What's New: Recent News
Holy High-Tech Cow
Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb, Donna Dufault
Visit the online magazine. Barstow's is featured from page 70-75.
Local Really Is Better
Smith Dining Services Does Agritour of Hadley, Massachusetts
As a bitterly cold but sunny winter day settled on western Massachusetts the first week in January, the dairy barn at Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts, was buzzing with the sounds of conversation, laughter and a herd of milking cows munching on morning hay. Inside the barn, Kelly Barstow, dairy store and bakery general manager, was describing to some of the Smith College Dining Services staff the daily milking operation—by robot milkers—of 500 cows. The Barstow’s Longview Farm was the first stop in a daylong agritourism tour organized by Rick Rubin, area manager in Dining Services, as a training offered to staff during Smith’s 2017 January interterm......
by Linda Enerson, CommonWealth
Sixth-generation family farmers Dave and Steve Barstow have stretched the limits of what dairy farmers can do to stay afloat. They opened a store and bakery on their dairy farm at the foot of Mt. Holyoke in Hadley. They generate electricity from composted cow manure and food scraps. They even market a line of farm equipment. But low milk prices have kept their bottom line in the red. So, a couple of years ago, they sold the development rights to their land to the state and invested the proceeds in robots that milk the cows.
“We knew we either had to go out of business or put in the robots,” says Dave Barstow. “The next generation wanted to keep farming, so we put in the robots.” ....
Your Time: Barstow’s Burger Fest, Hadley
by Dan Little, gazettenet.com and Hampshire Life
Nestled in between the Connecticut River and Skinner State Park rests Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery at Longview Farm.
On Saturday afternoon, if you happened to be driving along the historic scenic byway in Hadley, you could hear sounds of children playing and live music rolling down from the hillside while farm-raised beef burgers sizzled on the grill. Barstow’s annual Burger Fest was in full swing.
Denise Barstow, who grew up on the farm as a seventh-generation Barstow, explained that it’s the only time in the year they get to grill up their “absolutely local, absolutely delicious,” burgers.
Conservationists celebrate preservation of 1,000 acres on Mount Holyoke Range
Photos by Rick Thayer
On July 14, 2015, state officials, the Kestrel Land Trust, donors, supporters, and some Barstow's gathered at the Skinner State Park Summit House to celebrate the preservation of 1,000 acres of land on the Mount Holyoke Range over the last two years, this in addition to the 10,000 acres already preserved.
Their Love for the Land will save the Family Farm
by Kestrel Land Trust, December 2014 Newsletter
Now the family has agreed to sell an Agricultural Preservation Restriction, which extinguishes development rights from the land to preserve these 123 acres of farmland forever. Funds from the sale of the APR will be reinvested back into the farm to support their production of local dairy products.
See the whole article and newsletter here
Robots take over Barstow family farm in Hadley
by Dave Eisenstadter, Daily Hampshire Gazette
After receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to preserve their seventh generation family farm, the Barstows are using the money to populate it with robots.
While negotiating the sale of the Agricultural Preservation Restriction rights on 123 acres of their dairy farm, the Barstows have installed four Astronaut A4 milking robots. Sold and developed by the Netherlands-based Lely company, the robots sense when the cows are nearby, clean their udders, attach milking nozzles to the teats and extract the milk.
Milking their herd of 220 cows would take five hours twice each day at the farm’s milking parlor, built in 1984. The robots will be able to milk the cows 24 hours a day at the cows’ own leisure. They just walk up and the robot does the rest.
Could Massachusetts food waste ban be a road map for the rest of the country?
by Jacob Axelrad, The Christian Monitor
BOSTON — On a Monday morning in the Boston University food court, students toss plates of food in bins with multicolored labels: green for recycling, black for landfill, and yellow for compostables.
“We capture as much food waste and organic material as we can,” says Sabrina Pashtan, Sustainability Coordinator at Boston University Dining Services. “That spans everything from scraps in the dining hall to leftover food and napkins in student meals to compostable plates in the food court to catered dinner for 500 people.”
All told, the university diverts around 800 tons of food waste each year, averaging out to about 15 tons of food waste per week, Ms. Pashtan says.
That came in handy when Massachusetts implemented a new law in October saying that any institution that produces at least one ton of food waste per week cannot put it in a landfill.
Massachusetts food disposal ban celebrated at Barstow Farm in Hadley, where cows produce biogas
by Mary Serreze, Special to The Republican
Massachusetts officials brought their “Food Waste Ban Full Harvest Tour” to Hadley on Friday with a visit to Barstow’s Longview Farm, the site of an innovative waste-to-energy project.
The farm’s anaerobic digester takes manure and food waste and converts it into methane gas, which in turn powers a 300-kilowatt on-site generator. Most of the electricity produced is sold to the grid, and the rest powers the dairy farm operation. The by-product of the fermentation process is used as fertilizer.
Friday’s outdoor gathering marked the kickoff of a commercial food waste ban in Massachusetts landfills. Starting Oct. 1, businesses and institutions producing more than one ton of food waste per week were no longer able to just throw it away. The waste must be diverted or repurposed – sent, for instance, to composting facilities, food banks, farms for livestock feed, or to anaerobic digesters like the one at Barstow’s.
Cabot's Farmer Friday: Barstow's Longview Farm
What is your favorite thing about being a dairy farm family?
I think the best part about being a dairy farm family is that we aren't just a family we’re a team. House after house in our small rural neighborhood is a Barstow home and you can always count on your cousins to be around to babysit, your uncle teaching you how to drive, your grandma to help you whip up some delicious cookies, and when the cows get out its all hands on deck. It has really taken the whole village to raise us farm kids and we could not be more thankful for the valuable lessons we have learned about working with animals, working with the Earth, and working with each other. The farm is our common bond that makes our family relationship just that much stronger. Our community runs seven Barstow generations deep and that’s something you can’t find just anywhere.
Methane Digesters are Reducing Cows’ Carbon Hoofprints
How much would you pay to convert manure to electricity? What if you could power your home and workplace, make fertilizer, keep organic waste out of the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and sell excess energy to the local grid?
To transform guilt into virtue, is $3.1 million too much?
Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Barstow's is proud to support our AgriMark/Cabot Cooperative by providing cream AND electricity for the butter we churn!
Mass. To Make Big Food Wasters Lose The Landfill
NPR's "The Salt", by Katherine Perry
Sure, there's plenty you can do with leftovers: foist them on your office mates or turn them into casserole.
But if you're a big food waste generator like a hospital or a supermarket, your scraps usually go to the landfill to rot.
In Massachusetts, that's about to change, as the state prepares to implement the most ambitious commercial food waste ban in the U.S.
The ban, which will commence Oct. 1, applies to institutions that produce more than a ton of food waste a week. Those 1,700 some-odd supermarkets, schools, hospitals and food producers will no longer be able to send their discarded food to the landfill. Instead, they they'll have to donate the useable food and ship the rest to a composting facility, a plant that turns the scraps into energy or a farm that can use it as animal food.
The little engine that could: Barstow’s Longview Farm
Country Folks Magazine, by Laura Rodley
Cows have always been considered unusual due to their unique style of digestion: their stomach has four chambers. Now Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley, MA will be known for having a unique stomach of its own — a BGreen Energy’s Anaerobic Digester that converts manure and food scraps into fertilizer and enough electricity to power the entire farm, plus surrounding houses. The key word is sustainable.
A Dairy Good Clean Energy Source
More than 200 years ago, the Barstow family built a dairy farm on a plot of land in Hadley.
Earlier this month, the family celebrated another milestone on their sixth-generation farm - the start-up of their new anaerobic digester. Continue Reading
Building Farm and Food Scrap Digesters
By Nora Goldstein, BioCycle June 2014, Vol. 55, No. 5, p. 58
A steady stream of anaerobic digestion facilities are coming on line, most equipped to process food waste. This first of a two-part series profiles several farm digesters. Part I - Continue Reading
Faces of Agriculture
Launched to honor the 150th anniversary of the Department, the Faces of Massachusetts Agriculture pays tribute to the rich diversity of the Massachusetts agricultural community and recognizing the individuals, organizations, and schools that have made and are making a significant contribution to the long-term sustainability of agriculture in the Commonwealth.
We have been featured for June! Check it out here!