Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day in Saratoga readers, and we got to spend it with the kids taking a tour of a farm that matched the beauty of the day, Lewis Waite Farm in Greenwich. Our tour guide was Nancy Brown, who lives on the farm with her husband Alan, who bought the farm in 1967. It had been abandoned for ten years or so, and Alan got to work reclaiming the land to farm on. Today the farm has 450 acres with three houses on it, and their son also lives on the farm as well. Alan and Nancy are big believers in keeping things as close to nature as possible and have always grown vegetables organically and treat their farm in the same way. On the gorgeous farm they raise grass-fed and grass-finished beef and pasture raised pork on land that is Certified Organic by NOFA-NY (Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York) which they sell right here at our Saratoga Farmers' Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays and throughout the year at the winter market as well. We started our tour with Nancy and Maggie, the sweetest yellow lab, at the original barn which was built around 1820 and now houses the pigs (when they are inside) and some barn cats. It's a beautiful old barn with hand hewn beams and sunlight peeking in through the slats. Outside the barn is a large bin that holds water for the animals which gets collected from the top of the mountain. We took a walk up the mountainside along an old county road which hasn't been used in over fifty years that used to take people over the mountain and watched as the cows were taken over into another pasture. Nancy introduced the kids to some of the cows that she knew by name and we visited the pigs which were in another pasture close by the cows. Surrounding us on our walk was a breathtaking view and Nancy pointed out a nearby ski mountain and the Saratoga Monument tucked into the green hills. As we walked Nancy told us about their farm, and how their cows are all grass fed and grass finished and about some of the health benefits of grass fed beef.
Compared to grain-fed beef, research has found that beef raised exclusively on a grass fed diet is naturally lean, less than half the total fat and less saturated fat and 100 calories fewer in 6 oz. Their beef have been given no grain except the natural grasses seeds in the pastures, no daily low level antibiotics, no hormone growth implants or feed supplements, no pesticides or insecticides, and no feed additives or animal by-products. At the farm they rotationally graze their cattle which is intended to increase the fertility of their soils, increase the diversity of the plants in their pastures, hayfields and woodlands and use no unnatural chemicals on their land or animals. Sustainable practices and "slow food" concepts are a key to their endeavors at Lewis Waite Farm.
We finished our tour by walking down from the very top of the mountain where Finn said he could see the whole world, and visiting two baby calves who were having a little snooze down by the barn. It was hard to leave the peacefulness of the farm and we definitely plan to visit again, and we also plan to visit their table at the market to buy some of their products which we are going to feature this week as our recipe! They have many many products including roasts, steak, and sausage, and can also do special request orders. Their order form and list of products can be found on their website here. In addition to being at our fair market they sell at a market in Vermont and also sell occasionally to restaurants in town like Mouzon House and One Caroline Street, and this weekend they are supplying food for a wedding. We really loved meeting one of our local farmers, and we couldn't have had a better time, so if you want to buy healthy local meat for your family you couldn't find a better farm to buy from! xoxo