 400 varieties and species of medicinal and culinary herbs. Mostly 'Western' in nature, although we have started developing our collection of Chinese and other Asian medicinals. Our cut culinary herbs are available as a part of our CSA program, as well as being sold to restaurants, health food stores, and gourmet stores. We sell all of our herb varieties as plants or seedlings at our Spring Plant Sales. And we also hand-create a line of healing herbal salves, ointments, and lip balms, as well as some tinctures.
We can confidently say we produce absolutely awesome eggs! Our eggs are from pasture-raised heritage hens in every shade and color.
We love teaching and sharing and regularly offer all sorts of workshops and courses at the farm and online.
Plants and Seedlings
Each spring we open for our Annual Plant and Seedling Sales. This is a huge event for us and something we get so excited about! We offer hundreds of different varieties of heirloom vegetables, annual flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs, permaculture-plants, natives, pollinator-friendly plants, ferns, perennials, berries, and even some small trees. Each year we try new things and grow bigger and bigger.
We are currently selling our cut flowers mostly through our CSA program. We also do events but do to our small size, we need to plan for such events very far in advance.
Although we mostly breed and hatch poultry for our own farm, we occasionally have chicks and chickens available for sale.
We mainly keep honeybees for their pollination support. We take very little honey from our hives. So we usually don't have much honey to share. We also make beeswax candles and use beeswax in our herbal salves and lip balms.
Where are you?
Visit our Contact Us Page for driving directions.
Midsummer Farm has been growing organic and biodynamic herbs, cut flowers, eggs, vegetables, and plants and seedlings since 2005. Barbara and Mark Laino are the founders and the stewards of Midsummer Farm. We are a small, artisanal, family run and owned farm located in beautiful Warwick, NY.
Looking for a fun farm, gardening, herb, or health talk, event, or location for your group or club?
We'd be happy to do a talk or to host at our farm!Let us know if you're thinking of planning something, and we'll brainstorm something fun and successful!
We also do private consultations and design work!
We'd love to hear from you ....
Midsummer Farm was created and developed out of a passion for good food, pure fresh flavors, artisanal ingredients, and healthy, vital eating.
We consider ourselves to be a Garden Farm as well as a Teaching Farm. This farm was also born and inspired from our wish to live in an artisanal manner. We want to fully experience the growing of our food, and we want the growing and production of the food itself to be artful.
We believe in developing a farm that works in cooperation with nature and that goes beyond sustainable by not only supporting, but also revitalizing, the health of the piece of the earth and natural world that we are the stewards of. We are always seeking authenticity in our living and eating. Everything we produce is grown in an atmosphere of ecological responsibility, healthiness, and love for life and nature.
Teaching has become a huge part of our farming enterprise, which was really a surprise to us. We were propelled into teaching as we met so many like-minded people who were seeking knowledge and experience in living in ways similar to us...
So we are now offering both workshops and intensive courses on topics from how to get more beans into your diet to how to grow a successful organic garden to building a household herbal apothecary to even a fully endorsed Permaculture Design Certification Program. All of our classes are built out of our own experiences over the past decades and are intrinsically sustainable and dedicated to organic decision-making and lifestyle choices.
The main instructor/teacher is Barbara Taylor-Laino. She has been teaching in one form or another for over 30 years.
Why are we Certified ?
Midsummer Farm holds several certifications which are re-approved or re-verified regularly each year. We have been certified USDA Organic by NOFA-NY, one of the strictest certifiers of the USDA-based National Organic Program in the country since 2005.
And we also attained Animal Welfare Approved certification, which is a certification based on humane and respectful treatment of animals. AWA is the most serious and most humane of all animal product certifiers in the world.
We are very small and most of our customers know us and have visited our farm. However, we still go through the rather complex and pricey certification process every year. Why?
Because we do indeed follow ALL the standards of organic certification. We care a lot about the standards. We go above and beyond the standards in our farming practices, but by being certified our customers can know for sure that we're not cutting corners.
We often hear other non-certified farmers say that they aren't certified but they grow "organically." Often the reason for not being actually certified is that it is too expensive. Certified Organic farmers must use only non-GMO certified organic products to produce whatever they are producing. We purchase certified organic potting soil and seeds for our seedlings, certified organic non-GMO fertilizers, certified organic non-GMO feed for our chickens. We believe in buying these products beyond just satisfying the organic standards. We buy and support these products because we believe in them. We'd do it whether we were certified or not. And if we're putting in the money and effort, we can't see why we wouldn't keep ourselves certified.
Certified Organic means no GMO's. If a product is certified organic, it is also non-GMO.
We like to support certified organic products and growers who are going through the full effort just like us. And we have decided to completely avoid using anything with GMO's. We pay 4-5 times more for non-GMO, certified organic soil, fertilizers, seeds, and chicken feed. Due to pressure of supermarket pricing, we are forced to keep our eggs at $9 per dozen although that is under our cost for feeding our chickens.
We also keep the price of our vegetables and plants and seedlings compatible with the prices of commercial, high-production factory-style sources of such items. That means our margin of profit is minuscule, even though our products are optimal. Our customers are the winners; we do all the work.
Just because a farmer isn't certified organic doesn't mean that they are cutting corners. We're not suggesting that. That is just the excuse we hear most often - that it is too expensive to follow the standards so they do most of the standards but skip the expensive part. Many people also don't realize how much GMO's have infiltrated this country's agricultural products. Some farmers may be thinking that the cheaper feed they are using is not GMO. Although you can pretty much bet that if it is cheaper, it is indeed GMO.
But make a point of asking and talking to farmers and people you are buying food from. Let them know that you don't mind paying them a fair price for their efforts. And that you would prefer to pay more for a truly non-GMO organic product.
If customers act like they are simply price-shopping and that they only care about price, farmers definitely won't feel inspired to search out non-GMO sources or spend money on them. And remember whatever small local farmers (organic or not) are producing is a totally different product from the factory-style high production products found in supermarkets. The supermarkets charge cheaper prices because of the methods and subsidies. You are wanting small farm produced products for a reason - and that reason involves a lot more expense and a lot more time and a lot less profit on the part of the producer.
Permaculture and Biodynamics
During the course of creating and developing our garden and farm, we found ourselves drawn to studying Biodynamics as well as the ideas associated with Permaculture. We've completed many workshops, learning opportunities, courses on organic farming and growing as well as several full and partial PDCs and the One-Year Biodynamic Course on Agriculture at the Pfeiffer Center. The philosophies, ethics, and practices associated with the concepts of Biodynamics and Permaculture truly reflect what we are doing at Midsummer Farm.
We make continual and often daily use of the practices of biodynamics and the principles of permaculture on our farm as we produce nutrient-dense super-foods. More info on Biodynamics and Permaculture at Midsummer Farm including workshops and courses!
Holistic Health and Herbalism
Barbara Taylor-Laino has been studying and actively working in holistic nutrition and herbalism for over 20 years. She is an Herbalist and a Certified Holistic Health Coach, graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2009.
Holistic Health and Herbalism are very natural branches of organic farming and artisanal food production. The quality and diversity of what you eat very specifically determines your body's health. The complexity of the human system very perfectly reflects the natural systems of the land.
We use herbalism for addressing health issues and use herbs proactively to promote well being and vital energy. We use herbs in our daily lives. Barbara is working on a new book on using herbs every day which is a natural spin-off of our Living with Herbs Season-Long Course. We also use herbs with our pets and farm animals and birds. And we use herbs and dynamic plant relationships within our garden and land. It thrills us that the same herb can feed the soil micro-herd, foliar-feed our plants, protect our seedlings, calm our dogs' digestive system, nourish our chicks, and help balance and tone our human nervous system. It all comes together - brilliantly.
Are you Open??
We are not regularly open to the public.
We sell our produce and eggs through our CSA program or to retailers and restaurants. We do open to the public for our Spring Plant Sale events. We also are open quite often for workshops, farm events, farm tour days, and for groups and clubs by appointment.
Please visit our Current Schedule Page for upcoming open days, events, tours, and workshops.