At Arcadia Farm we are aware of the honor of being the custodians of such a rare open space so close to the city -- and the attendant responsibility of maintaining and enriching the land entrusted to our care. We are constantly investing in new technology to make our business as ecologically sound and energy efficient as possible. Here are a few of the improvements we have made to that end:
Energy Conservation: In 2010 we installed a state-of-the-art oil/solar thermal heating system that lowered our oil consumption by 65%. In 2011, working with Con Ed we replaced the older energy-wasting lights in the barn and the indoor ring with energy efficient ballasts and lights, cutting electric consumption by half. Through such simple measures as replacing all the incandescent light bulbs with CFL's and turning off all computers, printers and other electrical appliances at night we reduced our electrical consumption by 30-40% a month. November 2018 we again took advantage of NYSERDA and Con Ed and changed out all of our CFL’s to LEDs— including our indoor arena and all the tube lighting in the aisles. Our electric consumption has significantly reduced in just a few short months with better lighting and a brighter barn.
Water conservation: Watershed Agricultural Council (nycwatershed.org) has worked with us on many water and storm runoff projects. WAC funding made possible a terrific solution for turning grey water from our roofs to irrigating the outdoor arena. The storm runoff from the roof of our indoor arena is channeled directly into an underground cistern that we use for the sprinkler system for our outdoor ring. WAC also installed concrete pads under our manure dumpsters to reduce groundwater contamination as much as possible. In order to reduce our water consumption we installed an energy star washing machine and converted all the bathrooms and showers to low -flow facilities.
Waste reduction: With green bins conveniently located throughout the barn and living areas, we ensure that all recyclable materials are separated from the trash and disposed of properly. We have a composting system for organic food waste. Our manure is carted off property weekly to be reused as mulch and compost.
Pasture Management: WAC and Cornell Cooperative Extension Services have been instrumental in coordinating a detailed plan for making our land as productive as possible by using best management practices of paddock rotation, regular mowing, seeding, and aeration techniques. We use no herbicides or pesticides at all, while reducing our fertilizer use dramatically.