By Madison Jackson
After his first day of work at Pleasant Valley Farm, Mike Palulis came home to his wife Jennifer and told her that he had bought a tractor and wanted to try his own hand at farming. Despite his lack of experience in the field, the efficiency and dedication he saw at the farm resonated with him.
As the owner and operator of The Sushi Bar at Stratton Mountain, Mike’s work was seasonal, and with a growing interest in where his food was sourced, he decided to spend his off-season working with Paul and Sandy Arnold at Pleasant Valley Farm in Argyle, New York. Jennifer, a former gardener, while caught a bit off guard, agreed to dive headfirst into this new adventure with her husband.
Now in their seventh season of farming at Echo Creek Farm and joined by their three children, the Palulis have worked hard to make their small, family-run farm produce top quality, USDA certified organic vegetables that anyone could feel good about eating.
Jennifer speaks very highly of the Arnolds, who also attend the Saratoga Farmers’ Market every Saturday, describing their help as invaluable over the years. The efficiency of Pleasant Valley Farm is what initially grabbed Mike’s attention and impressed him so highly, that it inspired a change in his career and livelihood. The Arnolds have mentored the Palulis over the years on everything from the timing of planting their seeds to new and innovative structures that will improve growing capabilities in all seasons. The mindful manner of farming practiced by the Arnolds has been one of the strongest impressions that influenced Echo Creek Farm over the years.
When asked why Echo Creek chose to become a certified organic farm, Jennifer replied, “we’re a family farm, growing food in a respectful manner is so important”. With their three young children growing up and playing on the property, Jennifer and Mike knew they wanted the farm to be the cleanest possible environment. While it is not an easy process to become certified organic, the Palulis want to grow produce that they can feel good about feeding their children as well as the rest of the community.
Echo Creek Farm attends the Saratoga Farmers’ Market every Saturday, ensuring their natural, organic produce is accessible to all. Along with an assortment of vegetables and greens, Echo Creek also produces honey, eggs, potted herbs, and flowers.