Although the dairy herd is considered the nucleus of the farm, over the years, other types of animals have also become an integral part of the farm organism.
Beef & Heifers
Today we raise about 15 bull calves a year specifically for beef. Cuts from these animals include steaks, stew, roasts (special order) as well as ground beef and stew. We also slaughter about 10 to 15 of our dairy cows each year as they age or if they need to be replaced for some other reason. These dairy cows turned beef animals provide excellent fillet mignon, NY strip, boneless sirloin, ground beef, stew beef, bones and organs. Our beef is sold in the farm store and at our stall at NYC Greenmarkets (Union Square, Inwood and Columbia).
We raise all replacement dairy cows (heifers) and beef steers right on the farm. All the calves are raised on their mothers for 3 to 5 months before being weaned. From there on out, they form their own calf herd until they join the dairy herd or the beef herd.
We raise all our pigs right on the farm with whey from our on-farm cheesemaking. We also feed the pigs left-over food scraps from the Farm Store & Deli, the summer camps, and on-farm learning programs. If you come to visit the farm, feel free to bring old bread, non-citrus fruit (apples are their favorite!), and any kind of greens. If they don’t like it, they won’t eat it! They also eat a small portion of certified-Organic grain(some of it is grown on our farm!)
Each sow raises two litters a year and each litter has 6 to 12 piglets. So, in a given year, we raise approximately 20-30 pigs and about 95% of what they eat is recycled from the farm. We have three sows, Betty, Marge and Shirley. Our boar’s name is Percy.
Pork is available throughout the year at the farm store and the green market. We generally have pork chops, sausage, ground pork, smoked bacon (no sugar), liverwurst (very limited) and beef/pork hotdogs. We also have feet, neck bones (excellent in bean dishes and posole) and ears available in the farm store and through the green market by request.
Chickens are integral to our on-farm learning programs. Children collect and wash the eggs each morning, and enjoy them in meals throughout their stay!
If you’re back by our barns, be sure to stop at the paddock to say hello to Sierra, Sunny, and Daisy, the farm’s horses.
Gentleness, respect, determination, courage and acute attention to another sentient being, listening and leadership are the lessons the horses offer the children as they are first groomed and then led and ridden in the paddock or on the woodland trails. Awed by their beauty, impressed and sometimes fearful of their size and their physical strength, the children approach the horses. They do so under patient guidance from program staff and soon become aware of an inner strength in their own hearts and minds that equals the strength of the horse. With this awareness they are able to swing a leg over the horse’s back and ride… with smiles that outshine the sun.
Sunny, Sierra and Daisy are valued faculty members in our farm based learning programs and we are grateful to have them with us.
The three sheep on the farm – Stella, Luna and Lila – are also a mainstay of our on-farm learning programs. Children feed and otherwise care for them. In addition, the fleece is used in various fiber arts activities throughout the year.FOLLOW USSHARING