Thursday, June 20, 2013


        If you walk over the bridge that crosses the stream and onto the path through the woods to the East of our farm, you will find our five pigs. They are nine weeks old, reddish brown in color, have long torsos and snouts, and are constantly munching and rooting around. They were born in Brooktondale, NY on a small farm and were brought here last week to live out the rest of their days.
          They are Tamworths, a heritage breed originally from central England. Descendants of the English native pigs, they are good foragers. We are running them through our woods filled with shrubs, ephemera, hickory and beach nut trees. The leaves and nuts from the trees and undergrowth provide good forage and entertainment for these good natured beasts.
          Because they are busy looking for the next morsel, they can create a mud pit quickly. We like to move their pen every week or so to ensure they always have a new environment. Thus we also ensure that the pigs are part of our lager forest management plan, instead of wreaking havoc. In addition to the foods they find themselves, the pigs are fed a diet of New York sustainably grown, non-GMO grain. In the Fall, they will provide us with lean, well marbled, sustainable pork products.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mid-June at Heermance

A few photo's from Anya on a very sunny June day.

                                                                  Rolling hills, mountains in the distance.

A young basil making its way.

                                                                 Working in the sunflowers and zinias.

Not chicken eggs!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A New Farm

I came to Heermance farm to be an apprentice a little less than two weeks ago, not exactly sure of what I would find. Not far from my graduation, I had sought a position as a farm apprentice just about anywhere. Finding Heermance Farm and getting an apprenticeship for the growing season was a stroke of good luck. I knew it was about four acres of cultivating, located in an incredible part of New York, and non-certified organic. I knew the farm manager sounded motivated and willing to teach me, and that I was headed for a learning experience as well as a working experience. But that's about it.

What I discovered was a big white barn on a small hill, a view of the Catskills, a few lucky chickens liberated from the coop, and fields bustling with life - plants contentedly growing in the heavy sunlight, and busy people digging and scratching away at the Earth, cultivating food along with their ideas of sustainable agriculture. I found a place where I am a student to the experienced people around me, as well as to the soil and sun and leaves.

Standing on the shoulders of a centuries-old homestead, we are opening a new chapter in the long life of Heermance. In its second season of production, the farm is entering its first year of food distribution under the acute guidance and perseverance of Hannah Beal, the farm manager. Also under her cultivating skills are six apprentices. We are a diverse farm family varying on backgrounds, reasons for farming, and experience levels.

Please follow us during this crucial and exciting season as we mold ourselves and the farm into a productive and sustainable system capable of creating delicious, high quality organic foods to be enjoyed by all who try them.