Montgomery County celebrates 13th annual Sundae on the Farm at MMT Cattle, Inc.

CE-MR-3-Day on the Farm2by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
Over 2,250 people attended Montgomery County’s 13th annual Sundae on the Farm.
Marc and Nicole Tommell’s MMT Cattle Inc., of Fonda, NY hosted this year’s event, which was sponsored by Montgomery Co. Farm Bureau, Montgomery Co. Ag Farmland & Protection Board and Montgomery Co. Soil & Water.
Many were first time attendees that had heard about the event through fliers circulated through surrounding area schools.
Displays, demonstrations and, of course, ice cream sundaes made with over 60 gallons of donated Stewart’s ice cream, were available to all who attended. A variety of farm animals were exhibited, including Puthaven Farm’s immense oxen and Eastern Regional Draft Horses, which also took folks for wagon rides.
“The wagon rides are the best thing!” said 7-year-old Donoven Melo of Tribes Hill. Many other children at the event echoed his sentiment. [Read more…]

The Big E features livestock, fun and food!

CN-MR-3-The Big E 3by Sanne Kure-Jensen
For almost 100 years, The Big E has highlighted New England agriculture, livestock and produce. Since 1917, this fair has hosted agricultural competitions and displays, following the vision of Joshua L. Brooks, founder of Eastern States Exposition. Well over one million people visit New England’s Grandest Fair, enjoying its 4-H and FFA demonstrations, exotic animal rides and petting zoo. Teens and families return year after year for the midway rides, live entertainment, and naughty foods.
Agricultural Shows and Competitions
The Mallary Agricultural Complex hosts most livestock shows and competitions. Visitors can walk among hundreds of dairy, beef and sheep. Families can see farmers shearing sheep and grooming their cows and watch sheepdog herding demonstrations. Most of the livestock shows and competitions are during the first week or 10 days of the fair. [Read more…]

Raising the Roof on Manda Farm

CN-MR-3-Raising the roof 1by Laura Rodley
This summer has been full of happy endings for Anna Hanchett and Michael Kalagher, owners of Manda Farm. The two have sold certified naturally grown beef, turkey, eggs, organic vegetables and Gloucester Old Spots since 2006 on Pleasant Street in Plainfield,MA. “Manda” is derived from combining letters of their first names, M and A.
On Friday, Aug. 16, a crowd of 50 looked on as a huge crane lifted a new second story onto the top of their stately 1825 farmhouse that burned in January.
The fire affected only the second story and roof, travelling around the metal of the chimney in an enclosed space, which kept it contained, then going up into the rafters.
No people or animals were hurt, but extensive water and smoke damage made the main house unlivable so the two have been living in an onsite trailer until it is restored.
“So many people invited us to dinner. We didn’t have to cook for weeks,” said Hanchett, who besides running the farm full time, is chairman of Plainfield’s Agricultural Commission. [Read more…]

Living Acres: Making organic matter

by Tamara Scully
Living Acres, in Sharon, Maine, is all about “making soil more alive,” and providing plants with the optimal nutrients needed to thrive. Living Acres makes organic-approved compost, growing mediums, foliar seaweed and fish emulsion sprays. Their products are made with local, natural inputs — the farthest comes from about 125 miles away — and serve to add fertility and to enhance the health of nursery plants or field crops, via nature’s own ingredients.
They strive to keep ingredients “as local as we can get, without sacrificing quality,” owner Tony Ramsey said.
Begun in 1980 by retired dairy farmer Stu Mayo, the company has since grown from the flagship product: Mayo’s compost mix. His recipe for the compost came from years of experience, and a belief in the positive effects of healthy soil. Instead of incorporating manure directly into the soil, where the microbial population reacts by going on “a feeding frenzy,” Ramsey explained that Mayo knew there was a better way. So he created Living Acres Kompost. [Read more…]