For the past two decades, conservationists in the eastern Adirondacks of New York have been working with farmers to protect Split Rock Wildway, a wildlife corridor linking Lake Champlain and its valley with the Adirondack mountains to the west.
Over 7,000 acres have been protected, primarily through easements, state or private land acquisition in the area. Much of this land is forest and will be awarded Forever Wild protection—thus maintaining the land in a wild state for perpetuity.
Black Kettle Farm is a 200-year-old farm situated on 213 acres of this wildway. Some of the agricultural fields have been allowed to return to forest in order to broaden and strengthen the Split Rock Wildway, while others have been diversified to help meet the needs of the local human community—as well as of native pollinators, grassland birds, raptors, and small mammals. The farm is also home to a Waldorf School and a green cemetery.
Full And By Farm is another 200-year-old, 80-acre farm wonderfully situated in the wildway, nestled between the Boquet River and the forested mountains. Its restored buffers on the creek running through it and the river are adding to the wild biodiversity.
On both farms, fields worked by draft horses are set in a matrix of wild forest and criss-crossed by broad hedgerows, or hedgethickets, comprising native early succession and fruit-bearing tree and shrub species. A diversity of fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, grains, and fibers is produced—all organically, and all for local and regional consumption.