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: Our
tractor runs on 100% biodiesel in the warm months and then a combination of
diesel and biodiesel in the colder month. We installed a state-of-the-art oil/solar thermal heating system that lowered our oil consumption by 65%. 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.
Water conservation: 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. We 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. By using kiln-dried pellet bedding we have reduced the off-site trucking of manure off site by 20%.
Lawn and pasture care: With
the help of Cornell Cooperative Extension Service, we have been able to set up a detailed plan for making our land as productive as possible by using sound land management practices of paddock
rotation, regular mowing, and aeration techniques. We use no herbicides or pesticides at all, while reducing our fertilizer use dramatically -- this year using it on only 3 of 14 paddocks.