Formerly,Bar None Ranch, of Berlin, NY, we are now Climbing Tree Farm, of New Lebanon. We raise PASTURED POULTRY, LAMB, GRASS-FED BEEF, and WOODLAND/PASTURE-RAISED, MILK-FED PORK. We keep our animals true to their instincts- letting our pigs dig, our chickens range, our sheep graze. We feed rotationally graze on pasture and silvo-pasture (in the woods). We work with a local dairy to feed our pigs Jersey milk. We are conscientious stewards of the land, and our animals.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Food that Plays/Playing with Your Food

We’ve all heard parents ask their children not to “play with their food.” At our house one of our goals is to get our kids to play with their food. Well, not at the dinner table, but on the farm. Planting seeds, weeding, harvesting, caring for animals these are all ways that our kids interact with (or “play” with) their food before it’s anywhere near their plates.

Our son "playing with his food."

At our farm we do more than encourage our children to “play with their food,” we encourage our food to play, too The industry standard is to keep pigs inside on concrete floors with very little room to move around and nothing to explore. Pigs are naturally curious and playful animals. At Climbing Tree Farm our pigs live outside, with varied terrain, and natural wonders to explore; like snow, plants, fallen trees, mud, rain, leaves, bugs, squirrels, you name it.
Pig jungle gym. One ove,r two under!

There are infinite reasons why  we raise pigs the way that we do;  like that our meat is significantly more healthy for you than conventional pork, that there is less environmental degradation when pigs are raised in a natural environment in small numbers, that buying locally creates jobs, and that farms keep the countryside green and beautiful. Most of us know these things, but did you know that when given the chance, pigs play? We know we are doing our job well when the pigs are obviously having fun!
It is my opinion that when more people " play" with (or  interact with) their food, few people will choose the industrial status quo, and there will be more food that gets to play.

Curious pigs inspecting the hay sled.

Pig-made tunnel in the root ball of a fallen tree.

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