New farm store/hours: Visit our updated space and see what’s new!

New farm store/hours: Visit our updated space and see what’s new!

Sheep and goats go for a walkabout

Here at BOTL Farm, we have plans. Lots of plans. Among our many plans is one called a “grazing plan.” We rotationally graze all our animals which, briefly, means they graze a portion of land for a short time before they’re moved to fresh pasture. In the case of the sheep and goats, they rotate to new pasture every 24 hours or so. Because we’re rotationally grazing everyone (sheep, goats, pigs, chickens), we put together a schedule and try to stick to it. They typically follow the same basic pattern up one field, down the other, and all through the woody areas. It takes about a month and a half to make a complete loop. This month, the sheep and goats had some other ideas and decided to take themselves on an unsupervised walk overnight. 

It all started one evening when we switched up the normal pattern because we were trailer training pigs and they were blocking the path. To keep the sheep and goats occupied, we decided to skip the field they would have normally gone to and instead pushed them further out in the “back 40” in a woody area for the night. 

Amazingly, at some point during the night, they dismantled the fence that was keeping them in their paddock, grouped together, and went for a half-mile walk to where they really “should” have been. The paddock they walked themselves to is visible from our farm house, so when we woke up in the morning we were dismayed to see they were there, but then happy to see they were all calm, uninjured, and the herd was still together, peacefully grazing! Upon closer inspection, they had passed through multiple paddocks that had tasty grasses but left them untouched. It’s really amazing that they stayed together, stayed focused, and didn’t lose any stragglers in the process. Who needs a shepherd when we have a strong ol’ sheep matriarch to lead them to… wherever she wants to go!

choosing to farm

Choosing to Farm podcast

We often get asked how we, as first-generation farmers with backgrounds in theoretical chemical physics and construction project management, ended up as farmers. It’s a long story that starts with a deep love for food and ends with, well, a deep love for food and animals. At markets, we give brief versions of our “origin” story when we get asked, but Nick was featured on the podcast Choosing to Farm recently, where he tells the whole story! Spoiler alert: we love food. 

Unlike most farming podcasts, which target fellow farmers, this podcast highlights what drives farmers to dedicate their lives to growing things while appealing to both farmer and non-farmer audiences. Check it out!

New: farm store, farm store hours

Last month we recapped all the excellent projects our visiting farm labor helped us accomplish, one of which was starting to build out an official fancy farm store which was previously known as a section of our garage. Granted, our farm house is over 200 years old and doesn’t have a modern garage because, you know, cars didn’t exist. Our farm labor left last month, but we were able to wrap up this project on our own. We’ve deployed the new space as our farm store, but we still have some additions we’d like to incorporate. 

For instance, a glass-front display freezer. Although an average grocery store has so many of these that they seem commonplace, they are prohibitively expensive to source as a single-purchase item. If, for any reason, you have one languishing in your basement/storage unit/attic that you want to gift to a local farmer, let us know! Donations welcome! In the meantime, our non-perishable items are on display and frozen items are hidden in chest freezers. 

Along with the new farm store, we’re also reworking our farm store hours to coordinate with our Assawaga market (see section below for deets on new Assawaga hours). Our farm store has been open each Tuesday and Sunday, but we’re switching, very soon, to Tuesday and Saturday. Starting July 8th our new hours are Saturdays 1 – 3pm and Tuesdays noon – 2pm (Tuesday hours are not changing). Come see our new farm store! 

New Country Organics animal feed update

Feed prices and shipping costs have been holding steady as this spring turns into summer. NCO is holding regular webinars for their resellers (like us!) and we’ve heard that this summer/fall they will be adding a significant number of new products to their lineup. Most of them will be corn-free versions of existing products (e.g. 16% corn-free swine feed), but keep an eye out for new products on the NCO website. With advanced notice, we can order anything they offer. 

Find us this month

Place an online order and choose any market location as pickup! How convenient. You’ll love it. 

On farm store: New hours: Tuesdays noon – 2pm, Saturdays 1 – 3pm. Pre-order

Tolland Farmers Market: Saturdays from 10am – noon at the Country Butcher on 74. Days we’ll be there in July: July 01, July 15, July 29. Pre-order

Assawaga Farmers Market: New hours: Saturdays from 9am – noon at Assawaga Farm in Putnam, CT. Days we’ll be there in July: July 02 (yes this is a Sunday), July 08, July 22. Pre-order

Sturbridge Farmers Market: Sundays from 9am – 1pm on the Sturbridge Town Commons. Dates we’ll be there in July: July 09, July 23. Pre-order

Andy’s Neighborhood Canteen Farmers Market: Wednesdays from 4 – 8pm in Webster, MA. Dates we’ll be there in July: July 05. Pre-order

Third Thursday Street Fest: Third Thursday of the month in Willimantic, CT. Dates we’ll be there in July: July 20. Pre-order

It’s too many numbers! Save me!

Page Last Updated on 2024-06-14

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