Grounds Stewards

A main springtime initiative at Better Farm this year is clearing the old farming grounds of the original homestead.
Part of the work we do at Better Farm has to do with reviving old spaces; turning what had become forgotten land into fertile new ground for people (and animals) to enjoy. Because our Annual Open House and Fundraiser is expanding this year, it was time to level-up on the property across the street from Better Farm's main house.

It's amazing how much stuff is just lying around old barn foundations, in open fields, and buried under tangles of vines, trees, and brush. Here's just one pile of junk we found twisted up in the old barn foundation (mental note: This is already after a huge dumpster haul three years ago, and an intimidating barn clear-out the last two years):
On the plus side, there is now going to be more space to utilize for meetings, entertainment, and for the natural bug and animal community to traverse without getting tripped up on some old rusty metal or other piece of garbage.

The photo above is of the mess discovered after clearing this space out:

Here's the space just about finished up, save for a few remaining piles of dirt:
While one work crew was clearing out the foundation this morning,  there was also some ATV activity clearing pathways through woods, removing old barbed wire, and lowering some brush:

Here's another pile of junked metal from decades ago:

Across the street next to the garden, we also got some repairs done on our rainwater catchment system. That set-up sustained some damage in heavy windstorms since last fall.

Stay tuned for more updates as we enhance the grounds for upcoming events and tours. To volunteer, please contact us at or (315) 482-2536.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.