Author: Brian and Nissa

Craft Beer Fest

Last night, we attended the American Craft Beer Fest at the Seaport World Trade Center, co-produced by the folks at Harpoon Brewery and Beer Advocate.  We met several local brewers, including Rob at Peak Brewery, Gwen at Berkshire Brewing Company and her brother Dave over at Gardner Ale House.  We also chatted with the folks at Pioneer, Mayflower and Wachusett.  And were entertained by the fellow pulling Wormtown Brews (the Blonde Cougar is excellent and very interesting).  We tasted a little from each brewery, making notes about what would taste nice with each brew.

We also chatted about local availability of hops.  They are in short supply.  And not just locally, but everywhere and for just about everyone, including home-brewers.  But we knew that, and that’s why we went to the Fest.  Just about everyone we were able to speak with confirmed what we suspected, which is that we would have a market for whatever we are able to produce.  Quality local hops, grown holistically (organic goes without saying), are in demand.  We heard that the folks at Four Star Farms in Northfield are expanding their hop yard to twice its size.

Planning for hops yards has already started at our kitchen table.  All that we need now are the funds and some more man-power to raise the poles and get the plants in the ground.

In the meantime, we’re looking forward to visiting the L’Etoile family at Four Star Farms, and the breweries we talked to last night.  Cheers!

CSA Applications due in January

2012 CSA applications are due back with your 10% deposit in January.  This ensures that we will have enough seed and livestock to supply your family for the year.  We have standard credit-based shares (full and half) as well as Free Range shares available.  All shares are whole farm, free choice, and year-round!

To download your application, click here (opens in a new window), print, sign and return with your deposit in January.  Your balance is due in April for standard shares.  Weekly payments for Free Range shares begin in April/May.

*New Free Range shares are a weekly pay-as-you-go and all-you-can-eat share.  All we ask is that you take only what your family can eat in a week.  If your family is larger than seven (two adults and five children), please contact us to customize your share. A deposit of $480 and weekly payments of $120 throughout the year (52 weeks) beginning in April/May. 



Layaway Your 2012 Share Now

Times are tough for families –  they’re tough for ours, too.  We think we’ve found a way that we can help each other out.

We are going to allow anyone interested in a share or shares to layaway.  Return a deposit of $100 with your application now, and pay weekly or monthly right through until April 2012 when the balance will be due.

We get your commitment to support our family farm; and you get your choice of wholesome foods from our farm for your family  – at a two-fold rate of return on your investment [a full share from Renaissance Farms works out to $30/week, and gives you at least $60/week in farm fresh products, year-round, free-choice ].

Farmshare Applications and Shareholders Terms are available now on our website.  To reserve your share, please click, print, sign and return with your payment to our farm.

Time to reserve your share for 2012

Whole farm shares include your choice of meats, eggs, and vegetables.

We have recently discovered that with most CSAs, shareholders pay the equivalent of approximately $30/week for their share and receive $30/week worth of food.  Our CSA offers twice the value.  For $30/week, you receive about $60/week worth of food, free choice, year round.  You are our partner, you should see a good return on your investment.  That seems fair.

Farmshare Applications and Shareholders Terms are available.  To reserve your share, please click, print, sign and return with your payment to the farm.

Signed, sealed, and delivered

We officially closed on our farm in Barre last Monday afternoon!  Now the work of restoration begins.


The contractor will be getting started the week of 23rd May.  In the meantime, we will be pulling down the lath and plaster walls and doing general clean-up.

We need help with renovations – pulling down walls, cataloging original millwork, cleaning and restoring fixtures, refinishing and laying floors.  We also need help with outdoor clean-up including tree and brush cutting,  barn clean-up (to prepare for the larger animals), and fence-building.  We are taking cuttings of lilacs and hydrangeas and potting them up, which is a big job.

We will begin harvesting some of the wild bounty available on the farm as well.

Chickens, turkeys and geese will begin arriving in two or three weeks.  The first round of Oberhasli goats and Hereford hogs will arrive at around the same time.  We are waiting to hear about the sheep, too.  

Please come to the farm for a hike!  We’d love to show you around.

Happy News!

We heard this morning the wonderful news that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has approved our purchase of a beautiful farm in Barre, MA.  We should be closing some time in April and are looking forward to welcoming you all out to the farm this summer!

There is much to do to prepare, many projects to plan for on the farm.  We’ll post details of those soon.

In the meantime, we would appreciate your prayers for the sellers as they move on to what we hope will be a wonderful new chapter.  We are so grateful to them for hanging in there with us through this long, long process.