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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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thanksgiving in July

On farms Thanksgiving often begins mid-July when turkey poults arrive .  (Baby turkeys are called poults). When they are first hatched the poults are kept in a brooder, which is a warm, secure box that helps them stay warm, dry and safe. In about two to three weeks the poults will be ready to go out onto pasture to roam and eat grass. By Mid-November our turkeys will be between 12 and 25 lbs. and ready to be enjoyed at Thanksgiving dinner.

One day old baby turkey poults arrive in the mail!
 (Our baby birds are hatched a couple of hours away so their journey is very short, but it is common for chicks and other baby birds to travel up to 3 days in the mail. This is possible because baby birds continue to absorb yolk for three days after they hatch).

This year we are brooding the turkeys in our tipi.

Turkeys kissing.

Kissing turkeys.

Our kids LOVE playing with the baby animals.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pigs, Glorious Pigs!

Sometimes the sows look more like hippopotamuses than pigs.

Yum, the pigs' grain is good enough to eat!

A favorite activity while his parents do chores- fence post javelin.

Old Spot/Berkshire cross.
Notice the shale (rock) on the ground.
We are working to build up top soil on our leased land by "fertilizing" with our animals.

Enjoying evening chores as a family.

Piggies again!

Pictures, as promised, of Mary Jane and her new litter of eleven piglets.

This is where Mary Jane made her nest! It's a GIANT (far bigger than our car) Multi Flora Rose bush. Nice and cool, excellent view, great preditor protection, but darn hard to catch a piglet, if one needs to be caught.

One day old. Check out their ears- they're folded back away from their faces. In a couple of weeks their ears will flop forward over their eyes, I assume they start pinned back like that to make breast-feeding easier, and then they flop forward to be used as eye protection during foraging and as sun shades. Floppy ears are a characteristic of the Large Black, which is a heritage breed that we love. These piglets are a Large Black/Duroc cross.  

Visiting Dogs

Four beautiful, brilliant, athletic, hard-working, gentle Boarder Collies have been coming to visit. The dogs, Rhos, Tarr, Ben and Skye, work as professional goose chasers at Wild Goose Chase NE, a local business who does just that- chases geese (off of beaches, golf courses, etc). The dogs, and their people, are getting aquainted with our sheep in hopes that the dogs will be able to help us to move the sheep from one pasture to another. Boarder Collies have an inborn ability to herd, and helping us move sheep helps them stay fit and mentally alert.
(A win/win situation, the dogs get their herding fix and our sheep get fresh pasture!).
Today the dogs herded the sheep to a particularly delicious section of the field and kept them there while Colby moved their fence for the day, then they herded them back in to the new, fresh section of fence. Our goal is to have the dogs herd the sheep a mile and a half from our field to our leased field (down our dirt road and through the forest).
Learn more about our friends from Wild Goose Chase NE on facebook.

Working together!

Mulefoot Hogs

Meet our newest breed of heritage pigs: Mulefoot Hogs. With only around 300 breeding Mulefoot hogs in the USA, this breed is highly endangered. Mulefoot hogs are closely related to wild pigs. We have found them to be excellent foragers, very self sufficient, yet friendly and sweet. Two of our Mulefoots' siblings live at the Queens Zoo in NYC as part of their heritage breed exhibit.  According to Florence Fabricant of the New York Times, heritage pork is "darker, more heavily marbled with fat, juicier and richer-tasting than most pork, and perfect for grilling."

The breed gets its name from its unusual hoof-
which is not cloven, like a normal porcine hoof, but looks more like a mules foot.
If only these pigs were ruminents (animals that chew cud-  like cows and sheep), they might pass as Kosher pork!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Piglet pictures as promised......
12 squirmy little guys born outside during a week of torrential rain.
 Healthy, curious, wiggly, and perfectly piglet-y!

Yum! Milk!

Mama Tina teaching her month old piglet to root.
She noses up some roots and the babies eat them out of the hole she makes.

Piglets drinking milk.

Pig drinking milk.

Tina, our mother pig, has been so wonderful that we brought her mother, half-sister, and aunt to our farm.
We will have many, many more beautiful piglets in the coming years.

Yippee! Mary Jane is expecting piglets....more piglets SOON!

Loving summer evenings checking for piggies! Good way to end our long days.