Savage River Farm growing in the heart of the Savage Mountain!
Written by: Clare B.
Edited by: Lisa Blubaugh
Photos: Joe Hoffman
Savage River Farm offers, a market style co-op, in which members can shop at the farm once a week. The co-op is an all diet free choice market.They also offers a work share, where individuals can exchange work on the farm, in exchange for food. I am lucky enough to participate in this program. Once a week, I work on the farm, and once a week I leave with an abundance of farm food.
Many of the workers at Savage River Farms agree that the land is a magical place. When working in the fields, I am surrounded by the sounds of chickens clucking and pigs snorting, and I am always within earshot of Ben Yoder’s contagious laugh.
In a green pasture on the hill reside cows, chickens, rabbits, sheep, and goats. Each kind of animal gets rotated through these fields. The happy cows go first to eat taller grass, then the sheep and goats get their turn. Lastly, the chickens are rotated into the pasture. This sustainable farming practice is referred to as rotational grazing. This method allows for certain fertilization of fields, while other pastures are allowed to rest and revitalize.
At the heart of the farm is a red tin roofed farm house, where Hana prepares meals for the farm interns and bakes her delicious granola, which can be found at the Allegany Farmers Markets. Surrounding the farmhouse are luscious fields filled with tomatoes, okra, kale, collard greens, herbs,lettuce,peppers and so much more!
The wooden barn is home to the co-op, and the lower barn level houses farm animals, such as kittens and piglets, Toddy the boar, and John Adams (a beloved goat). All animals have access to roam in open pastures with lush grass and sunshine.
My most beloved farm animal are the pigs, which are also rotated through fields so they have access to fresh grass. On a hot summer day, I was tasked with watering the pigs. As I was standing, filling water bowls, the pigs would emerge from the shelter and allow me to refresh them with sprays from the garden hose. Their faces held happy expressions, and their tails wiggled as they took a break from the hot summer sun. At this moment, I began to feel the connection between the animals, the plants, and the people on this farm. As Hana and Ben state,”We allow our animals to express their true nature in the outdoors and provide them access to high-quality, minimally-processed feed including forage, garden veggies, whey, and grain.”
With every bite of Savage River Farms food, it is easy to taste the passion, knowledge, and hard work that went into producing their wholesome harvests.
To learn more about Savage River Farms please visit their website at Savageriverfarm.com or follow them on Facebook @SavageRiverFarm.
You can also find Savage River Farm at Allegany Markets:
Downtown Cumberland Thursdays 9:30 am - 1pm
Frostburg City Place Friday 9:00 am - 1 am