Who We Are
Starling Yards is a family-operated farm located just outside of Red Hook Village, in the beautiful Hudson Valley. The farm was started by Thad Simerly and Kimberley Hart, visual artists turned growers who have a passion for food and sustainable agriculture. Together they grow over one hundred varieties of vegetables and pastured eggs for their CSA and select restaurants throughout the Hudson Valley and New York City. The farm is also home to a budding flock of sheep and the occasional group of pastured pigs.
The farm is operated on land leased from Echo Valley Farm and the incredibly supportive Klose family. The growing fields are interspersed among 3 parcels of pristine farmland protected by an agricultural district
and a conservation easement. We currently have 6 acres in vegetable production, with additional acreage available for cultivation and pasture for our livestock.
Kimberley began farming at Queens County Farm, a public, not-for-profit, sustainable farm that focuses on market gardening and small-scale livestock husbandry. It was there that she fell in love with the rigors and rhythms of farm work. In addition to her field experiences, she has completed courses at Cornell University, Hawthorne Valley Farm and has participated in numerous farming conferences throughout the country. Kimberley is in charge of vegetable and greenhouse operations, in addition to the nuts and bolts of farm planning and CSA management. Originally from Northern California, Kimberley holds a Masters Degree in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and exhibits regularly at a gallery in New York City.
Thad is the builder who keeps it all running. He is in charge of infrastructure, expansion and development, field and compost management, animal housing and rotation, repairs and maintenance, etc. While his interests fall mainly with livestock, grazing and pasture development, he has been diligently learning the ropes of market gardening and has quickly taken over managing harvests and processing. Thad continues to work sporadically in New York City doing architectural plaster restoration and managing design/build projects. The son of an Army Colonel, he grew up primarily in Virginia and has a BFA in Drawing from the University of Florida.
It must be great to grow up on a farm, surrounded by a loving, extended family, munching on baby fennel bulbs while you chase chickens around the barn. Luke Starling Simerly is the inspiration, motivation and namesake of the farm. He specializes in weeding and hoeing, watering in the greenhouse and collecting eggs. He attends Kindergarten.
Kate Farrar, "Growing for Restaurants," Edible Hudson Valley, Spring 2016
Laura Pensiero, "New CSA Season about to Begin," River Chronicle, March 21, 2015
Staff Writer, "Red Hook Farmland Protected," Poughkeepsie Journal, November 26, 2014 (correction: our CSA is local, not in NYC)
Laura Pensiero, "Tomatoes," gigihudsonvalley.com, September 26, 2014
Julia Sexton, "Hudson Valley Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Westchester to Columbia County, " Morris Book Publishing, 2014
Rachel Ephraim, "National Young Farmers Coalition: The Future of Farming, " organichudsonvalley.com, February 25, 2014
Karen Weintraub, "US Professionals Quitting the Rat Race to Become Farmers," edgetraderplus.com, August 31, 2013
Kristin V. Brown, "Finding Footing on the Farm," timesunion.com, June 6, 2013
Kimberley Hart, "Push for Student Loan Forgiveness Could Remove Barrier to New Entry Farmers," civileats.com, January 20, 2010