It’s 5:00 am, and the sun won’t be out for quite some time. Spring may be here, but the chill of the air, like the sensation of an ungloved hand placed on a sheet of ice, is telling you that winter is still lingering. While some high school students in the region are still warm in bed and well-ensconced in dreamland, some intrepid student workers are milking cows. That’s the reality for many of the students who work in the Animal Science Department at Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton. After a difficult winter of constantly beating back the snow to make sure cows had enough room to stroll outside, the staff and students at the Aggie are no doubt acutely aware of those challenges. Thanks to their diligence and hard work, Bristol Aggie’s dairy cows were well-cared for and were more than happy to keep the milk flowing. Read more →
As anyone who has been that way would know, a drive through the Russells Mills neighborhood of Dartmouth would not be complete without a stop at Alderbrook Farm. Fresh off another successful Christmas tree season, the year round farm owned by Allen and Nancy Manley still has plenty of their homemade honey, some jams and preserves and fresh, freshly baked breads and pastries, and yummy local dairy products. Other assorted goods, like commemorative Dartmouth ornaments, soaps and books adorn the shelves in the farm store. It’s business as usual but, as is the case for all farmers, preparation is already underway for the upcoming season. Read more →
The crisp airing biting as you pull the blanket over your face…the feeling when your feet first hit the cold floor in the morning…scraping that layer of frost from your windshield. Yes, November mornings in our little corner of heaven have all the subtlety of an ice bucket challenge. The only thing on most of our minds is the first coffee of the day (and, perhaps, some of us have drawn plans for the second by that time). Don’t feel bad: by the time most of us have reached for that first cup, the folks at Dufort Farms in Rehoboth have already been up for several hours applying their craft. Read more →
While preparing to write my first SEMAP Spotlight, I figured it would be a good idea to visit C.N. Smith Farm in East Bridgewater early afternoon during a weekday. Anyone who has traversed across Southeastern Massachusetts during the autumn in search of fresh fruits and vegetables is well-acquainted with just how active farm stores and stands can be on the weekends. What struck me as I walked into the farm store was how many people were out shopping and picking midday…not a deluge, but a good, constant stream. “Come on the weekend,” the cashier said. “The cider donuts are legendary.” Ma’am, you had me at “cider donuts”. Putting aside my daydream of the farm’s homemade apple cider donuts, I met with Chris Smith and Caryl Guarino, the brother and sister duo that run C.N. Smith Farm, our SEMAP Spotlight Farm for October. Read more →
At Copicut Farms, it’s neither the chicken nor the egg that came first, but the willingness and dedication of one New England family. After years of work in science and education, Elizabeth and Vince Frary decided to pursue their dream of starting a farm. Now in their third season, Copicut Farms raises chickens (for eggs and meat), Cornish game hens and turkeys – about 3,000 birds in all on 80 acres of mixed woodland and pasture. Copicut Farms is a family owned operation that uses no hormones or antibiotics in any of their feeds, and Copicut birds enjoy a free range lifestyle, feeding on healthy pasture and fertilizing the soils along the way.
Although both Elizabeth and Vince grew up on and around farms (Elizabeth is a fourth generation family farmer!), neither of them had initially chosen farming as a career. Vince was a wildlife biologist for the state of Arizona and Elizabeth had earned her Masters in Elementary Education. Their early years of farming had instilled in them the values of hard work, dedication and a love of the outdoors. Starting a farm together became an opportunity for them to create that experience for their young son, Emmett, who gets to spend every day on the farm and absolutely loves it. Read more →