Lily Farm:
Lily Dougherty-Johnson, New Paltz, New York

Drafty doors and a peculiar shade of pink paint don’t seem to bother Lily Dougherty-Johnson, who moved into her New Paltz farmhouse in November 2014 along with fellow farmer Leanna Mulvihill of Four Legs Farm. The house, which dates to 1886, along with 330 acres of farmland and a classic big red barn framed by the Shawangunk Mountains, is part of the support the women receive as inaugural members of the Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator.


The Incubator is intended to provide all of the tangible and logistical support young farmers need to get started with their agricultural businesses. Over the next three years, Incubator staff will help Dougherty-Johnson and Mulvihill identify and transition to their own homes and land after they complete the program.

Dougherty-Johnson, who has apprenticed on other farms, is looking forward to the change of seasons, when she’ll start farming in earnest. The project, which she has named Lily Farm, will have her growing herbs, edible flowers, and asparagus, as well as raising laying hens for eggs, all of which she plans to sell at local markets. Until then, she stakes out a spot in front of the woodstove—which Mulvihill, who will be raising pigs and lambs for a 150-member CSA, tends—to refine her planting, marketing, and selling plans. She also continues to discover and adjust to the quirks of the farmhouse. “I think that pink is growing on me,” she says.

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