Every business relies on the support of the community in which they are established. We strive to engage our community by: growing high quality local products that people are willing to seek out, building trusting relationships with our consumers by being transparent in our growing practices and encouraging visits to our farm, energy conservation, educational outreach, volunteerism, and political participation.
- Growing Quality: Keeping our soil rich and our products consistent through soil and forage lab testing; maintaining a high level of quality control for our products (we are able to do everything from growing through processing and marketing directly on our farm).
- Building Trust and Transparency: visibility in the community through participation in events where we can have open discussions about our products and growing practices (e.g., farmers markets, local festivals, meetings), hosting community events at our farm to demonstrate our growing and processing practices, being accessible (e.g., our website, face-to-face, telephone, email), and through membership in the local Chamber of Commerce.
- Energy Conservation: A 65kW solar energy system, up and running since December 30, 2008. Our solar array includes over 300 panels and generates approximately 80% of the electricity the farm consumes. To view the farm’s solar output click here. We also have a full-time mechanic to maintain equipment for optimal fuel use.
- Educational Outreach: Hosting and providing instruction for Ag in the Classroom events, hosting seminars on hops production in conjunction with UVM and UMass Extension Programs, participating in educational programming hosted by Communities Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA). We also actively participate in educational programming provided by these organizations, as consumers, to expand our knowledge base and further our business.
- Volunteerism: Donation of our products to community events and programs, family participation on many Town Boards.
- Political Participation: Working with our local legislators to educate them about the challenges of farming and emerging agricultural issues; through membership in or engagement with the following agencies: Massachusetts Nursery and Landscaping Association (MNLA), Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), and CISA; and through holding positions and participating in local government (since arriving in Northfield various family members have held positions within: the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Conservation Committee, Agriculture Commission, Schools, and multiple subcommittees).