As we farm biodynamically, we try as much as possible to close the cycle of fertility on Remembrance Farm. Cows, sheep, chickens, ducks and pigs play a crucial role in that cycle, transforming grain and pasture into food for the vegetable crops at the center of our rotation. The meat, milk, eggs, and fiber they produce are delicious and wonderful by-products of the fundamental synergy of crops and animals on the farm.
Elexis Vesely and Ken Smalt manage all of our animal enterprises. Elexis joined Remembrance Farm in 2015. An accomplished artist and educator, she has brought magical energy to our farm, tending animals we know next-to-nothing about, beautifying our herb and flower gardens, protecting the crops with her two statuesque polar-bear-dogs, transforming our farm office into an art installation, and engaging our children on the farm with boundless energy.
We have a cow herd of about 30 head, a mix of Kerry, Devon, and other heritage breeds. These breeds are bred for both dairy and meat uses; we operate a raw milk CSA and a yogurt CSA. The cattle are also prized for their ability to turn pasture into fertilizer, the beauty they add to our farmscape, the farm chores they supply for our children, and the grounded energy they bring to our whole farm cycle.
Our herd of Icelandic sheep increases every year, as does Elexis's knowledge about harvesting their fiber. We look forward to collaborating further with Sarah Gotowka of Luna Fiber Studio in Trumansburg, who currently grows her dye plants on our farm.