Human InterestThe Putnam Examiner

Community Keeps Fable Farm Going Strong During Relocation

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Last fall, volunteers dismantled chicken coops at Fable Farm, which operated in southern Yorktown. Putnam Valley Grange offered land to temporarily house about 125 chickens.

Managing a small independent farm is challenging enough. But how do you survive without land?

Fable Farm, the successful farm-to-table organic farm formerly that had been located on Kitchawan Road in Yorktown, was forced to leave after eight years last December when the rent on their leased land doubled.

Fable Farm founder Tom Deacon began a search for new farmland hoping to find enough acreage by the upcoming growing season. However, the search is ongoing and some possible properties have surfaced in the New Castle-Ossining area with the hope for variances to run a farm market, festivals, workshops and dinners. Applications have been slowed by town permitting processes, land acquisition procedures and public hearings.

Without land, Deacon reached out to the local community, including numerous farm patrons and volunteers.

Most crucial was finding a temporary home for Fable’s 125 chickens if the operation wanted to continue selling its farm fresh eggs.

“We were about nine days away from having to send our chickens to a butcher,” Deacon recalled. “We had to find a spot where it was legal for that many chickens since different towns have different rules and regulations on the number of chickens allowed on a property.”

Deacon reached out to the Putnam Valley Grange, a fraternal organization founded in 1867. Grange President Michael Bennett was not only receptive to Deacon’s situation, he offered his own land to temporarily house the chickens.

“Michael was an incredibly nice, generous and helpful person,” Deacon said. “I am eternally grateful to him and my flock is too.”

Having a rent-free home for Fable Farm’s chickens meant they could sell fresh eggs from a curbside in Mahopac, which began in December.

“We collect the eggs and clean them before selling,” Deacon explained. “The eggs are no more than four days old. Every weekend people come from as far away as New Rochelle, and from Ossining, Somers and Yorktown, some buying three or more cartons.”

But more was needed to keep the farm viable. Deacon, who is an Emmy Award-winning producer for HBO, started to create and release homesteading and educational videos on Fable Farm’s Facebook and Instagram sites. The videos offer a range of information from starting gardens, raising chickens, beekeeping and more. To date there are some 5,000 followers on Fable Farm’s Instagram account and about 4,000 on its Facebook page.

Deacon is planning to offer classes and workshops to local gardeners and backyard farmers at the Putnam Valley Grange as a way for him to give back to the organization that has helped him.

Bennett said the grange could benefit from Deacon’s farming experience.

“Our grange members can learn a lot from Tom because he has run a commercial operation and knows how to raise chickens, do beekeeping and milk goats, among other farming basics,” Bennett said. “There are people definitely interested in those things, and Tom can be a tremendous value to us. I hope it will be a continuing relationship.”

Farming on a much smaller scale allows for producing the homemade Fable Farm honey, another popular item that always sold quickly. Deacon said the farm had its own beehives, and he plans on purchasing more bee colonies to produce the honey.

“Our customers found the locally produced honey was more beneficial and tends to be healthier and helps be more resistant to allergies,” he said.

Planting seeds for their popular heirloom tomatoes has started along with seeds for tasty microgreens, which will be served at a local restaurant.

RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant in Tarrytown, had always supported Fable Farm and was one of its first restaurant accounts. Deacon reached out to owner Glenn Vogt, hoping he was interested in serving organic microgreens.

“Vogt quickly responded saying they were interested,” Deacon said. “They are our first restaurant account for 2024, and we will be up and running and delivering the microgreens in March.”

Outreach and connecting to the community, smaller farms and other food retail shops was key to Fable Farm’s success. Its farmers market on the former property sold products from local bakeries and produce from other small farms, and for eight years attracted a loyal customer base of those seeking fresh, organic produce.

“We weren’t a small farm operation,” Deacon said. “It was huge and took a staff of 15 to 18 people at its peak, and that doesn’t include our volunteers. There was a lot of community support then as there is now.”

A special Fable Farm GoFundMe Campaign was started in October and to date has raised $26,607 with a goal of $350,000.

For more information on Fable Farm, visit


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