We are very proud to congratulate Animal Welfare Approved farmer, Bill Stuart, Jr. of Stuart Family Farm in Bridgewater, CT who has been selected to maintain Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT. Happy Landings is made up of nearly 50 acres of farmland that, according to both Stuart and the Brookfield Conservation Commission, has not been very well taken care of in recent years. Stuart said in order to “get it back in farm shape” he’ll have to get the native grasses back, eliminate the weeds that have overtaken the land and add quite a bit of lime to the soil in order to neutralize its high acidity.
The land’s sole use will be for hay making. Bill is very excited about the opportunity to become the steward of the property because he says, “it will be a huge benefit to the local community. It’s going to be a completely sustainable local food system.” Stuart Family Farm already feeds 250-300 Connecticut families and many of them are living in Brookfield.
Bill wants to increase his farm’s herd in order to meet the demand of consumers wanting Animal Welfare Approved grass fed beef. In order to increase the herd, Bill knew they would have to feed the cattle hay in the winter months, but he is committed to doing all of this locally (Brookfield and Bridgewater are only 8 miles apart, very low on food mileage). Haying in Brookfield makes this possible while at the same time preserving and restoring local farmland. As Bill put it, “It’s a very good deal when you talk about local sustainable agriculture…The only energy we’ll be using is solar energy from the grass and the equipment to harvest the hay.”