In September 2019 Solitude Farmz was thrilled to announce our partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. Through this partnership RIT graduate students will be actively participating in our overall site development design plan, sharing their unique perspective and ideas for enhancing the property. Plans submitted are being reviewed and cost analyzed for ongoing implementation.
Since then some exciting things have been happening here at our little slice of paradise:
In the late summer, RIT graduate students presented their plans for the property, which provided an incredible amount of data and site analysis that will prove to be extremely beneficial moving forward. The students walked the entire property with us, offering their vision for housing structures, yoga platforms, meditation spots, etc., and their unique perspectives on wind, sunlight, and the general topography of the land.
Emboldened by our new partnership with RIT, we met with the local economic development corporation and discussed how Solitude Farmz will provide a much-needed boost to local tourism and take advantage of central New York’s already thriving travel industry.
Over a period of 6-8 weeks, Amish workers driving two horse-drawn wagons completed a selective harvest of ash trees across the property, harvesting over 100,000 board feet (almost 20 miles of wood!). The removal of these trees in advance of the harmful ash beetle promotes healthy forest regeneration and allows for the growth of other types of trees—creating new habitat for all forms of wild life. As an added benefit of the tree harvest, the property’s extensive trail system was also enhanced.
The timber harvest also made room for additional site development, including the installation of free-standing tent platforms, primitive camp sites, several rustic cabins, and 24-ft. yurts, which (weather permitting) we hope to have completed by late spring/early summer.
We are also hoping to begin renovations to the barn/lodge/library, again with a target completion date of Summer 2020.
Another exciting development was the installation of a bee yard on the property. The 120 hives provided a successful harvest of honey and brought bees to the property and surrounding farms, which will be a huge benefit to the overall ecosystem.
Overall it has been an incredible experience here at Solitude Farmz, and we are so excited to see what the future will bring! Stay tuned…