Infusing Young Farmers
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Jersey Milk Cows on pasture

I finally found time to tour CreamBrook Farm  in Swoope.  Kristen and Ben Biechler, founders of Creambrookfarm, are former Polyface apprentices and their farm is just over the hill from Polyface. Wise choice since they process their freedom ranger meat birds at Polyface. That’s an easy transit. This beautiful  “spring”  fed farm is a perfect beginning for this young eager couple.

“Faith”, (with Kristen)Heifer calf born in Spring 2011

Kristen grew up on a small dairy farm in Northern Virginia and Ben had a dairy cow when he lived  at Buxton several years ago.What I really appreciate about their farm is how passionate they feel about their 100% pasture raised  Jersey  Dairy Cows. That includes the commitment to milk them twice a day!  Isn’t it wonderful when we can allow our income to come from  doing what we love?  And for the Biechler’s, milking their small dairy herd of four and then delivering this wonderful healthy product to appreciative customers is just the beginning of their dreams.

Yes, I said delivered!  Imagine the luxury of coming home to find delicious raw milk waiting for you in your very own fridge. One less errand to race to, right? They are the only farmers in the area who provide this delivery service. With 43 current shares they intend to grow well over 100 shares.

sweeties

Fortunately for them they are able to lease enough land to satisfy their yearning as new  farmers. In less than a year they have discovered a number of new realizations. First, they realize they didn’t care for farrowing (birthing) pigs up the mountain a few miles from their home. Being unable to track predator interruptions and spending gas and money getting to that property was taxing for them. So they quickly fizzled out their pig set up, sold the piglets to Polyface  and moved the remaining piglets to the barnyard next to their rustic farmhouse. This way, the piglets gain weight drinking all the extra raw milk from their  dairy cows and are supplemented  with grain and corn. Isn’t it wonderful they had the courage to give the idea of farrowing on the mountain a try? This is also why it’s important to start small!

Home sweet Home

In the future they will return to pigs but  for now their focus remains clear. They want their income to begin flowing through their herd shares and poultry. When I visited they had 4 jersey milk cows with 2 more scheduled to arrive the following week.

freedom rangers almost ready for the feathernet

 

Freedom Rangers are a beautiful delicious  meat bird. They’re  ready to process at 10 weeks instead of 8 weeks like cornish cross birds  so there is a longer feed input than broilers. But there’s interest from chefs/restaurants for freedom rangers. The Biechler’s raise 1500 freedom rangers and since they’re in the Polyface loop they know who to hire to get the job done.

1947 restored tractor

Polyface purchases the freedom rangers along with Kristen’s  family farm, oldchurchcreamery.com  in northern Virginia.  Clearly, this eager young couple are off to a great start finding their marketing niche.

Creambrook Farm Stewards, Ben and Kristen

To learn more about this hardworking, soft spirited beautiful couple, you can visit creambrookfarm.com. In my short visit I learned so much about their commitment  to farming,  and I deeply  appreciate their vision. They’re simply  irresistible!

 

 

 

 

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About Grace

Grace and her husband Michael manage Buxton a Polyface satellite farm. Her first passion is to align with radiant health. She knows intimately that when you have your health you can do anything. Next, her passion for vibrant healthy food and beautiful landscapes along with her interest in permaculture influenced Grace's decision to align with the Polyface farming model. With 20 years of experience in the healing arts, she feels growing food and pasture raising animals is one of the greatest healers and a true source of personal empowerment. It's been said, "if you're not living on the edge your taking up too much space." Grace lives joyfully on the "leading edge" surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the appalachian mountains where her and Michael steward 1000 acres with profound appreciation."
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6 Responses to Infusing Young Farmers

  1. daisyglitters says:

    Wow! How inspiring! I love this, Grace. Thanks for sharing what’s out there with us! What a cool idea to have milk delivered. We have to drive 90 minutes (one way) to get ours. It would save an entire half day every week! Kudos to this cool farm!

  2. Cyndi Lewis says:

    I love reading about and discovering new farms and farmers. And ohhh how I wish you all were closer so I could visit and purchase from all these lovely Virginia farms! I haven’t had time to investigate the local area much since we moved but I hope I find some good farmers and farms and to be one myself!

  3. Mandy says:

    We buy milk from Kristen and Ben each week and love it! It’s so nice to chat with Kristen each week and having milk delivered to your door is a very nice luxury.

  4. Nice profile…didn’t they just get married last year? I seem to remember something about it right here at the Henhouse…
    And I agree, starting small with the pigs meant that it wasn’t a huge loss to phase out of that project. Thanks for sharing their story!

  5. Leilani says:

    I have never regretted starting small in any new animal husbandry project. It does make the learning curve much less painful. Great farm profile!