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By Animal Welfare Approved
| September 23, 2013
Todd and Annette Brown farm AWA-certified pigs at Farmer Brown, 45-acres of mostly wooded land near Enosburg Falls in Vermont. “There are stories that we’ve heard of farmers pasturing their cows on this acreage 60 years ago,” says Todd. “After hearing the stories we decided to open it up to create pastures again. We are working towards a savannah type outcome with our pasture opening up the land with grass and with scattered trees. The Browns started the farm because they love animals and the outdoors: “With our growing family, we felt it was important to feed them right and to make certain we knew where our food came from and how it was raised.”
In the late 1980s, Debbie and Bryce Gonyaw bought 55 acres of wooded land in Danville, Vermont, and named it Deer Run Farm. While Bryce had been raised on a dairy farm, he never really cared for cows, so for many years the couple raised a pig or two for their own family’s consumption. But when Bryce and Debbie retired from the farm insurance business in 2001, they began increasing production and building a local market for their pastured pork. Today, they raise up to 675 hogs annually—and they’re still not able to meet demand for their high-quality product.
Lupo Farm is operated by Shasho Pole, and is situated near Fort Ann in beautiful upstate New York, close to the Vermont border. The farm is certified by Animal Welfare Approved for beef cattle, pigs, meat goat, and meat sheep. Shasho explains the farm’s low-input, sustainable methods: “We use no artificial fertilizer in use on the farm – nothing but what is left behind by our animals.”
Leslie Farrington grew up helping out on her father’s vegetable garden in Canada. It became such a passion that, as a mother at home with young children, she took the first opportunity she got to start her own small farm.
Lilac Valley Farm started by producing a range of vegetables on just half an acre of land, before adding pastured laying hens in 2012. In addition to fulfilling her lifelong wish to have animals, having laying hens enables Leslie to be confident about the quality of the eggs she feeds her own family—and lets her share any bounty with her local community.
Laurie Cuevas and Bruce Jenks manage cattle for beef at Fort River Farm, located in the beautiful Pioneer Valley and near the Connecticut River. Being in a river valley, the farm is mainly level with rich pastures, providing for sustainable grazing and fertile growth of crops. Both Laurie and Bruce grew up on dairy farms in west Massachusetts.
Ever since a trip to the west of Ireland, Norman Cloutier and Wendy Ketchum dreamt of having a farm of their own with enough pasture to raise sheep. Their dream eventually became a reality when they purchased an historic 200-acre farm on top of a hill in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, with outstanding views of picturesque Mount Chocorua. The lone structurally-sound building left on the property was an old schoolhouse set on solid granite foundation stones, inspiring the farm’s name.
Walker Farm sits at the foot of Whortleberry Hill with land in the towns of New Braintree, West Brookfield and North Brookfield, Massachusetts. “The farm has an incredible history,” explains farmer Joan Walker. “It is on an original Land Grant from King George in the original British Colonies and has been run as a homestead and farm since 1763. We found a British pence piece when we were digging the yard. And before the European settlement, the area was the homeland of the Native American Nipmuc tribe.”
Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes area of New York State, Greens and Beans is a vibrant small holding producing fruit, vegetables, wonderful mushrooms over two large vegetable gardens, and, of course eggs from their Animal Welfare Approved laying hens. The hens have daily access to green pasture and a wooded area in which they can forage for insects and seeds.
| April 26, 2013
Longest Acres Farm is situated near Chelsea, the shire town of Orange County. Owners Nick Zigelbaum and Kate Maclean are relatively new to farming. “We had wanted our own farm ever since we quit our office jobs and our city apartments in San Francisco,” says Kate. The couple spent time managing a farm in North Carolina, and it was here that they decided to fulfil their dreams and to farm in their own right. But they knew they would need to relocate to the Northeast to be near their family.
Charles and Ellen Olson of St. Brigid’s Farm in Valparaiso, Indiana, are first generation farmers. They purchased a small 200-acre farm during the economic downturn and began raising meat birds and laying hens, primarily for their family’s use. As a tight knit family with six homeschooled children, they decided to begin raising dairy goats, because the children love milk and cheese. But after attending Ken and Janice Spaulding’s Goat School in Maine, the Olsons developed a real passion for goats and knew they wanted to focus their attention on raising these animals. “At that point, we built a 19th century-style timber frame barn, fenced in pasture, and away we went,” recalls Charles.