Hello from Karen and Glenn Cook
Begun by Glenn’s parents Eleanor and Ed, our farm is now run by three generations of Cooks. The farm is a big piece of who we are, for none of us would be the same without the love, responsibility and stewardship it brings. All 145 acres are tended and cared for with an old-fashioned work ethic, combined with modern strategies that increase organic matter while decreasing our carbon footprint (more on that below!).
Cider Hill Farm began when Glenn’s parents Eleanor and Ed Cook purchased the Battis Farm in 1978. Three years later Glenn and his new bride Karen purchased the abutting Vedrani Farm, creating what is now a three generation family farm.
Eleanor & Ed Cook
Karen & Glenn Cook
To whom much is given, much is expected.
We put our love for the land and its renewable treasures ahead of convenience and a fast profit. Since 1978, we’ve taken a strong and aggressive environmentally responsible approach to the use of our land. Our rigorous compost programs have drastically increased soil organic matter content, minimizing the need for fertilization, while we co-exist, encourage and protect the growth of our neighborly bee hives!
What we do at Cider Hill is cultivate, nurture, and grow relationships; growing good food is simply a by-product of this mission and the calling of our dedicated farm family.
We are a farm, but we’re not old-fashioned.
This is 40+ years in the works, but we’re approaching 90% self-generated electricity for the farm and its 5 homes! In addition to our wind turbines, we create our own power from a 840-panel voltaic solar system. Combine that with high efficiency wood boilers, ongoing energy reviews, updates to lighting, components, and controls – and we are negating our carbon footprint, and conserving precious resources.
Organic? Non-GMO? Sprays?
Here is a note from Farmer Glenn regarding our farming practices!
First, I will share that we are a strict non-GMO farm. No seeds or plant materials we use are part of this program. Most of our seeds come from Johnny's Seeds in Maine who are known for their line of organic seeds, of which we use many. We are not an organic farm, but do practice very strict IPM principles and practices. We use very gentle materials to control pests when absolutely necessary based on the findings of our University trained IPM scout who traps bugs across our whole farm to help us make wise and informed decisions as to what our damage exposure is, as well as using the information from our own weather station tied directly to Cornell University to predict the life cycles of our pests based on weather data gathered from our exact location. In other words, we know exactly what is happening here, and make decisions to spray based on economic thresholds for damage. That being said, we don't mind cosmetic damage to our crops, but do try to prevent worms from residing in our food because even our most organic minded customers don't tolerate that. We use very safe materials, mostly made through fermentation processes, that are typically considered safe to eat straight out of the sprayer. We also time any sprays for disease, such as on strawberries, to be done on the flowers and not on the fruit, as we have found that this prevents disease as much or even more effectively as having to spray the fruit. We often choose sprays that are natural which do not harm insects that are beneficial, and at times may even help to control the undesirable insects. Our bottom line is we strive to be extremely careful in all our pest control, cultural practices, and seed selection as we value the health of our own families, and the health of our customers. Please feel free to write back if you have any more questions, or if I did not adequately answer your concerns as it is very important to us that you are comfortable with eating the food we grow.