After 67 years in the Warren Family, Randy and Heather have sold the Warren Farm to Theodore Wiegand and Eleanor Kane.
Theo comes from generations of wheat farmers in Montana and Eleanor is originally from Massachusetts. They're moving to Barrington after farming in MA for three seasons, where most of their experience was in grassfed, organic animal husbandry and small scale, organic vegetable production. They're excited to continue the tradition of cut your own Christmas Trees, as well as expand the vegetable operation and offer grassfed goat and lamb, pasture raised pork, chickens, eggs, and Thanksgiving turkeys.
Posted by Eleanor Kane :: Tuesday, August 19 :: 5:20pm
Can you tell that most of my job on the farm is the vegetables (and the newsletter!) since that’s what I write about every week? The other day Theo campaigned for more mentions of our animals and I had to admit that in the flurry of weeding, mowing, planting, harvesting, and selling vegetables, the livestock we share the farm with have the right to feel a bit neglected in the weekly updates.
Raising animals was the main reason Theo and I started farming, and until we bought this farm we only sold meat and eggs – you can imagine that shifting from selling pork chops to Christmas trees was a bit of a 180 last year! That, combined with growing a mixed crop of vegetables and managing the raspberries and peaches means that the sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, and pigs got mixed into the fold of what we do each day. For as much as any of you come here to get veggies, or in a couple months for a wreath or tree, you may happen to see a chicken scratching in the dirt, or you might here a ‘baa’ or two from the barn. The front of the farm, where you all park and where Russell and Jeb run up to greet you, is a poor example of all the animal life happening here: we have chicks in the brooder, laying hens who live in the back of the barn at night and spend their days wandering the rest of the farm, our sow and boar who have taken over a couple acres in the woods beyond our potato patch, and a gang of piglets (who are not so piglet-y anymore) who have a huge fenced off area of pasture and woods to romp around in all day… when they’re not snoozing in the sun. Our sheep and goats live out on pasture… or they will when we resolve the issue of having moved to a farm with very limited pasture, plus the fact that they all have hoof rot. Hoof rot is exactly what it sounds like, just as icky and gross as can be imagined, but of all the summers for them to have it, this isn’t a bad one: all that wood ash we’re spreading is raising the pH of our new field which will help the grass to grow and in the next year or so, what was woods will turn into pasture. In the meantime, since they (I’m looking at you, goats) like to snack on Christmas trees, we only have field edges and patches of grass here and there to graze the herd on, so they’ve spent a couple weeks of the summer holed up in the barn. It’s less than ideal and we feel pretty bad about it, since we never wanted to get into raising animals only to coop them up. At the same time, it’s important to treat their feet, and to graze the new pasture only when it’s ready, so that the grass isn’t exhausted by being eaten but instead invigorated to re-grow.
I’m sure I’ll write more about the ins and outs of raising all these critters since it’s a huge part of our day, and they’re an important part of the farm in the way they add fertility to our soils and recycle all our left over vegetables into eggs and meat. For now, I’ll just say that the end of August is a bittersweet time for us when we think about the livestock that were born here last winter. Our lambs, kids, and pigs will be heading off to the slaughterhouse soon, even as we plan the breeding schedules and births for 2015. It’s all part of the yearly cycle of the farm and as much as the farm will feel a bit empty without them, it means that we’ll have local, humanely raised, grass fed meat for all of you this fall.
In preparation for that, Theo wanted me to let all of you know that it’s time to do our big clean out of our freezers. We have lots and lots of bones which are great either for dogs or for making broth, along with offal, fatback and leaf lard for rendering your own lard, and quite a few pork shoulders which would make great BBQ pork or big roasts once the weather turns cooler.
Let us know if you want any of the above, and we’re marking down bones and offal by 50% until they're gone. Hope you swing by to pick some up for yourselves or your dogs, since try as they might, Jeb and Russell can’t actually finish all that we have!
This Week's Vegetables
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
- Green Beans
- Wax Beans
- Green Peppers
- Swiss Chard
Other Available Products
- Grassfed, Pasture Raised Pork, Chicken, Goat, and Beef
- Fresh Eggs: $5 /doz
- Homemade soap
- Handmade, local pottery, including mugs, bowls, jars, and plates
- Local maple syrup from right here in Barrington, NH