Second generation farmer: ‘I will most likely be the last person to actively farm my family’
By Stefan Yablonski
George Krul of Stoney Meadow Farm is a second-generation farmer.
Why is it called Stoney Meadow?
“Well, we are in Scriba,” he deadpanned. “It was my dad’s farm. I’m the second generation.”
His father’s name was Stanley.
“If you look up the definition of Stanley in the dictionary, the definition is ‘from the stoney meadow,’” he continued. “And, ironically, this is Scriba and there is nothing but stones here. That is the two reasons it is stoney meadow.”
The Scriba farm is a popular place for locals to purchase pumpkins and sweet corn.
“The weather has been fairly decent and the crop has been fairly good in recent years. Business — even with the pandemic — business has been good. I don’t do the farmers market. I do everything direct sales, roadside,” he said. “Started doing this, I think, back in 1993. But it was my dad’s farm before that.”
Before they started growing vegetables in 1980, it was Krul’s Dairy before that, he pointed out.
“They bottled and processed milk. The dairy was right up here on the corner of 104 and City Line Road, across from Burritt’s. They delivered house to house back in the day, all around Oswego. They did that until 1979,” he said.
He’s pretty much a one-man operation. He doesn’t have any employees, “but family does help me out,” he added.
“I can’t get on my ground pretty much before May and my season ends on Halloween. I basically have a six-month season,” he said.
According to Krul, the toughest part is dealing with the weather. “You never know what it is going to do,” he said.
From putting the corn seed in the ground to harvest it takes about 70-75 days to harvest sweet corn.
Pumpkins take a little more than 100 days.
“A good year for pumpkins is when I am able to harvest enough pumpkins to sell all the way through Halloween,” he said. “I’ve had some good years as well as some bad ones. Pumpkins are greatly affected by the weather, insects, fungus and wildlife.”
“The best part is when it goes good and my customers —they’re the best part! I have people come looking for me to see when the corn is ready; I have a loyal following. Very good loyal customers, yes,” he added.
He has a day job. He works early mornings, usually getting done by noon.
“I farm in the afternoons and evenings. It can be a challenge to balance the two,” he said. “I only actively farm for six months of the year.”
End of an era
“I will most likely be the last person to actively farm my family’s land,” he said. “The soil here on my farm is very rocky and heavy. Simply said, it is not good farm land for growing vegetable crops. I continue farming because it’s in my blood — I need to do it. My father would always say ‘you can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.’ I’m not sure what I’ll do when I quit farming. I would like to think I would always be doing it at some level.”
Top image: George Krul, owner of Stoney Meadow Farm in Scriba says his is not good land for growing vegetable crops — it’s very rocky and heavy. “I continue farming because it’s in my blood — I need to do it.”