Bootstrap @ North Country Creamery – The Year in Review

Now I understand how Kristin Kimball filled her book The Dirty Life with stories from her first year farming. I’ve been working on farms for over a decade, but this was my first year running a business, and goodness gracious, I could fill a volume with this month’s blog topic “year in review”. I started this business because I predicted I would always love the bovine, and enjoy milking them like crazy. Luckily, I still do. Little could I imagine... Read More

Bootstrap @ Chaseholm Farm – Final Reflections on 2013

Before I had started farming I used to think about writing in a notebook or generally documenting my first steps so that I could look back and know what I had done and how to make it better. But once I started I was so busy and so worried I was forgetting something else that I definitely didn’t remember to properly document my path. I got lucky that Bootstrap stepped in to make me take notice, to help me summarize my experiments for better or worse,... Read More

USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden Sits down with NYFC and Hudson Valley Farmers

Deputy Secretary Harden meets with farmers at the NYFC roundtable in Clermont, NY. NYFC got the rare opportunity last week to sit down with the USDA’s new Deputy Secretary, Krysta Harden, in Clermont, NY, when she was in-state for the Young Farmers Conference at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture.  Read More  Read More

Bootstrap @ North Country Creamery – Farm Policy on the Small Farm

Our display cooler: the sign on the left Steven found in the back of one if our barns! Sign on the right is what NYS Dept of Ag and Markets required us to post: “raw milk sold here; this product does not provide the protection of pasteurization” mmmm, appetizing! The most direct interaction I have with the government in the dairy business comes through the New York Sate Department of Agriculture and Markets. Every month, the inspector... Read More

Bootstrap @ Chaseholm Farm – Farm Policy at Home

Dana in the fields at Chaseholm Farm. Hi all, it’s a rainy day in the Hudson Valley and the cows are inside, we made our rotation last until October 27th in our first season. Not bad…but room for improvement. Read More  Read More

Introducing Sawkill Farm of Redhook, NY

Michael Robertson started Sawkill Farm in the fall of 2010 in Upper Red Hook, NY. Named for the Saw Mill Creek that runs through the property, Sawkill Farm is situated on 65 acres of land protected by a conservation easement. Read More  Read More

Bootstrap @ North Country Creamery – developing a marketing plan

Speaking with a customer at the farmers market. This year we took a multi-prong approach to marketing. I was striving toward an ideal that we would sell most of our products through a CSA. We managed to serve around a dozen members locally, and twenty-eight members through Juniper Hill Farms’ Farmigo share (a CSA service managed completely online). The local CSA operated like a pre-paid credit system where the members start off with a “Small Share”... Read More

Bootstrap @ Chaseholm Farm – Reflections on Marketing

This is post is coming at a good time for the farm, we were approved for raw milk sales last week and concrete was poured in our future tiny farm store. Getting into dairy farming from cheese making was like taking a step further behind the scenes, further away from farmers markets and retail pricing, more than that it was saying hello to commodity markets and forgetting about marketing…at least for a moment. I welcomed that then and I still... Read More

Notes from Plowbreak Farm in Hector, NY

Walking into the field in Hector, New York, I find two farmers cheerfully harvesting basil and hot peppers. Meet Aaron Munzer and Kara Cusolito, founders of Plowbreak Farm.  Plowbreak Farm began in 2012 when Aaron and Kara leased three acres of loamy soil in the agriculturally rich Finger Lakes region. Their farming philosophy is simple: they grow good food because they like doing it, and they want to bring good food to other people. 2013 is only... Read More

Bootstrap @ North Country Creamery – Pasture Management

For a grassfed dairy like ours, pasture is our bread and butter. North Country Creamery – clover-rich but overgrown hayfield. Similar to most of our grassfed friends, we move the milking herd to a new grazing paddock every 12 hours. On the bright side for our situation, we landed on a dairy farm that was already set up with pasture and above ground water line to several paddocks around the farm. Read More  Read More

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