It began in Somerville, Ma where I lived, loved and worked for 27 years. A wonderful, vibrant city and a beautiful Victorian lady who sheltered me near Davis Square. And, finally, a McMurray catalogue where dozens of varieties of chickens intrigued to lure me away.
Working in restaurants taught me to love food, but the ever increasing use of precooked, prepackaged products made me want to get back to basics - see where it was all coming from.
Five acres bordered by a seasonal stream, a river and back yards. Where chickens roam free, goats graze and winters are cold and snowy.
Keeping the farm small is a necessary piece to our ability to maintain an animal welfare based, quality product. Chickens love foraging, but they can be very disruptive to the landscape, and overpopulation will quickly leave the land barren of grasses, insects and life in general. For this reason, our flock is maintained at about 500 hens (and the odd rooster). Although this limits our production the pastures stay green as the chickens run free.
A second aspect of our commitment to sustainable agricultural is the solar systems that have been installed to cover the electrical needs of refrigeration and lighting. Thanks to an MDAR grant in 2013, we were able to solarize the barn roof with a 10K system. We added another 25K in 2016, and we now produce enough electricity to cover our home needs as well.
Packaging is an aspect of distribution that has negative environmental impact. We try to lessen this impact by using only cartons which are made from recycled materials. And all our eggs are delivered in salvaged cardboard boxes, or milk crates.
And, finally, in 2016 we switched our delivery vehicle to a hybrid car. Although we only distribute within Massachusetts, Cummington is far from any of our vendors so this step allowed us to lessen our use of fossil fuels.
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