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.
Please visit our website climbingtreefarm.com
or contact us with questions or to place orders.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
|Well, hello there!|
We interfere with sows and their babies as little as possible-
believing that bonding is important and that the mama pigs
know how to raise their babies better than we could do it ourselves.
Unfortunately, our hands off approach means that we don't
get to snuggle the piglets as much as we would like.
(It's really hard to keep our hands off the little guys!)
Piglets are usually shy, and skittish, which is why we don't have many
pictures of them.
|This litter is unusually friendly-|
I took advantage and spent some time with them today,
soaking up some cuteness.
|Never too young to forage.|
|Those dangly things are "wattles-" which are found only in Red Wattle hogs. |
Red Wattle is a rare, heritage breed with a mysterious origin-
more on Wattles another time.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Before we had children we had a mental picture of how we would raise our future children. They would be inquisitive, and be shown the world. They would know nature, and be wild. They would eat well, and know their food. They would calmly and quietly fit into our life, and we would live with our children by our side. They would be loved, and feel happy.
It isn't quite as simple as this. Maybe someone tried to tell us, but we didn't hear. Parenting is difficult and it's full-time. So is farming. In many ways the work we do with our children is mirrored on our farm (though we never, ever have let a piglet who's having a nightmare climb into bed with us in the middle of the night, and I very much doubt that we ever will).
As a farming mother (who is pretty tied to this particular piece of the planet that we call our farm) I often wish I could show my kids more of the world- the part that isn't on our farm (or within a couple hour's drive). I wish they were slightly less wild- especially when I'm trying to make phone calls. These kids really know where food comes from, but I wish they were as excited about the first green beans of the season as they are about cookies. I wish they were quieter and calmer- so that I could (once in a while) complete a thought without interruption. I wish a lot of things (loving them all the while- while I slowly go insane).
Sometimes it feels like all we do is take care of animals, and soil microbes, and little people. It's overwhelming and exhausting. Recently we were trying to come up with metaphors for our life. I described the incessant noise, and motion, and care taking, and deal-making as feeling like I'm inside a rock tumbler. My mother thought it seemed like we live in a discotheque, with lots of strobe lights. From inside the discotheque- rock tumbler it feels as though we're doing everything wrong.
BUT...then miracle of miracles: I look back at the pictures I've taken in the last couple of weeks. It happens every time I upload pictures from my camera- I see that our life is exactly how it should be (though VERY loud). Our kids have found an entire universe to explore on our hillside. Our two year old can find and identify a Black Trumpet Mushroom, our seven year old literally swings on vines like Tarzan. They are perfectly wild and know nature like few adults do. They squeal and chant "yummy, yummy, yummy" when we pick up a whole, dead pig from the slaughterhouse (for delivery)- they know where food comes from in a way many adults do not. We are living with our rambunctious, LOUD children by our sides. The calm and quiet part- that's never going to happen, but (as long as we don't have a stroke from over stimulation) they have a lot of interesting things to say. They are loved, and my greatest wish (more than for quiet or calm) is that they know it.
Here are some pictures of our wild children. You can't hear the shrieking and bickering so you'll probably think we're living a quaint, simple life.
Friday, June 27, 2014
|We had a fabulous visit with about 25 kids from Mountain Road School. |
The kids were excited to learn, and were gentle with the animals.
|You don't often hear of a group of 25 kids that are all willing to try pork rinds,|
smoked sausages, and head cheese. Way to go Mountain Road School!
|Here the kids are checking out some piglets- they were surprised that|
we don't have a big red barn, pink pigs, or lots of mud.
|Super proud to say that not one kid was zapped by the electric fence! Phew!|
|This section of pig fence is part field, part woods. |
These guys like to come out and sun themselves in the field.
They thrive when they have a varied diet- in this case, from field, forest and dairy.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
|Young Mulefoot gilt. (gilt= young, un-bred girl pig)|
|Young breeding group on field/forest. |
We keep breeding groups small, and with similarly sized pigs.
|This section of fence was last used about six months ago- |
with rest the vegetation comes back quite well. At this time last year the hillside these pigs
are standing on was covered in six foot tall, super-invasive multi-flora rose bushes. Yay pigs!
|This fence is about an acre in size, roughly half field/half woods. |
Five breeders will stay in this space for around a week or two
depending upon the condition of the ground and forage.
|Meat chickens resting in a shelter made from a (very clean!) used septic tank.|
|Sheep: curious about the grain bucket I was carrying.|
|Sheep: so curious about the grain bucket I was carrying that one|
got a bucket stuck on her head.