The Farm New Marlborough is a small family farm with huge ambitions. Our focus is to heal and improve New Marlborough's lands through intensive rotational grazing of our animals. We build soil to feed both the earthworms below the ground and the animals above it. Our mission is simple... to grow quality food in a respectable and complementary way to both the animals and the environment and to rebuild a local food economy through education and example.
At The Farm New Marlborough we view our five hundred acre farm as a giant perennial garden and employ the best in the business to maintain it... The animals. As soil/grass farmers our diverse gardens cover over five hundred of New Marlborough’s finest acres. We are the farmers and our animals are the gardeners. Through an intensive rotational grazing model, our cows, chickens and pigs manage our gardens by aerating, cultivating, pruning, fertilizing and sanitizing all summer long.Each animal knows exactly what role to play in this orchestrated symbiotic dance that we the farmers help choreograph. The result is healthy abundant growth, both above ground and below, the healthiest and best quality meats that can be grown, and most importantly, a regenerative model that heals the earth, air and environment and keeps the candle burning for a cleaner world for our children!
With the acquisition of the former Kolburne School in the Spring of 2017, The Farm is continuing to stretch it's legs. Both the farmers and the animals are excited to be working on the renovation of this old farm/school with the goal of returning agriculture to the village of New Marlborough. The quintessential New England Farm practicing modern agriculture and providing real food to the residents and businesses of the region in a sustainable model. Real Food For Real Folks!
Our meat chickens live in brooders, the former Kolburne School Dorm rooms, for the first three weeks they're here. They arrive at the farm only a day old, and very fragile. Once they are big enough to brave the elements they are moved to the chicken tractors out on pasture. Everyday we move the tractors in order to provide them with fresh grass. What's left behind is rich, nutrient dense manure, that allows the grass to flourish. It's not unlike magic. The meat birds diet is supplemented with locally sourced grains. We view our birds as the "industrial strength fertilizers" of the farm. As seen in the photo, one pass with the chicken tractors completely changes the health of the grass. No the photo has not been toyed with. What is incredibly important to realize is that the manure the chickens apply to the field has almost zero petroleum influence, other than the supplemented grain and the fuel in the truck to distribute their water. These chickens lay down about a half inch of manure covering the entire field over the course of the summer. That half inch of fertility will feed the grass plants for up to five years. Each year that we fertilize with the chickens will add another five years of fertility. We typically fertilize for three years and then cut hay for three years before the chickens return to that field. What this equates to is, fifteen years of fertility and only taking three years of harvest. Now another very important note to take is that with this amount of fertility the grass is full of energy, in order to maximize the grasses potential and health we need to prune more often. Not unlike a lawn that has been fertilized. The difference is we use our cows to prune! Here are 5 quick examples of what we gain from our meat chickens: 1. Extremely healthy and abundant growth. Healthy grasses turn more carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis than any other plant, even trees! 2. A layer of manure that adds to the soil and employs billions of micro-organisms. The healthier the soil the more carbon we can sequester. 3. Increased forage which feeds more mouths per acre. 4. A low carbon footprint, working landscape surrounding our village of extremely important historic normalcy. 5. High quality, nutrient dense food for the community!
We raise heritage laying hens, primarily Bard Rocks, that produce rich and fortified eggs, and lay throughout the year. During the spring, summer & fall our layers are rotationally grazed, moving daily behind the cows. In addition to the chickens spreading the cows manure they are also in charge of bug control, dropping their own nitrogen rich fertilizer directly on the field, and leaving eggs in the coop for us to collect. Their diets are also supplemented with locally sourced grains and compost.
We work our cattle using intensive grazing management practices. In short - the cattle are given fresh areas of grass at least once a day. The pastures we use are divided into small paddocks in a grid system. The cows are moved into a new paddock each day providing them with fresh grass all summer long while also promoting root and shoot growth of the grasses. In addition to proper pruning through this intensive grazing they are also turning the solar grown biomass into usable fertilizer and leaving it on the field behind them. You'll find the cattle all throughout New Marlborough, please feel free to stop by and say hello! Just mind the electric fence...
At the Farm NM we raise our pigs from farrow to finish With 6-8 sows and 1 boar, we have pigs at all stages of life from piglets still nursing, up to 7 months, when they are ready to become pork. Our pigs, similar to the cattle, work on a rotational grazing system that includes both forest and grass lands. Their paddocks are monitored daily to achieve the desired amount of soil disturbance (rooting). This disturbance assists with the composting of leaf liter and aerates the soil to increase the soils microbial activity and provides more available nutrients for the up take of the trees in the forest. The pigs are promoted to use their natural foraging instincts which makes a forest/pasture combination paddock the perfect home.