Hemenway Hill Farm Williamsburg, Massachusetts
We're Alan and Terry Everett of Hemenway Hill Farm. We began producing milk in September 1981 in a rented barn in a nearby town. After clearing the site, skidding logs with our oxen, having the logs sawn, and with the help of family and friends, the cows first saw their new barn on Hemenway Rd. in January 1985. Three years later, our family moved into our farmhouse, again constructed with the help of family and friends.
The new farmyard of Hemenway Hill Farm was built on a section of the Everett farmstead. Edwin Everett, Alan’s great-great grandfather, purchased the farm in 1836, marketing fruit to Boston and local markets as well as firewood and logs. Reclaiming unused farmland was our first project as we raised heifer calves for our future dairy business. Currently open land is used for hay and pasture and is still scattered with a few ancient fruit trees that are still productive. Woodlands produce firewood and logs as they always have. Deer, turkeys, bear, coyotes, partridges, rabbits, mink are happy to help themselves to the fruits of our labor.
Our farm is a low input operation, manure and compost are our primary soil amendments. Plowing and seeding crops are out of the question given the abundance of rocks and hillsides. Native grasses are our main forage and we have used rotational pasture since 1985; the cows harvest feed and spread their manure quite well on their own! We rely on purchased grain and buy corn silage in the winter from local farmers to supplement our forages.
As our daughters joined 4H, we accumulated more breeds and now have Holsteins, Jerseys, Ayrshires, and Guernseys, they are quite colorful! Each heifer (female calf) is named in a similar way to her mother, either beginning her name with the same letter, or subject (for instance, Sparkle, Shimmer and Starstruck). Our cow “families” are very important to us!
Now about us: Both Alan and Terry had grandparents who actively farmed: The Clarks and Warners (first settlers in Sunderland); the Beans in Florence, and the Everetts in Williamsburg. We are both university graduates and volunteer (too much), Alan as a volunteer firefighter and leadership roles in County and State Farm Bureau, and Terry with leadership roles in County, State and New England 4H Dairy Programs. We are founding members of New England Farmers Union.
All this would not be possible without the help of Al’s brother, Glen; our 3 daughters: Emily, Rebecca, Faith and her husband, Donnie (and a new grandson, who we hope will “throw hay”), and our night milkers, Warren and Clyde. AND all the loyal consumer support of Our Family Farms, who are partners in making Hemenway Hill Farm a successful business now and in the future.
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