The mission of Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, in Shelter Island, NY, is to preserve, cultivate and share historic Sylvester Manor to ensure that food and art remain connected to community and the land.
Once a Native American hunting, fishing and farming ground, Sylvester Manor has been home to eleven generations of its original European settler family since 1651. It reflects a remarkably intact history of America’s evolving tastes, economies and landscapes.
Over time, Sylvester Manor has been transformed from a slaveholding plantation to an Enlightenment-era farm, to a pioneering food industrialist’s estate, and today, to an organic educational farm.
In 2020, the Garden Conservancy conceived of and developed a discussion panel for an American Public Gardens Association (APGA) which included Sylvester Manor. The presentation examined how organizations are developing programs to convey a complete picture of their gardens’ historic connection to issues of racial and social injustice. In 2021, Sylvester Manor was the recipient of a Gardens for Good grant.