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What is Wild Farming

Photo courtesy Daniel Imhoff Photo courtesy Daniel Imhoff    
Split Rock Wildway

New York’s Adirondack-Boquet-Champlain Valley, or the Adirondack Coast of Lake Champlain, is home to an ambitious effort to make farming compatible with the full range of biological diversity. For the past decade, conservationists in the eastern Adirondacks have been working to protect Split Rock Wildway, a wildlife corridor linking Lake Champlain and its valley with the Adirondack mountains to the west.

To date, nearly 7,000 acres have been protected, primarily through state or private land acquisition in the area. Much of this land is forest and will be awarded Forever Wild protection—thus maintaining the land in a wild state for perpetuity. Black Kettle Farm is situated on approximately 200 acres of this wildway. Some of the agricultural fields will be allowed to return to forest in order to broaden and strengthen the Split Rock Wildway, while others will be diversified to help meet the needs of the local human community—as well as of native pollinators, grassland birds, raptors, and small mammals. Fields dedicated to agriculture will be set in a matrix of wild forest and will be criss-crossed by broad hedgerows, or hedgethickets, comprising native early succession and fruit-bearing tree and shrub species. A diversity of fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, grains, and fibers will be produced—all organically, and all for local and regional consumption.

For information or to volunteer at Black Kettle Farm, please write the Eddy Foundation, P.O. Box 42, Essex, NY 12939.

*Conservation efforts in the Split Rock Wildway are spearheaded by WFA’s steering committee members John Davis, Jamie Phillips, and Mike DiNunzio.

To see more about Connectivity, go to “Making Connections for Nature” Briefing Paper

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