Juniper Hill Farm lies tucked away among fields and low-growing vegetation close to the Bouquet River, just outside of Wadhams.

The farm is operated by Adam Hainer on 10 acres of property long held by his family. It's land he knows well, for he grew up here.

Hainer received his degree from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Forestry at SUNY Syracuse.

He pursued his long-term plan to establish a farm to grow "healthy, good food for those who want it, to help sustain the local economy and to feed people well."

Hainer uses no pesticides.


Juniper Hill Farm is a Community Supported Agriculture enterprise. Requirements for membership are minimal. In early spring, people can invest in the 19-week "smorgasbord of naturally grown produce with a seasonal variety of fresh vegetables grown on the farm." They arrive every Friday and receive a "basket of fresh produce for two."

During the season, 30 to 40 types of vegetables and herbs are in cultivation. A recent basket featured eggplant, salad mix, carrots, beets, sweet corn, tomatoes for canning, a cantaloupe or other melon, red peppers, green peppers and basil.

Hainer encourages people to buy directly from the Community Supported Agriculture plan underwriting Juniper Hill Farm. Participants can subscribe to this "taste of the season" program at a cost of $23.50 a week for 19 weeks, totaling $450.

The season begins on the first Friday in June and ends on the second Friday in October.


No professional sprays or toxins are used by Hainer at Juniper Hill Farm. Yet full, lush rows of vegetables greet the visitor.

There is no sign marking the entrance to the farm over a hard-packed dirt road. Many people call ahead for directions or ask at the nearby Dogwood Bakery in Wadhams.

Hainer describes his approach to organic farming as a "preventive, not a reactive, method of farming."

It's successful due to crop rotation, careful management and the use of organically approved insecticides only when necessary, he said.

"I don't rely on the arsenal of tools that are used by non-organic farmers."


Juniper Hill Farm opened three years ago, and Hainer has experienced challenges.

"It's interesting to go from the worst year in farming in the Adirondacks to the exact opposite. Unreliable weather last year made agricultural production here really tough."

Long, cold winters are another challenge.

Hainer has invested in "high tunnels." The Natural Resource Conservation Program, a federal government initiative, recently offered a new high-tunnel initiative to encourage farmers to spray less and increase the growing season in cold climates.

"We've put up several tunnels, and this winter will be our first to use them," Hainer said.

The tunnels use a high-grade synthetic plastic stretched over wood frames attached to a rolling set of wheels. Set on metal tracks, the structures are readily moveable and moderate in cost. They ensure a longer growing season, as well as protection from many insects.


Hainer repairs all his mechanized equipment during the winter at a savings of several thousand dollars. If he has time, he'll do some carpentry.

Throughout the year, his girlfriend, Melody Horn, acts as a full-time assistant.

"The only slow time on the farm is winter," she said. "That's when I have time to read a book and have a good conversation with Adam."

During the growing season, family and friends help out on the farm. When needed, Hainer hires someone to work on the fields, although "it is hard to find good people. We're trying to mechanize as much as possible to keep our labor costs down.

"It's hard to do things profitably," he adds. "In fact, our goal is not so much profitability but making good food to eat."


Their produce is available at local farmers markets, the Dogwood Bakery in Wadhams and in restaurants such as The Turtle Island Café in Willsboro and the Rudder Club in Essex.

"We also sell wholesale to the North Country Food Co-op in Plattsburgh," he said.

Individuals, schools and tour groups may arrange a visit by calling Hainer in advance at 962-4522 or e-mailing

"This is as real as it gets. We're in the infancy of CSA farms and food for your table," Hainer said.

"And these farms are the most sustainable economy we have in the North Country."

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