ABOUT THE FARMERS
Elizabeth, Steve, and Aydin Gabriel started the farm & school in 2012 after many years working in farming production and education. In addition to running the farm, they are involved with several efforts within the Finger Lakes Region of NY to improve the sustainability and equity of the food system.
Elizabeth is Executive Director for the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, based in Ithaca, NY. She co-founded the acclaimed Common Good City Farm in Washington DC which quickly become a model for community-based food production in cities.
Steve is Extension Specialist for the Cornell Small Farms Program focused on mushroom production and agroforestry. He brings a diverse background in forestry, farming, and ecology to his work as a forest farmer, educator, and mentor. He co-authored the book Farming the Woods and in 2018 authored Silvopasture.
Aydin arrived a blessing in 2020 during the maple time. He loves spending time in the woods looking up at the trees and visiting the sheep and ducks.
Our farm is where we aim to leave a forest in our footsteps. We explore techniques that restore forest ecosystems, build soil, and preserve water quality while producing food, medicine and materials. We harvest maple syrup, mushrooms, and raise ducks and sheep in diverse habitats over the roughly 40 acres of land we steward.
Our school is a place where we draw upon a rich community of teachers and mentors in support of a social mission to reconnect people of all ages to forest ecosystems and build skills within our global community. We educate through farm events and workshops, online courses, and our farm rentals, which expose people to our principles and practices.
Our commitment is to a culture based in relationship and reciprocity, where past injustices prevalent in land and farming are shifted through wealth redistribution and a myriad of pathways so that every person who seeks to grow food, access land, and provide for their community's needs is able.
Knowledge is not held by a single person or organization but by a collective effort to share, discover, and preserve valuable a range of valuable information and skills. Thus, the school is not only at Wellspring Forest Farm, but in many locations around the region. The ideas are not in one head or heart, but in many. We are thankful for the partnerships and people who teach, sustain, and support us.
We acknowledge that Wellspring Forest Farm is located on Indigenous Lands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga Nation) and recognize the Indigenous peoples who have lived and continue to live on these lands. In so doing, we acknowledge Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ sovereignty and their long-standing presence on this land, which precedes the establishment of New York State, and the United States of America. Today, this meeting place is still home to the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ and Indigenous people from across Turtle island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land. We donate a percentage of our CSA each season to suppoty Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ language and seed saving efforts.
We know that words like Regenerative Agriculture, Agroforestry, and Permaculture are recent names for ancient indigenous practices, and that current movements often fail to appropriately acknowledge the contributions of non-white people to a collective knowledge base. We are thankful for their wisdom and commit to sharing their stories in our work.
We recognize that owning land and a farm and having generous access to education and resources places us in a privileged situation. We work as farmers and teachers each day to better understand our place in society and work to dismantle structures we influence so that all people can have equitable access to a good and dignified life. All of our events, our mushroom CSA, and consulting are offered as tiered pricing to improve access. (Read more here)