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Fundraiser for Deer Fence at Restoration Farm

Why

The deer population at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration has put our farm in serious jeopardy. We incurred enough damage in 2022 that we resorted to temporary fencing to protect certain crops. Without a permanent solution, it's questionable how much longer our operation—and farming in general—can continue at OBVR.

What Type of Fence

An 8’ hi-tensile game fence with round, wooden posts (read more)

Where

Around the main growing fields

When

Winter/Spring 2023

Who Will Install the Fence

LB Fencing from East Earl, PA

Impact on the Old Bethpage Village Restoration & Landscape

The fence includes six unlocked gates to facilitate the flow of people and vehicles through the OBVR park. Once installed, the fence will blend with the landscape.  

Cost of Fence

$52,000

Whoa, that’s a lot of money! Can’t you find someone cheaper? Or do it yourself?

If we owned the land, we would. But given our commitment to preserving OBVR’s 19th century ambiance, and the need for a quality product that can stand the test of time, contracting with a professional company is in our best interest, despite the cost. Going on the recommendation of the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District, we got estimates from the top two installers on Long Island. Their project descriptions were nearly identical in materials and labor, so we went with the lower bid.

Checks payable to Restoration Farm can be delivered during our normal business hours.  Or mailed to our office at:

 

For credit cards:

Restoration Farm
12 Commerce Blvd.
Amityville, NY 11701

Fundraising Goal: $55,000
Total raised as of February 5
(personal checks + GoFundMe)  $11,412

As business owners, we take pride in covering all of our costs through vegetable sales, and in demonstrating that small-scale farming can be financially viable. That said, we're fundraising for this project because it will be a capital improvement to land we don’t—and never will—own. In fact, our contract clearly states the fence will become the property of Nassau County. But the fence won’t increase our sales or profit margins; it will simply preserve the business we’ve built, so we can continue farming. That said, the fence will enhance the farm’s ability to attract future farmers. In other words, the fence isn’t just an emergency measure for now—it’s an investment in the farm’s long-term future, too.

 

We believe our partnership with the government and citizens of Nassau County is a success story. For 16 years, we’ve grown food for thousands of Long Islanders without taking on debt. Not only that, we’ve nurtured a community deeply connected to this beautiful piece of land. The public-private partnership that undergirds Restoration Farm is powered by many people and benefits many people. That's why we welcome the support of those who want the farm to continue, both this season and many seasons into the future. 

Thanks for your consideration

—Caroline & Dan

Cost of Land Clearing

$3,000—10,000, depending on whether we hire a tree and/or landscaping company 

Grant Funding

Because we're not a 501(c)3, and because we don't own the land, qualifying for grant funding appears to be a long-shot. Nevertheless, one of our long-time customers, Susan Hirschstein, has been hard at work researching funding through the Long Island Farm Bureau, the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District, the American Farmland Trust, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and private foundations. 

Hunting as an Alternative

Hunting was—and continues to be—our #1 preference. It addresses the root of the problem, whereas fencing merely diverts the problem elsewhere. Recreational hunting is illegal in Nassau County, but nuisance hunting with a D.E.C. permit is not. In fact, it’s already being done in the Village of Old Westbury and at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay. To apply for a permit, we'd need permission from the landowner—Nassau County. We have made multiple attempts since 2020 to obtain permission, but the support just isn't there yet. Given our losses in 2022, we can't lose any more time trying.

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