High Falls Farm: An Interview with Dyami Soloviev

Located just a mile from the High Falls Food Co-op on the original site of the long loved Mr. Apples Orchard, High Falls Farm is now thriving in it's second season.

Recently, we were able to interview landowner, farmer, mother, and environmental steward of High Falls Farm, Dyami Soloviev, asking her to share with us her thoughts on regenerative agriculture, the importance of support networks for young farmers, and how she integrates self-care into her busy life. 

Can you tell us a little bit about how High Falls Farm got started?

Growing up in this area, I've always loved the land. For many years, my husband and I ran the design business Appleseed Permaculture, and the more I learned about sustainable design, the more I wanted to implement permaculture on a larger scale. Beyond contributing to the health of the local ecosystem, we also sought to contribute to the success of the community and help other farmers and growers find space and resources for their ideas. We moved into a house next door to Mr. Apples, and eventually reached an agreement with the family to purchase (and rename!) the farm. 

High Falls Farm now grows apples, pears, sheep, and shiitake mushrooms. We also host flower grower Rebekah Mindel of Meadow Wilds (meadowwilds.com) and farmers Katherine Chiu and Abe Young who run an asian vegetable CSA (asianvegetablecsa.wordpress.com). The different enterprises share resources and work together symbiotically. 

For example, when we prune our apple trees, the wood chips that we create are used to mulch flower beds, and extra vegetables scraps from Katherine and Abe's fields are fed to our chickens. 

What would you say that you most love about farming?

I love having my work tied to the cycles of nature. Experiencing and adapting to the conditions of every season allows me to have a very deep relationship with the land that is also my home. It is very gratifying to be in tune with what the land and animals need to thrive. 

It is also very fulfilling to share the use of this land with other farmers and growers and to be part of the Hudson Valley Young Farmers' Coalition. The HVYFC serves as a social and support network for young farmers to help each other in times of need and to maintain a camaraderie in this old farming tradition. For example, if someone's seedlings have died they will reach out to this network, and we all work to together to share our resources.  

I also love being able to rebuild the fertility of the land. At High Falls Farm, our sheep are rotationally grazed under the apple trees, mimicking the mob grazing patterns of wild animals. This creates a cycle of impact and rest that increases the health of the grass, soil, and trees.

In our interview with Kate Miller of Weathertop Farm, we asked her how she integrates self care into her busy life on the farm. How would you say that you do this?

I believe that eating fresh, healthy food and being surrounded by the people that I love are some of the most important self-care routines that I can include in my daily life. We also live very close to the creek, so I love to go swimming and feel connected to the water that provides so much for us. 

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Dyami! And look out for High Falls Farm's forest grown- shiitakes at the Co-op soon!

Danielle Adams