An update to Albany County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan seeks to protect farmers, their land, and the crops and livestock they produce.

GUILDERLAND — Amy Castillo and her husband realized their dream a few years ago when they were able to buy a farm on Brandle Road.

They named it Kava La Reina Farm. “Kava” means “bee” in Guarani, an indigenous language of South America and an official language of Paraguay.  So their farm’s name translates to “queen bee.”

Overproduction of milk and trade deals going sour are part of a myriad of factors making it tough for dairy farmers across the country to turn a profit.

Laura Ten Eyck, in researching a book about hops, which is now grown at Indian Ladder Farms, became interested in hemp and hopes to write a book about that, too.

“I’ll pull out a frame and talk about what goes on inside,” said Tim Norray of how he plans to teach fair-goers about keeping bees.

GUILDERLAND — A Guilderland property owner says he will soon be forced to sell the Western Turnpike land he had rented to Victoria Acres Equine Facility for six years, so that he can concentrate on getting medical treatment.

ALTAMONT – A few years ago, Bernard Melewski held a fundraiser at his home on Black Creek Farm, and a friend of his, John Sheehan, showed up with some wine.

“The short story is: My winemaking friend said, ‘You have a farm and now farm wineries are legal in New York, what do you think about collaborating?’” Melewski said.

In Albany County, a beekeeper, hay farmer, and dairy farmer all want to be in one the county’s three agricultural districts.

The grapes James Besha planted four years ago are just starting to come into production now, he said. He hopes to begin selling wine next year.

GUILDERLAND — A farmers’ market also open to vendors is coming to Guilderland, says town resident and organizer Scott Abraham. It will be open every Sunday during August and September and will also feature “other mom-and-pops and crafters,” Abraham says. He hopes also to attract flower markets and tree farmers.


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