BALLSTON SPA — With the help of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, Garth Ellms, proprietor of Ellms Family Farm, plans to turn 80 acres of Farmland into an agri- tainment destination called The Saratoga Farm Hub. Ellms acquired the property located at 284 Middleline Rd. in Ballston Spa on June 1 of this year. Plans include a commercial kitchen, small parcels of land that farmers can lease, an event space, a brewery, a winery, farmers’ market and overnight glamping (glamorous camping).
While conversations have been had between Ellms, Marty Vanags and the Town of Ballston’s Planning Department, nothing formal has been done. Ellms’ projects the true launch date for the project will be in May or June of 2020. For now, a flyer for the project reads: “The Saratoga Farm Hub is the ideal cohesive community: a synergistic and innovative farmtopia supporting an agricultural and social mission for the greater good of growth and development of the land, local businesses and the communities surrounding them.”
“Through a series of conversations that the Saratoga Prosperity Partnership, they started the conversation regardingsome needs after multiple surveys... That’s where, to an extent, this was born. It was a partial idea from them and the rest was kind of dreamed up by Kimmy Jaski and myself,” Ellms said.
“We’re just trying to incubate product that is locally grown and hope that over time to be able to facilitate those businesses’ needs. You know marketing, accounting, whatever and watch it grow,” he added.
For the commercial kitchen, Ellms plans to rent the space to local producers by the hour for as long as they needed to create some sort of food product. Ellms hope that the farm leased plots will encourage producers to use the planned to start some sort of business with what is grown. The plots will range in size from a half an acre to five acres.
“We did a Feasibility study of whether or not a community kitchen would work in Saratoga County... We found that there is a need for that kind of space and so when Garth came to us and said he’s buying this property and he’s looking for what kind of opportunities could exist there, this was one of the things we suggested to him,” said Marty Vanags, President of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership.
To pay for this venture the Saratoga Partnership helped Ellms fill out a Consolidated Funding Application, which they will find out about in late November or early December.
“We’re going to look at other opportunities whether other grants and potentially other tax incentives because this will be a job producer,” Vanags said.
The two anticipate that the project will produce over 100 jobs once it is completed. Over time, both Vanags and Ellms hope even more jobs will be created from the small businesses that will grow from the commercial kitchen and farmland plots.