Zagray Farm’s outdoor summer event

CN-MR-3-Zagrayby Lorraine Strenkowski

July 19 and 20 provided perfect weather for the 18th Annual Zagray Farm Museum Summer Show — an educational family event dedicated to providing a place where the public can explore the evolution of farm life and machinery.

This near 200-acre farm located in eastern Connecticut was set up very much like a fair for this event. There were rows and rows of farm equipment, engine displays, antique vehicles, a tag sale and a swap meet. Plenty of food was provided, as was country music by Jane Haynes and Friends. A kids’ sandbox was set up with toys and pedal tractors to promote interest from the younger crowd. Small to large tractors were driven around freely during the day by event-goers, giving them a true feel for 19th and early 20th century running equipment. [Read more…]

Growing Gray Dog’s Farm and rose veal

CN-MR-3-Gray-Dog-Farm2by Laura Rodley

When Gray Dog’s Farm owners Ross and Alicia Hackerson bought their 80 acres in Huntington, MA, it was just forest, with nothing cleared and no house. They have since cleared 14 acres using silvopasture methods, leaving desired hardwoods to produce a mast for the pigs to eat, and shade for the calves, chickens and pigs that supply meat for their CSA. They sell wholesale and retail to stores and restaurants, including Greenfield’s Market, Bistro Les Gras in Northampton, Aunt Kathie’s Kitchen in West Springfield and farmers markets and residents. [Read more…]

Managing feed from the other end of the cow

CN-MN-MR-2-Managing-feed160by Sally Colby

There was a time when a dairy farmer’s biggest concern about manure was whether the gutter cleaner was functional, if the tractor might break down or if there was a spare hand to send to the field with a spreader full of manure. The chemistry of that manure was probably not at the top of the farmer’s mind.

Although farmers have been using manure to their advantage for centuries, increased knowledge about the impact of manure on the environment has led to science-based research and legislation that dictates how manure must be handled. [Read more…]

A local legend and her border collies

CN-MR-3-Colliesby Laura Rodley

Local legend Becky Peterson’s shadow doesn’t stay behind her or disappear at high noon. It runs in front of her, to her side, a little bit ahead. Sometimes she has four or five. Her shadows are pedigree border collies she raises at Orchard View Farm. They follow her wherever she goes, although not all at once. When needed, she can choose from five working dogs. [Read more…]

Successful urban farmers use intensive agriculture

CN-MR-1-Urban farmersby Sanne Kure-Jensen

There are many benefits to farming in urban areas. Most urban farmers enjoy being close to their markets and customers. They also spend less time and money transporting goods to customers than rural growers. Urban sites generally offer easy access to potable water. Most urban farmers have fewer wildlife problems than their rural counterparts. Urban environments also tend to be 6 – 8 degrees warmer than rural areas. This is partly due to the heat island effect of pavement and sidewalks. [Read more…]