Great Song Farm
Anthony Mecca met Betti and Larry Steel of Milan, New York, through the Farmer-Landowner Match Program. Anthony first came to the Hudson Valley with an interest in pursuing biodynamic agriculture.
After working with other biodynamic farmers, Anthony decided to look for land that could support a Community Supported Agriculture business truly focused on the community, including public community events, a u-pick garden, and sliding scale memberships to increase food security.
After first joining the Match Program in 2011, Anthony created a long list of landowners to contact. He estimates that he methodically went through his list speaking with over a hundred looking for the right fit. The Steels, whose property is in Dutchess County, were among those landowners and the two parties hit it off.
Over the course of 8 years, Anthony and his co-operator, Sarah Hearn, developed Great Song Farm into a 100-member CSA designed to bring their community together. They grew vegetables, pastured chickens and cattle on approximately, and maintained two dozen beehives on a little more than 30 acres, while also living at the farm. During this time they worked with the Steels to host dinners and other events that were open to the public.
In 2018, Anthony and Sarah decided to transition away from full-time farming in order to focus on other professional pursuits.
The Steels meanwhile have enjoyed watching their property become the center of the community and get a great satisfaction from their property being put to such a use and hope to continue leasing their land to another farm business. In addition to opening their 88-acre property to this operation and in turn to the community, the Steels worked with DLC to protect the land with a conservation easement in 2016 to ensure that it remains available for farming into the future.