After viewing the documentary Food Inc. we learned much about the industrialized food system we didn’t know and didn’t like. With the large-scale animal confinement operations that dominate the food industry today, our society had gotten so far from what is natural and normal. Herbivores should graze pasture, chickens should scratch to uncover bugs and eat grass, and pigs should root and turn up the soil in search for food. It is these natural behaviors that play a critical role in soil, animal health, our environment, and ultimately in the food we eat.
We realized that real change in the food system would have to take place at the grass roots level. So with no experience in farming, but driven by a desire to make a difference within our own community we decided to start a farm. After much reading and research, and visits to other sustainably run farms, we decided to put our knowledge to practice and start farming. We rented some farmland and bought some sheep and began our journey. Since that time we have been challenged with the realities of farming that no book can prepare you for, but with perseverance, our farm has grown to the diversified operation we had first envisioned, built with the support of the wonderful community that has encouraged us every step of the way.
Our two children have been on this journey with us, hence the name 8 Hands Farm. They are as much an impetus for us as is our desire to farm. What more of a real, hands on experience could we offer them as parents? They have been an instrumental part of our operation and we could not have done this without them. Not all of the journey has been glorious and they’ve seen plenty of
failure as we taught ourselves to farm and build a business, but they have learned valuable lessons about hard work, success and struggle. We feel blessed to be able to do this with them.
We have since purchased a 28 acre farm in Cutchogue on the scenic North Fork of Long Island. We are guided by our desire to connect our customers to their food by allowing them to know us, their farmers, and ultimately understand how their food is raised and grown. Our heritage sheep, pigs and chickens are raised on pasture, and we employ organic practices in our vegetable and herb gardens. At our on-site farm store and butcher shop you can purchase our
pasture raised and grass fed meats, pastured eggs, produce, and fiber products from our flock of Icelandic sheep.