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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 17, 2010

Sunshine Farm to celebrate solstice

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — When the earth tilts fully to the sun, Kim Sullivan and Marc Czapski will celebrate.

The summer solstice marks the beginning of the season and they will host a party on their freshly tilled Sunshine Farm to welcome it.

Last year, Czapski, who works as a landscaper, assessed the faltering economy and figured that there would still be a strong market for food.  He convinced Sullivan, who has been farming since the early 1990s, to come back to her hometown from Vermont and the two have wrestled roughly five of his 67 acres into usable farmland.

Nestled below the Helderberg escarpment on Picard Road, the farm’s land largely dictates what they grow, Czapski said.  They have potatoes, radishes, corn, beans, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchinis, peppers, onions, and herbs, among other things.

“In the first year, you kind of have to experiment,” he said.

Right now, they’re selling produce to local restaurants, including Mezza Note, Marche at 74 State, and Jake Moon.  They also have a booth at Voorheesville’s farmers’ market and Joe Merle’s market in Duanesburg as well as a farm stand that’s open seven days a week on Picard Road, near the Helderledge nursery.

Up to five acres from the three they used last year, Sullivan said, they’re growing “inch by inch, row by row.”

The pair, who have known each other for 22 years, aren’t a couple, Sullivan said laughing, but she added, “We fight like one.”  She suggested the business use Czapski’s given name, which was Sonnenshine, in German, or Sunshine, in English.

The potluck solstice party to be held at the farm — 447 Picard Rd.— will start at 2 p.m. on June 20 with live music beginning at 3 p.m. and a bonfire at dusk.  All are invited.

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