Notes from the Farm
Do you ever wonder what happens on a farm during the winter?  Well, you aren't alone.  We get that question often.
Well, the answer is: PLENTY.  Everything from seed ordering to crop planning to hiring apprentices to apprentice education planning to lining up WWOOFer volunteers to CSA sign-ups to daily animal chores to equipment maintenance.  Enough to make farmers feel like the winter is never quite long enough. 
Equipment maintenance done over the winter is a crucial piece to the farm running smoothly all summer.  Now this does not mean that equipment never breaks in the growing season.  Most of our equipment is decades old, so breakdowns happen.  But doing routine maintenance and bigger fixes in the winter months put the odds in your favor.  
All this maintenance work takes place in our farm building (built 2014) located on Manhanset Road adjacent to our back fields. Our shop team is currently 2015 apprentice Cristina Cosentino and our Resource Manager, Fox June. They work together to change oil and filters, but also to repair transmissions and carburetors. Cristina is continuing her farming career on another Long Island farm in 2016, but asked to stay on this winter to learn the vital piece of farming that happens with the help of machines.
Between sanding and painting the backhoe, and greasing every grease fitting in the barn, they stay pretty busy.
So if you ever wondered what it takes to grow food and run a farm . . . it turns out that it takes 365 days a year and, honestly, a lot of coffee.

Julia Trunzo, Farm Manager
Clockwise from top: Our old backhoe with her first coat of new paint. Tools of the trade. Grease fittings.
Upcoming Musical Events
Our concert series continues . . .

With Barbecue Bruce and the Brisket Brothers 

Saturday, February 13, at the Shelter Island American Legion, Route 114 & Bateman Road
2 shows, 6pm/8pm

Bruce MacDonald, Dan Skabeikis and Lindsay Reeve are a toe-tapping, goodtime trio of accomplished musicians playing jug band music, country, blues, folk, Tin Pan Alley and their own versions of contemporary tunes.

$20 in advance, general admission - no assigned seating

$25 at the door

Buy tickets here

Celebrating Black History Month

How Is the Story Told?
An Observance of East End African American Burying Grounds 

Sunday, February 21, 2pm Exhibition/3pm Panel discussion/4:30pm Reception
Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor
Presented by Sylvester Manor Educational Farm in partnership with the Eastville Community Historical Society
This celebration of Black History Month gives East End organizations and communities the opportunity to illuminate the survival and presence of local African American stories that have been hidden, forgotten, untold, fragmented and/or fabricated.  An exhibition, panel discussion and reception will recognize generations of African Americans who struggled to achieve citizenship rights in life, by honoring their varied stories in death.  
We are proud to present this program in partnership with Eastville Community Historical Society. The program will include a lobby exhibition, panel discussion, Q&A and reception.  Please join the conversation.
$15/10 in advance, $20 at the door (cash bar available during reception)
Buy tickets here
Please tune in to these related events, earlier this month. 

Why New York? Slavery on Long Island

Thursday, February 4, 6:30pm
Brooklyn Historical Society

$5/Free for Brooklyn Historical Society Members

The stark reality, surprisingly underrecognized, is that Long Island was once a place of widespread slavery. Historian Prithi Kanakamedala, curator of Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom, Stephen Mrozowski, PhD, Director of the Fiske Center at UMass Boston and member of the board of Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, and Professor Lynda Day of Brooklyn College illuminate this history in a discussion of the role of slavery in the development of Long Island. Moderated by Jennifer Anderson of Stony Brook University.
Here and Now

Sunday, February 14, 12pm
Here and Now, a weekly one-hour program dedicated to covering the issues and interests of the African-American community in the New York tri-state area, will include a segment featuring Dr. Stephen Mrozowski, lead archaeologist for extensive digs at Sylvester Manor. Dr. Mrozowski will speak about the history of African Americans at Sylvester Manor, and Sylvester Manor Educational Farm's ongoing programs exploring this history.
Attention all educators!

Sylvester Manor is offering a variety of field trips for your classes in 2016. 
  • Young Farmers: Students explore the farm and our majestic windmill, meet the animals and visit the historic Manor house. This is a great choice for first-time visitors who want to see the workings of an active farm.
  • Grade Standard Specific: Choose from a number of pre-designed trips geared to fulfill New York learning standards across a variety of subjects.
  • Create Your Own. Give us a call and we'll help you create a customized trip.
For more information contact Kim Folks at for details and prices.
2016 CSA Registration & Wait List
We value our 2015 CSA subscribers and look forward to welcoming you back to the farm in 2016.  We sent out our sign up email to re-subscribers.  If you are joining us again this upcoming season, please fill out your form and complete payment.
We will open up available shares to our wait list in early March.  If you were not a CSA subscriber last season, but are interested in signing up, please follow the link to put your name on the wait list.
Registration Reminder
Young Farmers get ready! Registration for our 2016 summer programs will open on February 15. Check the youth programs page of our website at that time for the registration packet and additional details. We are pleased to offer scholarships to Shelter Island School students thanks to a generous Edelman Community Investment Grant. An application for the scholarships will be posted online. 
We are also planning a weekly program for children ages 10-14. We’d like your input on what we offer. Please click here to complete a brief survey.

Questions? Please direct all email inquiries to, or call the office at 631.749.0626.

Save the Date!
There may be snow on the ground but plans are already underway for the hottest Farm to Table dinner you've ever seen!

Mark Saturday, June 25 on your calendar now and look forward to
a unique dining experience created by 

Fire Roasted Catering of Berkshire, MA (

and the outrageously dance-able music of

The Revelers (

More details to follow!
Sylvester Manor Logo 
Our mission is to cultivate, preserve, and share these lands, buildings, and stories- inviting new thought about the importance of food, culture and place in our daily lives.
Calendar of Events Button Please Donate Button Join Our Mailing List Button 

Post Office Box 2029  |  80 North Ferry Road  |  Shelter Island, NY 11964  |  631.749.0626
Copyright © Sylvester Manor 2014. All Rights Reserved.