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A Farm in the City
Pitney Meadows Community Farm

by C. Michael Ingersoll, RLA, ASLA, Principal, Vice-President, The LA Group

A Farm in the City

This is an aerial plan of Pitney Farm in the City of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The LA Group, P.C. has donated time and efforts with the regulatory process and rezoning of legislation, and provided guidance towards the master plan process. The farm is a 166-acre parcel, of which approximately 100 acres are open fields. The farm has one farmhouse and nine original barn structures varying in size.
Photo credit: The LA Group

In 2002, the City of Saratoga Springs, New York established an Open Space Fund. The Fund is to be used by the City of Saratoga Springs to protect its most prized open spaces. A clear priority with widespread support for protection was the Pitney Farm, a plot that supported one of the last remaining active farms within the City, which had been used for agriculture since it was purchased in 1862.

In 2015, the descendant of the Pitney Family sought to preserve the essential nature of the farm for the community, despite lucrative offers to sell the property for development.

Thanks to the Citizens of Saratoga Springs and the generosity of the Pitney family, the community is now assured that the farm will be preserved in perpetuity for farming and education. The vision of the partnership between the City and the Pitney family is embodied in a conservation easement.

As a well-known and cherished farm landscape, the "Farm in the City" vision, with its cluster of barns, large open farm fields and acres of woodlands, is taking root and promises opportunities to explore agricultural education, healthy food production and recreation on this preserved working farm.

A Farm in the City

Community members enjoy the "Fire Feast on the Farm" event featuring Farm-to-Table Chefs sourcing local producers.
Photo credit: Explore Saratoga

Currently the fields have been planted, several of the existing barns are being renovated, and construction has begun for the children's greenhouse.

There are 50 community garden plots, and several community farm-to-table events have raised awareness of the project's mission. Pitney Meadows also offers a play area for children and opportunities for adult agricultural education classes to take place.

The community's vision as a city that retains its agricultural roots within the city limits and as a place where the community can learn, grown, and share in the excitement of food is rapidly becoming a reality.

As seen in LASN magazine, July 2019.

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December 5, 2019, 7:21 am PDT

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