The Stearns family knows good milk. They have been producing and bottling the freshest, highest-quality milk on their farm in Northeastern Connecticut for more than 140 years.
Brothers Jim and David Stearns, sixth-generation dairy farmers, oversee the Mountain Dairy Creamery. Along with its own herd, mainly Holsteins and a few Jerseys, Mountain Dairy processes milk for three other small neighboring farms. They grow their own hay and corn for feed and recycle their cows’ manure — using it to replenish nutrients in the soil. They never give their cows artificial growth hormones or preventive antibiotics.
Five Acre Farms is proud to partner with farmers in the Northeast who use sustainable practices and adhere to higher standards for animal treatment, preserving farmland and protecting groundwater. To learn more about Mountain Dairy, visit mountaindairy.com.
Champlain Orchards, Shoreham, Vermont
Bill Suhr and Andrea Scott (and their young son Rupert) grow the apples used to make Five Acre Farms Local Apple Cider. They cultivate more than 50 apple varieties in their 130-acre orchard on the shores of Lake Champlain, where rich glacial soils and the northern climate make their apples particularly flavorful.
In everything they do, Bill and Andrea place a premium on growing practices that have a minimal impact on the environment, sharing Five Acre Farms’ dedication to preserving farmland and protecting groundwater. They follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) guidelines, the leading approach to managing pests while minimizing environmental impacts. They actively monitor their trees year-round to reduce the use of pesticides while relying more on non-synthetic fertilizers. They’re experimenting with organic apples in three orchard blocks, using disease-resistant strains developed by land-grant schools. To reduce their carbon footprint, they’re installing two fields of solar panels to meet the farm’s electrical energy needs.
Champlain Orchards is the oldest continuously operating orchard in Vermont. Five Acre Farms is committed to continuing this tradition. To learn more, visit champlainorchards.com.
Maple Meadow Farm produces Five Acre Farms Local Eggs from content, cage free hens. Established in 1946, Maple Meadow is a small egg farm owned and run by George and Jackie Devoid and their family. They are hands-on managers who put their hens first.
George and Jackie, second-generation farmers, along with their children Jen and Niles and members of their extended family, treat their hens with extra special care. They feed their flock of Rhode Island Reds ground oyster shells for extra calcium to produce stronger shells and healthier eggs. They never give their hens any hormones or preventive antibiotics.
The Devoids are particularly proud of their state-of-the-art cage free barn. Here, the hens have free run of the climate-controlled barn with comfortable nesting boxes that are dimly lit to create an inviting, stress-free environment for laying eggs. All of Maple Meadow’s facilities surpass strict rules for cleanliness and food safety.
The Devoids and Five Acre Farms share an understanding of the value of careful animal husbandry and the importance of investing in systems that produce clean, fresh food. Five Acre Farms is committed to seeing the third generation.
To learn more about the Devoids, visit maplemeadowfarmeggs.com.
Samascott Orchards, Kinderhook, New York
In identifying the best apple growers in the Northeast, our first stop was Samascott Orchards, which supplied the apples for the first runs of Five Acre Farms Local Apple Sauce and Local Apple Juice. The Samascott family has been farming since the 1900′s and perfecting apples since the 1940′s.
Today Bryan and Jake, 4th generation farmers, along with their siblings and cousins, tend to 100 fertile acres of apple trees and grow 60 varieties, picked when they are perfectly ripe. Continually improving their selection, they plant new and heirloom varieties to produce the most flavorful, best-tasting apples. Each year they replace about five percent of their trees, selecting new varieties based mainly on taste. Five Acre Farms partners with farmers whose sustainable practices help preserve farmland and protect groundwater. The Samascotts monitor their orchards closely and use a number of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices. They grow disease-resistant varieties to reduce the need for spraying and prune frequently to ensure that their trees get plenty of sunlight to thwart pests and disease. When they turn over an orchard block, they use the old trees to heat their greenhouses, and they grow pumpkins or strawberries for several years to recondition the soil.
To learn more about Samascott Orchards, visit samascott.com.
Meet Don and Seth McEachron, fourth-and fifth-generation farmers who are the proprietors of Battenkill Valley Creamery in Salem, New York. In 2010, Seth and Don won Cornell’s top prize for milk for being the highest quality, freshest and best-tasting milk in New York State.
The McEachron family has been dairy farming in the Battenkill Valley region of upstate New York for more than a century. Seth’s great-great grandfather began milking cows in 1902, and his grandfather moved the farm to its current location in 1945. Since then, the farm has grown steadily from 12 cows to a herd of 350 cows today.
Five Acre Farms partners with dairy farmers in the Northeast who adhere to sustainable farming practices, meaning that they have higher standards around animal treatment, preserving farmland and protecting groundwater.
Seth and Don grow their own feed and recycle manure to use as fertilizer. They use a mixed breed herd – made up of Holsteins, Jerseys and Holstein-Jersey crossbreeds – for higher calcium counts.
To learn more about Seth and Don, visit battenkillcreamery.com.