Our Beginning

Rockland Farm Alliance is broad-based coalition of farmers, community activists, local officials, and interested citizens with a simple mission to preserve, create and enhance sustainable food production in Rockland County.

A grassroots effort, which started with the passionate vision of a single farmer, John McDowell, has grown into a powerful community force. After John and his wife, Alexandra Spadea-McDowell, began the first CSA in Rockland in 2004 at Camp Hill Farm, they quickly recognized the lack of infrastructure and support for the few remaining farms in Rockland County, which historically had been a major agricultural hub. Together, with other dedicated members of the community, they formed Rockland Farm Alliance in 2007.

In an unprecedented partnership with the county and Town of Clarkstown, RFA received the license to revive the historic Cropsey Farm in New City, transforming it into an organic, community learning farm.

 

Our Mission

The mission of Rockland Farm Alliance is to promote sustainable agriculture in Rockland County by protecting and revitalizing farmland. Our projects demonstrate local sustainable food production and provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about sustainable farming practices.

 

What We Do

Rockland Farm Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Rockland County’s remaining farmland. 

Our largest farm project, Cropsey Community Farm, provides USDA Certified Organic produce to over 200 CSA Members in addition to farmers' markets and local restaurants. The farm is on the forefront of sustainable agricultural practice, having recently constructed a geothermal climate battery greenhouse. Our efforts are recognized by an award from Rockland Business Association for water conservation.

We believe that healthy food should be accessible to all. Cropsey Community Farm is able to donate 1,000s of pounds of produce to local food pantries each year. With the help of the generous contributions of our CSA members, we are able to offer subsidized CSA shares to low-income families and local charities. 

RFA’s Cropsey Community Farm also serves as an outdoor classroom. Our Community Workshops and Special Events offer students of all ages a variety of opportunities to learn about various aspects of farming, homesteading & sustainability. 

We host scores of local schools, scout groups, and families, helping many to get their hands in the soil for the first time.

For two amazing weeks of summer, Junior Farmers Summer Camp provides children with the chance to tend the garden, explore nature, cook their harvests, and to breathe in the peaceful farm landscape.  Other camps and partnership programs hold summer sessions as well.

Since its inception, Rockland Farm Alliance has been an advocate for local agriculture. Now, as a result of many years of our continued policy work, county farms have joined together with sufficient acreage to form a Rockland County Agricultural District. An agricultural district will provide NYS constitutional protections to established farms and encourage the creation of small-scale farms.