At Sage Hen Farm in Lodi, NY, in heart of the Finger Lakes, we raise chickens for eggs, tend a small orchard, and maintain a diverse market garden. Our focus is on heirloom and uncommon varieties. That applies to chickens, garlic, fruits and berries, herbs, greens, potatoes and other vegetables. It is our goal to practice sustainable growing methods and offer certified organic cultivars and regional heirloom varieties. We moved to Lodi in 2001, but the land has been farmed since the early 19th century.
Margaret's specialty is garlic. We offer more than 60 varieties of garlic: softnecks including many varieties each of silverskin and artichoke garlics; hardnecks including many varieties each of rocambole, porcelain and purple stripe. Some varieties that have gained a special following over the years include Ajo Rojo, Bogatyr, Chet's Italian, Creole Red, Georgian Fire, German Extra Hardy, Metechi, Music, Nootka Rose, Polish White, Red Toch, Shandong, Silver Rose, Thai Fire, and Thermadrone Whether you are looking for a mild long-keeping garlic or a full bodied (either hot or just strong), white or brown or purply, we have a garlic for you.
In our orchard, there are about 100 trees, including mostly apples, but also peaches, pears, cherries, apricots, and plums. We have concentrated on cold hardy
varieties and varieties venerated by past generations.
Names in our orchard include Northern Spy, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Rambo,
Holstein, Ashmead's Kernal, Clapps Favorite, Beurre Giffard, Rochester,
Redhaven, Montmorency, Emperor Francis, Kristin, and Hedelfinger. In
addition, for our apple trees, we have looked for varieties with fruit
that blend well together for cider.
We raise free-ranging chickens for eggs in a rainbow
assortment of colors and sizes. Each dozen we sell will include a mix
of green/blue, white/ cream, and light and dark brown eggs. The size
and diversity of the flock varies, but it ranges from 60 to more than
100 birds. The different breeds and varieties of chickens has been as
many as 20 and as few a dozen.
Members of NOFA-NY (Northeast Organic Farmers Association -- New York), we grow certified organic seeds, sets, and tubers using ecologically sound methods: no chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). To us, it seems the right thing to do. Sage Hen Farm has taken NOFA-NY's Farmers Pledge each year since 2007. In addition, we rent out 30 acres of our land for haying to a local farmer who has had our fields certified organic. We are members of Seed Savers Exchange, and for seeds and tubers that we aren't able to save ourselves we use sources that specialize in cold-hardy varieties, practice sustainable growing methods, and offer certified organic cultivars and regional heirloom varieties.
Ours is a small operation secondary to our day jobs, and the diversity that we strive for means that we don't have huge quantities of any one variety. We don't sell wholesale or by mail order, but from third week of May to the end of October, you can find us Wednesday afternoons at the Trumansburg Farmers Market.
We are Margaret Shepard and John Henderson. Our address in Lodi is 2343 Parmenter Road. It is about three miles south of the village of Lodi and about seven miles northwest of Trumansburg, NY. You can contact Margaret at [mbs19 @ cornell.edu] John can be reached at [jhenderson @ icyousee.org].
This page written and maintained by John R. Henderson
[jhenderson @ icyousee.org].