Some Like it Hot


General consensus on the farm: this heat wave has got to chill… But some like it hot!
Corn originated as a tropical grass 🌽🌾 and can tolerate exposures to adverse temperatures as high as 112degreesF for brief periods. Corn’s ideal daytime temperatures typically range between 77degreesF and 91degrees! ☀️
However, growth decreases when temperatures exceed 95degreesF, and corn much prefers cooler night time temps. Temperatures too high for a sustained amount of time and moisture stress on the crop can result in fewer ears of corn, fewer kernels per ear, reduced nutritional value of the plant, and lower overall yield. 😬
As climate change continues to cause drier and hotter conditions, our beloved summer staple of sweet corn will face challenges. And here at Barstow’s Longview Farm where almost 300 acres of our farmland is used to grow field-corn (sometimes called cow corn) for our herd’s nutrition and production, these high temps are at the forefront of our mind! 🌽☀️🐮

Anaerobic Digester

It’s been HOT this week. 🥵 For our cows, our crops, our workers, it’s been TOO HOT. But SOME like it hot!
Our on-farm anaerobic digester is a system that takes the methane out of cow manure and food waste and turns it into enough electricity to power 1,600 homes! 🔌💡
The digester is a giant tank, filled with that manure and food waste, that acts an awful lot like a stomach. The tank is hot, about 100degreesF, with big turbines to keep the feedstock moving, and microbes to break down the waste and make that methane gas. The methane is captured within the tank (like a fart!💨) and fanned through engines to turn a generator and create that electricity that heads out to the grid. The digester must be kept hot in order for this process to take place. And while 100degree water isn’t scalding, 100degree manure/foodwaste is not our idea of refreshing. On the plus side, this system is contributing to EverSource’s green electricity offerings right here in our community – which means that your air conditioner may be cow-powered if you’re nearby! ⚡️🐮💡🌱

Digester Engine

We’re keeping the series going with more about the digester: Some like it hot!
Our on-farm anaerobic digester is a system that takes the methane out of cow manure and food waste and turns it into enough electricity to power 1,600 homes! 🐮💡🌱
One of the by-products of this process is HEAT 🔥. A heat recovery unit is attached to both of our anaerobic digester’s engines, capturing the 200+degreeF hot water output. We use this hot water to 1) heat our anaerobic digester (it’s like a big stomach and it needs to stay warm!), 2) heat all of the hot water used for cleaning 🧼 the barns and milk room, and 3) heat 8 homes in our neighborhood completely (hot showers after a long day in the barn! 🛁). In the summertime when our homes do not require as much hot water, we heat the farmhouse pool! 🤗


It has been way too hot for way too long 🥵 – we hope our community is staying safe, healthy, and cool. To make a little peace with the heat, we are visiting some of the systems and staples at Barstow’s Longview Farm and Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery that are just better HOT. Because hey, some like it hot!
Here on the farm, we grow 100% of our own forage (cow food 🌽🌱🌾) for our herd of 600 head 🐮 on 450 acres of beautiful Massachusetts farmland. We cut our hay and alfalfa crop 4-5 times per year and the corn once in the fall. We store that feed, cut from the land, in enormous bunker silos. Bunk silos are basically big pickle jars, allowing a fermentation process to happen that locks in the nutritional value of that feed from the moment it is cut, and keeps it fresh and rot-free for our herd.
It is not unusual for this fermentation process to get pretty hot – 10 to 20degreesF above outside temperature when it begins this fermentation process. Which means our feed can get up to temps around 110degreesF 🌡 those first few days of packing! However, that temp begins dropping rapidly after storage. By two months, the temperature of the middle of our silo should be right around ambient temperature or maybe 5-10degreesF hotter than the outside. Proper feed storage and care is essential not only to our animal’s health and nutrition, but also to the quality of the milk our girls produce. You know what they say: good stuff in, good stuff out! ❤️🐮🥛


There’s lots of cool offerings at Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery: ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, picnic salads to go 🍦🥛🍪🫐. But some like it hot!
Year round we make sure to have hot, homemade soup on tap like Barstow’s famous chili made with our own farm raised ground beef! We’ve got tomato cheddar soup (perfection with a grilled cheese topped with Four Rex Farm tomatoes 🍅🧀), New England clam chowder, and usually a soup of the day. Today our homemade soup is: Loaded Baked Potato Soup 😋🥔🥓
If you’re looking for hot stuff on a hot day…. we’ve got hot coffee ☕️ to go with your bacon, egg, and cheese, the Spicy Chicken Wrap for lunch with a side of homemade mac&cheese, and a freezer full of prepared foods best served hot at home for supper! 🥩🥟🌭🍔🍗

Barstow’s Beef

Tomorrow is Burger Night 🍔, 5pm-7pm! Join us for live music, beautiful views, and Barstow’s farm raised beef burgers, hot off the grill! We’ve been talking a lot about this heat lately and how it has got to go! But…some like it hot!
Barstow’s beef is born and raised right here on our family dairy farm. Our beef steers are raised alongside their sisters, eating the same diet of forage grown from our land 🌽☘️🌱🌾. At market age, our steers head to Adam’s Farm in Athol for expert butchering and packaging, frozen immediately to lock in freshness and quality. At Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery you can pick out ground beef, patties, kabobs, short ribs, steaks 🥩, ground beef sausage, and loads of other cuts to bring home for the grill. We also have Blue Seal kielbasa and hot dogs 🌭! When it comes to the grill, yeah, we’re gonna want that hot! 🔥

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