Sylvester Manor’s New Manager to Maximize Shelter Island Farming

Julia Trunzo brings new ideas about farm system management to the historic Shelter Island property.

To Julia Trunzo, farming is not just about plants and animals — it’s about how they all tie in together and into the community.

This agricultural expert from the Hudson Valley with a successful New York City farm stand was recently hired as the new farm manager of Shelter Island’s historic Sylvester Manor property, where she is learning the history of planting to figure out how to rotate crops and what seeds to order for the 2013 season, Sylvester Manor announced this week.

"I'm excited about growth potential — that's what excites me about this project," Trunzo said.

Sylvester Manor, the entrace to which is located across the street from the island's IGA, was established in 1652 on fertile land at the head of a protected harbor on Shelter Island. It is one of the few places in the U.S. to have been in the hands of the same family since its colonial origins.

The property is also an important early American archaeological site complemented by over 10,000 primary documents — family papers, books and letters now archived at New York University’s Fales Library.

Sylvester Manor Educational Farm now operates on the 243-acre property, working to cultivate, preserve and share the Manor’s lands, buildings and stories while re-establishing Shelter Island's agricultural heritage in a sustainable way.

Trunzo said she is already eyeing extra corners of the windmill field that are currently not utilized to maximize the potential of that five acre plot. She and her partner, Alan June, have brought six ewes and one ram with them to Sylvester Manor

"It's a wonderful piece of property in an amazing location with rich diverse history," she said. "I'm really excited about the next stage of development."

Read more about Julia on the Sylvester Manor blog...

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