Friday, May 18, 2012

Hastings Farm in Suffield, Connecticut

Lauren Hastings
Some farms just make it look easy... 

Did you ever notice how some dairy farms are so beautiful, you can't believe anyone actually works there?

Hastings Farm is like that and it appears to be run efficiently by little invisible elves.  Of course, the elves are, in reality, the Hastings family and they have worked very hard for many generations.

Megan and her sister, Lauren are currently taking over the reins from their parents (and it appears that there will be future generations, as well, because Megan has two kids, 12 and 13 and Lauren has three kids, 6, 4 and 6 months).
Lauren's daughter, Samantha in the bo room

They recently re-did their website with all the information you might want about their farm and their products and a very active Facebook page, as well.  Megan Hastings told us,

"About 12 years ago someone gave me a 30 Minute Mozzarella Kit because we had a dairy farm and thought I could use it.  That's how it all started......  In August (2011) we began bottling our own milk and making yogurt.  Cheese has been a little bit of a transition - my minimum batch is 20 gallons!" 

We asked Megan what her future cheese plans were and she answered,

"This is a bad question to ask me, I want to make them all.  I love cheese!!!  Yogurt!!!  Ice cream!!!  Basically, I love all dairy products except milk, I don't drink it but I love anything made from it.  Next will probably be Feta and I want to start having fresh Mozzarella on the weekends.  Greek yogurt is my best seller and in the last 6 days I have used 90 gallons of milk for yogurt. AHHHH scary good!"

The pasteurizer was delivered before the make room was finished.
The Hastings Farm is fairly large, by New England standards.  They have 270 acres of land and over 300 cows, plus a small herd of beef cows.

In their popular farm store, they sell cream-top milk (un-homogenized) plain and flavored, yogurt (plain and Greek-style in several different flavors), yogurt dips (four flavors) and at least six different flavors of soft cheese (with more to come).

The Hastings also sell a wide variety of Cabot cheeses and butter.  You can buy all this at their farm store, plus all different cuts of beef, dog bones, organic free-range eggs, honey, maple syrup, jams & jellies, pickles, goat's milk soap & lotions and hand knitted items.  You will also find them at the farmer's markets in Suffield and East Granby.

If you bring any type of group, their farm tours are very well organized.  They provide activities including:

Butter making
Ice cream making
Feeding the cows or calves
Craft projects
Pumpkin painting (fall)
Cows make more than milk (an interesting look at other things cows make)
Good clean fun (soap making)
Nature walk
Hay rides (call for availability, weather permitting)

There are take-away packets and all the barns are handicapped accessible. They will even help Scout groups earn their badges!

The first chicken born

It all looks easy, but it should be noted that this is a New England farm, so there is the "other" season:

Hastings Farm
472 Hill Street, Suffield, CT 06078
1 mile from the turn off Mountain Road (Route 168)
(860) 668-7524

Store open daily 8:00am-6:30pm!/HastingFarm


shannon i olson said...

amazing place! If it were closer to me I would tour for sure.

Monday's Child said...

Oh I wished I lived closer. It's beautiful!