We are proud to raise heritage Red Poll cattle, Berkshire pigs and open-pollinated vegetables.
We raise Red Poll cattle, a dual-purpose breed from England. Imported into the U.S. in the 1860s, the Red Poll became an integral breed for small family farms. With the rise of the Holstein (Friesian) for dairy, Red Poll numbers dropped dramatically by the mid 1900's. But, because of Red Polls' production solely on grass, easy temperament, high fertility, and soundness, small herds continued on, in spite of trends towards a single beef breed or cross breeding. Red Poll numbers in the Northeast are few and it is our pride to develop our herd with stock from an incredible family farm in Ohio, selecting those individuals for breeding that thrive on the stony, hydric soils of the Catskill mountains.
We assess our work so that we can continuously develop good strategies for maintaining nutrition in response to the needs of each season. For the cattle, we move them to new pasture once or twice a day so that there is always fresh grass for them to eat. We grind and blend our own certified-organic poultry ration to ensure a diversity of foodstuffs (we use seven different grains, instead of the conventional soy/corn mix). We specify the best minerals (mineral chelates, kelp meal, selenium yeast) that offer the highest bioavailability to boost animal vigor and to ensure nutrient-density of meat and eggs. We sprout seeds for our poultry in the winter so that they get green feed during the dormant season. During high summer we boost vegetable production with fish and kelp emulsion to provide mineral energy for fruit and seed production.
At the core of the farm is the grass. This is true. Not far behind is our relationships. Our relationships with our customers are important and vital to making the farm go round, as well as the relationships we have with our animals. "Don't underestimate the effectiveness of a little nursing" is a lesson we've learned from Pat Coleby, and indeed, the strength and vigor of our animals is supported by our relationships with them. From being ready with a pail of water to satiate a thirsty cow after she's freshened, to scratches around the ears and around the tail out in the field; providing access to shade in the summer and cover in the winter; handling to build trust. We have evolved together for thousands of years and the emotional bond between human and livestock is as vital as available feed and water. We know this from the cows but first learned this from our dogs: the powerful effects of companionship and love.
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