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tree frog      Welcome to the Farmscape Ecology Program Home Page.

Thank you for stopping in. A Grey Wood Frog and a herd of cows & a tractor (at the bottom) keep you company on this page. A none-too-subtle reference to our program's goal of combining an understanding and appreciation of the natural world with a realistic approach to agriculture. Of course, we're idealists in our own way, but we hope that the information on these pages helps inform your interaction with the land, whether you're a farmer, a naturalist, or a just curious inhabitant of the County. These pages explain some of our work and motivation. For general information, please choose from the list at left; for more detailed information, use the menu on top.

What is farmscape ecology? In our books, 'farmscape ecology' refers to the patterning of life on our landscape. It is a landscape in which farming has played and does play a large role. We emphasize that role by calling our landscape a farmscape. Given that the vast majority of our land was once opened for agriculture, it is fair to say that agriculture's legacy, if not current imprint, has defined much of the human settlement pattern and native species ecology that we see around us today.

Farmscape ecology includes those aspects of human ecology that relate to our use of the land and the growing of food upon it. Thus, we look at studies of our local food system as one way of describing the nature of our landscape. Likewise, farmscape ecology also includes description of how other animals and how plants distribute themselves on the land  - where do they find homes? how do they get nutrients? how do they move about? And, foremost perhaps, farmscape ecology includes looking at how the patterning of human and non-human ecologies interact, how does our activity, for example, determine where plants and animals can exist? How do those plants and animals, in turn, influence our existence? Where are there synergies, where are there disconnects between our own use and that of other organisms?

Our ultimate goal is to encourage the compassionate, holistic understanding of our landscape and the active consideration of how human and non-human ecology can best be configured on that landscape so as to provide healthy, economically feasible (for consumer and producer) human sustenance while also providing a livelihood for the other species that share this land with us. We're all in this together.

As you browse through the information available on these pages, please ask yourself - what does this tell me about who I am as an 'ecological agent' influencing the lives of other people and other organisms? What does this tell me about how those others likewise influence my life? And, how does this begin to help me envision the 'best' future shape of this County we all call home?

NEW INFORMATION - Late 2013 (and some earlier stuff we haven't quite forgotten yet).


Join us in the Field! January through March Outings are Now Posted Here.


Video of Program Description

If you're curious to actually watch one of us try to make sense of all this, you now can, courtesy of the Cornell Horticulture Department. Watch one of us in this on-line video of a recent talk.



Sean's Wildlife Photos.
Sean Madey has been collecting some wildlife photographs using game cameras set on Phudd Hill. His latest 'hits' are on this page.


Harlemville Weather 24/7

Thanks to an anonymous donation, we have been able to go live with our weather. You can now check out the Farm's weather anytime, anywhere (e.g., midnight in the bathtub, 2am EST from the top of the Eiffel Tower, etc.). To do so, go to the weatherlink network, or download the free weatherlink mobile app for android or apple. Aside from current info., basic historical information is also available through that interface (tap the bar at the bottom of the app's screen in order to see historical data). Our station name is "hvf". Our standard weather web page will continue to be updated, but, as usual, only when our computer is on.


Our 2012 'Year in Review' Now Available

This pdf file describes program activities during the past year.


Preliminary Report of Land Use Research around the New Lebanon Shaker Village.

Kyle Bradford, our former intern and new technician, has been out exploring the fields and walls around the New Lebanon Shaker Village. View this page to see a summary of his work to date and to download a Google Earth file.

shaker stonework

New Report on On-Farm Nature Available
Through a series of species profiles this report summarizes aspects of our work
on regional organisms that affect farming and that are affected by farming.


New Farmer Narrative Project

Farm Profiles and Map Now Available!

The New Farmer Narrative Project has been gathering and sharing new farmer stories and information through the traveling Journeys into Farming exhibit.  While the exhibit tour is now done, you can see online versions of the exhibit panels, including a map of new farms in the area, on the New Farmer Narrative Project webpage

chatham fair display


The Living Land Project

We've been out exploring the County this summer as part of our Living Land Project in collaboration with Hudsonia and the Columbia Land Conservancy. We're still in the preliminary stages, but if you'd like to see a brief summary of the project and a few of this summer's sightings, then check out this pdf.

title page


Checklist of Plants of Columbia County

water avens

After several years of research, we are now ready to share a first draft of an updated checklist of 1491 vascular plant species that are known to grow wild in Columbia County. We hope for your help in making this list ever more accurate, so please give us feedback if you have seen additional species or disagree with any of the information presented. This list is very much a work in progress, but we hope it serves as a useful tool for everybody interested in exploring the flora of our County.


Shaker Swamp

Claudia recently completed a report on the ecology of Shaker Swamp in New Lebanon for the Shaker Swamp Conservancy. To learn more about this ecologically (and historically) interesting spot, please see her revised report.


Exciting Addition! Anna has now created her own page about the

Community Food Assessment project

Clermont Farmers' Market Dot Survey

she has been working on. Click here to visit this new realm.

How to Get More.

Please consider reading our blog,


Finally, don't forget our monthly opendoor evenings, the first Thursday of every moth (except holidays, 6-8pm)

No need to call ahead, no need to bring anything.
Just come by and we'll have a pot of soup, chili or some such waiting.
We're located at 1075 Harlemville Road in Ghent (on the NW corner of Hawthorne Valley Farm).
Just to make sure people don't forget, we can send you a monthly reminder - please email us
if you want to be on the list.
See our contact info. for more complete directions.

Call us at (518) 672 7994 if you need information.

MOSAIC OF COLUMBIA COUNTY AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS CREATED. Thanks to the Columbia County Soil and Water Conservation District and volunteer Otis Denner, we have essentially finished our county-wide mosaic of 1940s aerial photographs. Check out a snap-shot of the mosaic and let us know if you'd like a copy of the 1940s aerial image of your property.

HARLEMVILLE WEATHER. A periodically updated page with recent Harlemville weather.

SIGN-UP FOR ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER. We've moved out of the Stone Age and at least into the Bronze Age: you can now subscribe to our electronic newsletter by simply following this link.