Sapwood farm tour

updated_Sapwood farm tour

Date: Wednesday September 7

Rain date: Thursday September 8

Time: 5-7pm

Location: Sapwood Farm, in the Freeville/Dryden, NY area. Address and directions will be sent out prior to the event.

Description: In this farm tour we’ll learn from Maria Paone and Sean Carter, owner operators of Sapwood Farm, an off-grid homestead, small-scale sugarbush, and mushroom farm located in the headwaters of the Six Mile Creek system. Since starting to farm in 2014, Maria and Sean's management has been centered around wildlife habitat, quality of water and soil, and tree health. Their approach is informed by an understanding of water and soil dynamics (Sean is an environmental engineer) and permaculture principles (Maria is a graduate of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute). Sapwood has recently been recognized by the Audobon Society as one of New York State's six Bird-Friendly Maple producers. Join us as we take a look at the forest through Maria and Sean's eyes and see some of the innovative and ecologically beneficial workings of their farm. Topics of the tour may include:

  • tree identification (illustrated zine provided!)
  • experience of receiving DEC forestry grants and EQIP funding
  • nuts and bolts of growing shiitake mushrooms in the forest
  • process of building fruiting platforms as an innovative solution to mushroom pest problems
  • forest management for bird habitat and requirements of Audobon's Bird-Friendly certification
  • ...and more! Bring your questions about forest farming 🍃

Childcare: Childcare has not been confirmed for this workshop. If you require childcare to attend, please email and we will do our best to accommodate this.

Transportation: We'll facilitate carpooling between participants. The farm is a 15-20 minute drive from downtown Ithaca.

What to bring: water bottle; wear shoes/clothing for uneven forested terrain

We’ll supply: illustrated zine on tree ID in the Northeast including species relevant to forest farming

Access needs: this tour will consist of walking and standing in a mostly forested area with uneven and possibly muddy terrain. Please note that the restroom will consist of a compost toilet on site. Other facilities will not be available. Please let us know in the registration form if you have specific access needs.


Sliding scale fee, $0-20:

Consider paying option 1 (free) if you...

Identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color
have difficulty affording your basic needs such as food, transportation, medical care, and childcare, and/or don’t always manage to meet these needs
are unemployed or have a low income
receive public assistance

Consider paying option 2 (reduced fee, $5) if you...

can typically afford your basic needs but have little expendable income or savings
have significant debt or medical expenses not covered by insurance
are supporting children or have other dependents
are a senior on a limited, fixed income

Consider paying option 3 (full fee, $15) or 4 (full fee + donation, $20) if you...

can comfortably and consistently afford your basic needs
own the home you live in
have personal savings, investments, retirement accounts, or inherited wealth
travel recreationally
have access to family money and resources in times of need
have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education (or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc.) Even if you are not currently exercising your earning power, we ask you to recognize this as a choice
would like to contribute towards programs at Groundswell including supporting costs of childcare, transportation, interpretation, and sliding scale options

COVID-19: In prioritizing health and safety during the pandemic, this workshop may require health precautions such as mask wearing or rapid testing on site, and may be cancelled or rescheduled in case of concerns related to COVID-19, in which case any payments will be refunded. This workshop will be held in an outdoor space and open air small barn.

Cancellation policy: As we organize workshops that coordinate childcare providers, transportation, and meals for the group, we ask that you respect the efforts and schedules of the team of people involved by communicating promptly if your plans/circumstances have changed and you need to cancel. Cancellations within 72 hours of the workshop will not be provided a refund except in cases of medical, COVID-19 related, or other serious circumstances. Thank you for your understanding!

If you have any questions please email