“There are farms and then there are farms,” 74-year-old Julie Schroeder, owner of Silamar Farm, which she and her late husband purchased in 1964, told me. She is a spry and spirited holdout, proud to be able to keep going without the outside investment that has become a mainstay in farming. In 1964, she and her late husband Harry paid $52,000 for the entire property, originally two farms that had been cultivated for a century. When the Schroeders moved in, Northeast was dense with dairy farms. Schroeder estimates that when she moved here there were 40 dairy farms in the town. But this far south the dairy business is a matter of going-going-nearly-gone. Today there are four left in Northeast.(1)
Chicken owners in Red Hook whose backyard flooded during the storm were obliged to relocate their feathered pets indoors, with quirky if malodorous results. The chickens—one of whom is named Chicki Minaj—were eventually returned to their outdoor lot, where they encountered another chicken whose owner was unable to care for it. But according to yet another chicken-centric piece in the Times, that chicken, Cindy, has since disappeared, and may be wandering the flood-damaged streets of Red Hook as we speak.