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The Farm

We host our programs on 10 acres of farm fields, orchards, and pasture in Falls Village, Connecticut- unceded Mahican land. 

 

FARMING PRACTICES

The abundance and health of our harvests are interdependent with the abundance and health of the many diverse species on Beebe Hill; from the billions of microbes in the soil to the red tailed hawks overhead. We farm for soil health, for carbon storage in the ground, for beneficial insects, for nutrient density in the crops, and with reverence for the wisdom of our Jewish ancestors, the Mahican on whose unceded land we farm, and all of the brilliant contemporary and historical farmers who have developed climate smart farming methods.

We are certified organic, which is a legal definition proving that we use zero manufactured chemicals or fertilizers. We also go beyond the requirements of certification with practices that include low-till and no-till bed prep, crop rotation, cover cropping, on-farm composting, drip irrigation, maintaining habitat for pollinators, rotational grazing, and growing a diverse mix of perennials and annuals.

We are enrolled in the USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program and have completed multiple conservation projects with the National Resource Conservation Service and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project.

All produce from our three acre vegetable farm feeds our local community via the retreat center kitchen here at Isabella Freedman, Falls Village CSA members, local food pantries and other emergency food distribution programs, and value added product sales.

 

HOW TO ENJOY YOUR SHARE OF THE HARVEST

– Join our CSA to pick up a fresh box of produce each week June-November. Pricing is on a sliding scale and options for every week or every other week pick up are available

– Sign up for a retreat at Isabella Freedman to eat farm fresh food in our dining room.

– Shop for our value added products at Calf and Clover Creamery farm stand in Cornwall, the Berkshire Food Co-op in Great Barrington, Freund’s Farm Market in East Canaan, or Q Farms in Sharon. If you would like to make a bulk order of sauerkraut, let us know!

– We bring produce to several local emergency food distribution sites including the Friendly Hands Food Pantry in Torrington, the Falls Village Senior Center, the Corner Food Pantry in Lakeville, Tuscan Brotherhood Homes in Hartford, and St. Elizabeth House in Hartford. Be in touch if your hunger relief institution would like to pick up fresh produce from our farm.

 

FOOD ACCESS

Everyone has a right to fresh healthy food but wealth inequality often makes freshness inaccessible to families struggling to pay bills. Food pantries are in desperate need of fresh produce donations.

Help us in our mission to increase food security in our region by donating to our Food Access Fund

 

BEYOND FRESH PRODUCE

VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS: Each season, we preserve some of the harvest in our commercial kitchen. We use the ancient art of lacto fermentation- a pickling method that simply uses salt. Our certified organic sauerkraut is alive and probiotic. Our organic jams are made in small-batches to preserve the quality and flavor of the fruit. We also make syrup from the beloved maple trees that line the roads along the farm.

BEDDING PLANTS: Stay tuned for bedding plant sales from our propagation greenhouse coming soon to a northwest Connecticut nursery near you!

EDUCATIONAL DAIRY: Our herd of 6 dairy goats is used to teach cheesemaking and feed the Isabella Freedman community. (We used to run a commercial goat dairy.) We do educational kosher slaughter-Shechitah and make parchment (klaf) from goat skins.

HOMEMADE COMPOST FOR OUR FIELDS: Each day, we compost over 100 pounds of food scraps from the retreat center dining hall. Our compost pile feeds our flock of 50 laying hens and is used to feed the soil on our vegetable farm.

PERENNIAL PLANTINGS: We maintain a diverse landscape of plants that reach deep into the soil and hold it in place each year. We grow blueberries, currants, and raspberries for making into jam and smaller plantings (just for educational purposes and ecosystem services) of strawberries, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hardy kiwi, grapes, echinacea, solidago, yarrow, gooseberries, fruit trees, elderberry, aronia berry, sugar maples, choke cherry, and more.