Connect the community to agriculture with a convenient location filled with high quality locally produced products. We will provide an inviting environment for families and others to experience. To that end we have been holding open farm day the first Saturday of each month all summer long. We have met many wonderful people and made new friends.
The first Saturday of October will be the last open farm dad of 2011 and we will be discussing the availability of grass fed beef and pork will all of our visitors.
Julia,age 9, Sarah,age8 and Caleb,age5 enjoy being home schooled. They do their daily assignments math, cursive, phonics,and language and we add in History, Science, Geography and another Language either Spanish or Sign Language. Julia loves to read, and sometimes she’ll read 5 books in one day. Sarah loves Phonics and she loves to read and write. Caleb is learning to form his letters and has been writing in a journal that Sarah made him.
They have a lot of animal and plant experience.
They have their daily chores to take care of, rabbits,ducks, chickens and of course they have our two dogs and two cats to care for.
The girls have been learning to sew on the sewing machine. They are busy making all kinds of Christmas presents. Caleb has been watching and is interested in sewing too! He made me a small pillow the other day. Very impressive.
We are participating in the East Brookfield Baptist Church musical again this Christmas. It is called “The Present is the Future”
The Farm was built in 1742 ( this is not a misprint!) and has lots of history about it. The house has hand hew chestnut beams and 22” wide pine floor boards. The house once had a bee-hive fire place that is now our bathrooms. We hope to one day restore them. We have installed new windows, fixed the foundation, insulated, new septic tank and installed in out door wood boiler for our heat and hot water. We burn about 20 cords a wood a year!
The farm originally had 5 barns, the biggest barn we had to remove and in its place we are putting up a Solar Star greenhouse. It is 28′ x 48′ foot greenhouse that we will have a farm stand in the front that we will have opened for the public. We will have starter plants, and our own fresh grown meat for sale.
The other 4 barns are in need of some major repairs. Our hay barn is being supported by a 10′ x 10′ x 16′ beam. We are hoping to be able to save it. Our Carriage barn, attached to the house is going to be torn down one of these days and replaced with another barn to replicate it. Our other two barns are in pretty good shape. One we use as a workshop and the other we can use for various uses, the end just needs to be closed in. ( our girls would like to make it into a horse barn!) We’ll see….
The organic food industry has been growing rapidly for the past several years. From 2003 to 2009 the organic food market increased 142% from $2.1 billion to $5.2 billion in 2008. (Organic Food-US-October 2008, Mintel) Even with the steep downturn in the economy, sales of organic foods are expected to continue growing, but at a slower pace. As Barbara Haumann of the Organic Trade Association puts it, “It may be fair to say that sales will continue to grow, but at a slower rate – but when you figure that sales have been growing phenomenally for so many years, it even makes sense that they can’t continue to grow exponentially.” (Supermarket News, February 9, 2009)
Organic sales are only part of the story. Consumers are becoming more educated about food choices. Factors such as the carbon footprint that a particular food represents are playing an increasing role in consumers’ decision making. Ironically, even the major players like Wal-Mart, Dean Foods, and Costco are pushing ‘sustainability’ with their suppliers. They are exploring having individual food items list their carbon footprint.
Organic is important to many consumers, but so are local and transparent choices. Food safety plays an increasingly important role in consumer preferences. With all of the food recalls and scares of late (spinach, jalapenos, tomatoes, hamburger, peanuts) consumers are spending their dollars more diligently. The shear scale of these recalls boggles the mind. For instance, in 2007 the Topps Meat Company recalled 21.7 million pounds of hamburger due to possible E. coli contamination. The real appeal of small-local farms is that consumers can actually see where their food comes from, meet the people that produce it, and not be overwhelmed by the ‘scale’ of the operation.
Raising grass fed beef mimics the production model of bison and other wild herbivores. The foundation of this model is lush, high organic pastures that are able to store vast amounts of carbon. “If every cow producer in the country would use this model, in less than 10 years we would sequester all the carbon that’s been emitted since the beginning of the industrial age. It’s really that simple. Without question, grass-finished, mob-stocked beef is the most efficacious way to heal the planet.” (Joel Salatin, March, ’09, OpEdNews)
The real strength of Grass Roots Farm is its proximity to a local, well-informed public, and the underlying emphasis on working with nature through low-input agriculture. The beef produced carries a small carbon footprint, is humanely raised, is healthy, and totally pleasing to the palate. In these times of million-pound hamburger recalls and animal abuse horror stories, Grass Roots Farm offers a sane alternative.