We didn't start out as farmers — we started out as good eaters. Juicy heirloom tomatoes, fresh salad greens, spicy basil, sweet and crunchy carrots — these are the vegetables that first lured us into gardening. It was a big garden, and a few fruit trees and raspberry canes - enough for us and some friends. We were producing nearly all our own food, with one glaring exception. Yogurt. We were eating nearly four quarts of yogurt a week, and the grocery bill was adding up. So we did what any sensible consumer would do in that situation. We bought three dairy cows.
Today, Sidehill Farm has grown into 225 acres of certifed organic pastures and hayfields, woodlands, and big sky, with a herd of nearly 80 grass-fed Normande and Jersey cows that produce delicious raw milk, yogurt, and grass-fed beef. Our cows eat certified organic pasture in the spring, summer, and fall, and organic hay and baleage (those giant marshmallow bales) in winter. Our vegetable fields and greenhouses are taking a rest for a few years while we focus on the dairy and yogurt making, but we hope to bring them back in the future.
Farming on this small scale permits us to focus on health — not just of our customers and cows, but of our soils, our crops, the local working rural landscape, and the robust biological and human community within which we all thrive. It also allows us to build good relationships with our customers, many of whom we know by name from farmers' markets and visits to the farm. We like to think that explains why we have been blessed with sweet stories of kids hugging jugs of their favorite milk, parents proudly showing off babies they claim must consist of at least 75% Sidehill Farm Yogurt, and anonymous handwritten notes left in the farm shop, thanking us for the opportunity to eat not only local and organic, but more deliciously than they ever imagined.