It may be cold outside but it is already spring on Shelter Island as far as Julia Trunzo is concerned. Our new Farm Manager has arrived with some great ideas about farm system management. “It’s not just the vegetables, not just pigs, but how they all tie together and tie into the community.” So far she’s learning the history of our planting from Steve Eaton so they can figure out how to rotate crops and what seeds to order for Sylvester Manor’s 2013 season.
“It’s a wonderful piece of property in an amazing location with rich diverse history. I’m really excited about the next stage of development,” says Trunzo, who spent part of this week repairing minor storm damage to the greenhouse.
Julia arrived here from a farm in the Hudson Valley where she started a 20 acre vegetable farm system from scratch four years ago and began a successful farm stand in New York City. “I’m excited about growth potential – thats what excites me about this project.” She’s already eying extra corners of the windmill field that are currently not utilized so that we can maximize the potential of that five acre plot. “Steve knows the history and where the rocks are, where the low spots are, and I come with knowledge about how to maximize the field so I think its a good marriage.”
She and her partner, Alan June, have brought six ewes and one ram with them to Sylvester Manor. The sheep will get to work clearing fields soon – right now they are residing in the goat pen.
Julia’s interest in farming grew in a garden. She was still in high school in northern New Jersey when she started working with a woman who had a vegetable garden and a little farm stand. When college rolled around in 2000 she knew she wanted to study sustainable agriculture – and she headed to the University of Maine Orono, one of the only schools that taught sustainable agriculture as a science instead of in liberal arts.
She knows the science of farming, and believes we have amazing soil and lots of potential as the new fields donated in 2012 begin production in the next few years. She’s looking forward to meeting the community at the farm stand and CSA events this spring. Julia and the Sylvester Manor Farm Team plan for a bumper crop in 2013.