Gratitude Journal: Spring Cleaning

That taste of Spring is here!

You know what I mean? That earthy smell when your boots hit the mud, the bird song, alive with the dawn and awake with the farmers, the hint of color on the tip of every branch. Nothing tastes quite better than winter into spring – except maybe Shannon’s carrot cake!

Easter is just one week away and NOW is the time to order your holiday desserts and staples for brunch. We make special occasions easy and delicious with our pre-prepared food items like quiche, soups, meatballs, chicken tenders, picnic salads, and handmade pierogi. Call ahead to reserve prepared foods and also to order desserts like: Easter sugar cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, pastries, and pans of cinnamon swirls.

To place your Easter order, you can visit us or call. Unfortunately, we’ve been experiencing an issue with emails and newsletter replies. If you do place your order via email or by replying to the newsletter, please put a flag in your calendar to follow up if we haven’t replied to you within 48 hours. Last thing to note, we will not be accepting Easter orders after Wednesday, March 31, 4pm – thank you!

Spring Cleaning

The promise of longer, warmer days means spring cleaning is in full swing at Barstow’s Longview Farm! Many may not think of a farm as cleanly, but we pride ourselves on a tidy barnyard. For generations, we’ve made a point to keep up the garden, remove broken down machinery to prevent soil contamination, keep our shop, milk room, and office in order, and make sure our waste is always disposed of correctly.
We keep an organized scrap metal pile, use single stream recycling for farm and farmstand garbage, and manage all of the manure from our dairy farm responsibly. Each adult dairy cow creates about 100lbs of manure daily – and with close to 350 adult cows, there’s plenty of all natural, soil building, poo!

Some of the manure ends up as compost. A mixture of cow manure, horse manure, and compostable food scraps from Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery, and turned for 9 months, Barstow’s compost makes a great soil amendment for local gardens! Bring your own container and shovel it yourself at just $3/bucket. You can also pick up bulk compost at the farm. Please visit our website to see specified pick up hours and instructions. There you will also find the link to our online form for delivery requests.

Our on farm anaerobic digester handles the remaining manure, converting methane from cow poop and local food waste into enough electricity to power 1,600 Massachusetts homes! After going through this digestion process, we are left with a chemical free fertilizer for our farmland. Spreading the fertilizer on our fields has increased soil health, crop yields, and reduced our usage of chemical fertilizer. These benchmarks mean better feed for our animals, better care for our soils, watershed, and ecosystem, and it’s better for our bottom line to boot.

This year we embarked on a special spring cleaning project: getting rid of old tires. We use tires to cover our bunk silos. Bunker silos store the forage (cow food – hay, corn, and alfalfa) cut from our land, and helps it to ferment, locking in the nutrition for our dairy girls to enjoy winter, spring, summer, and fall. Covering the silo with a massive tarp, and then tires to keep it from flying away, allows fermentation and prevents rot.

Tires have been the standard for covering bunk silos, but they have some drawbacks. First of all, they are heavy! A full-casing tire can weigh between 20-60lbs, and more if they are holding water. The summer chore of covering and uncovering the silo on a feed cliff is hot, dirty, and dangerous. When tossing tires, it’s not uncommon for one to roll (and rapidly pick up speed) into the barn wall or even across 47!

Standing water in tires is also a terrific breeding ground for mosquitoes. With ever increasing concern of mosquito spread viruses, and the desire to reduce unnecessary pests for our animals and neighbors, changing out bulky tires for flat, tire side-walls, has been high on the to-do list. Steven made three long drives to Pennsylvania to recycle the tires with a reliable tire disposal service. The new side-walls are in place and ready for the harvest season ahead!

Spring Vaccinations

Spring this year also brings along vaccinations! We are excited all Massachusetts agriculture and food service employees are now eligible to receive a COVID19 vaccine. Some of our team has already received their first shot!

As our staff and community become hardier against the virus, it’s important to remember that there is still much work to be done. We ask that you continue to wear a mask inside at Barstow’s and at the drive thru window, maintain distance between customers and staff, and wash your hands. We haven’t slowed up on the sanitizing or precautions we take to keep ourselves and our customers safe; we kindly ask you do the same for us. Thank you!

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