Every day is Earth Day on a dairy farm!
Like most dairy farmers in this country, we live in the place that we work. That means each morning we greet our day, walking from our back step, into our dairy barns. We care for our animals and land, providing wholesome, nutritious, safe, and sustainable food to the tables in our communities.
Today, the dairy industry is responsible for less than 2% of greenhouse gas emissions.
The dairy industry now produces 59% more milk with 64% fewer cows than we did in 1944. In addition, we use 77% less feed, 65% less water, 90% less land, produce 76% less manure and have a 63% smaller carbon footprint per gallon of milk produced. Here’s the source for those fun facts!
Here are some things that Barstow’s Longview Farm is doing to reduce our carbon hoof print:
Our Anaerobic Digester takes food waste and manure from our herd and turns it into enough green electricity to power 450 homes. We also use a heat recovery unit on the engine to heat 3 homes, the digester, and all of the hot water in the barns. The digester is a 0 waste, closed loop system.
We are committed to using compostable eating ware at Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery. All of that plus all of our food scraps gets composted in with cow manure from our heifer barn. Nothing gets wasted, not even the waste!
1.5 cubic foot compost bags are $5. Bulk $30/yard. Delivery is available. Call (413) 586-5584 and leave a message to place an order or to get a quote on delivery fee.
Much of our water is spring water that comes off Mount Holyoke and we are dedicated to using as little water as possible. However, cows drink a lot of water! A heat exchanger pipe cools milk with cold water on transit to the milk tank. That water, still clean, is recycled to the cows for drinking water. They actually prefer it tepid.
Barstow’s Longview Farm has been farming the same land for 212 years. Healthy land means healthy crops means healthy cows means quality milk. We test our soils, engage in crop rotation, and cover crop in the winter months to ensure our topsoil doesn’t blow away. We use manure on our land as a natural fertilizer. And much of the land we own is under APR (Agricultural Preservation Restriction).
In Massachusetts, if you create more than one ton of food waste per week, you are prohibited from putting it in a landfill. Thanks to this legislation, we have several food producers, like Cains and CocaCola, that keep our Anaerobic Digester running. We’ve rethought the food chain, nothing needs to be wasted!
1 adult dairy cow produces about 100lbs of manure per day. With a herd of 550, you do the math! All of the manure on the farm (except manure used for compost) is treated as a liquid and sent through our Anaerobic Digester. Once the methane is out of the mixture, the manure and food waste, or at that point called digestate, is spread on our land as a chemical free fertilizer option. We’ve seen a 20% crop yield increase since the Anaerobic Digester’s introduction.
Like the land and our animals, your support sustains Barstow’s Longview Farm too! We keep the door open so that you can enjoy the farm and learn more about agriculture, the dairy industry, and your local farmer. Set up a farm tour or view our event calendar for upcoming events!