Written by Paul on November 22nd, 2015
Members from The Move and Urban Farm Institute made the trek from Boston out to Southborough to help move the cows to their winter quarters at 61 Breakneck hill Rd and then stayed to help take down fencing. Both organizations help to train young people to grow and connect with their food and live healthier lives. We hope this relationship will continue after the Belted Galloways are gone. Breakneck Hill Farm will continue to expand its capacity to produce food on my 2.5 acres using ecologically resilient permaculture systems.
Written by Paul on November 14th, 2015
The Cow Fund decided to make Nov 22 the last day on the pasture. We’ll be moving the cows and taking down some of the fencing. Come join us. We’ll be joined by The Move and the Urban Farming Institute,
The Cow Fund would like to give huge thanks to Kendall Sweeney who produced this beautiful video along with being a senior at Algonquin Regional HS and producing many of the senior pictures for her class is also captain of the (as far as I know) undefeated girls soccer team. She will continue to be involved as I concentrate on developing a permaculture farm at Breakneck Hill Farm (across from the conservation land).
Please feel free to stop by and see how this project is progressing.
Written by Paul on October 20th, 2015
The Move, a non-profit formed to expose city youth to farming, growing food and healthy living came to visit with a group of about 40 on Saturday, Oct 17th. We started out the day with moving the cows off the Back Pasture which we needed to vacate by Oct 15th. After feeding some apples, we broke up into 5 groups and thanks to our talented volunteer leaders were able to get a diverse number of projects accomplished. After finishing the work we got together to discuss the significance of the days activities and then have lunch of grass-fed hamburgers. Many thanks to our volunteers, Chis Molinaro, Yun Gao, Laura Quincy Jones and the organizers from The Move, Ladawn Strickland who also brought her mom to cook hamburgers and a number of chaperones from the Boston YMCA who organized the group that came. Also thanks to Kendall Sweeney who along with being captain of the Algonquin girls soccer team and taking a lot of the senior class pictures has provided professional quality pictures and post that have been both here and on our facebook page. These kinds of activities will continue even after the cows have left the conservation land. This is an important component of what the Cow Fund does. Anyone interested in helping out should contact me at Paul.Bourdon@lfb-usa.com
Additional photo’s are at these two facebook sites:
Written by Paul on October 7th, 2015
The Move is an organization that connects young people from Boston with farms and the food system. They travel to various farms both in Boston and in the suburbs. They will be coming to Breakneck Hill Farm on Oct 17 at 9:30 AM to help with a number of projects. We will be moving the cows and taking down the fence on the Back Pasture. We will also be getting the barn and barnyard ready for the cows to come back to in November. I am hoping to secure an oak log to split into rails if not we’ll be finishing some rails and setting up some home made split rail fence. Please stop by and say hi if your in the area. We’ll be serving grass-fed burgers for lunch.
Written by Paul on October 1st, 2015
Five members of the Urban Farm Institute came out from Boston to visit Breakneck Hill Farm on a beautiful day on Sep. 18th. Our immediate goal was to pick some of the thousands of delicious and organic apples that are on the trees on the conservation land. The orchard was originally planted in the 1940’s and at one point had something like 3000 trees. Invasive plants, disease and development have destroyed almost all the trees. The only ones that survived were the ones in the cow pasture that were protected by the cows who ate the invasive plants and who also ate the apples that dropped to the ground. Drops are a problem in orchards as they harbor pests and diseases.
The goal of the visit was also to make a connection and exchange ideas between our suburban farm and one from the city. The cow fund provided lunch and we discussed the many ongoing permaculture projects at Breakneck Hill Farm.
The Urban Farm Institute is a non-profit organization that trains inner city young people in the skills to grow high quality healthy food. They have a number of properties they have or are turning into small farms in Boston. They most recently acquired the 2 remaining acres of the historic Fowler Clark Farm right in the middle of Roxbury. This will be their headquarters with a garden filling what was an overgrown lot. Congratulations to the UFI!
Written by rdevlin on September 28th, 2015
September 28th, 2015
Dear Breakneck Hill Cow Fund Friends,
It is with great sadness that the Breakneck Hill Cow Fund has decided that that we are no longer able to sustain a herd of Belted Galloways on the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land. We began this journey in 2001 to “save the cows” with a very suspicious Farmer Ray Davis. The adventure grew into a restoration project, an agricultural passion, and a way to bring a bit of Southborough’s agricultural past to life. Children and adults from Southborough and surrounding communities have enjoyed watching calves being born, cows grazing against the backdrop of flowering apple trees, families enjoying “Farm Day” and excitedly waiting to see what square the “cow pie” would be dropped on and so many of us finding peace while walking the trails alongside these beautiful animals.
Recently, The Breakneck Hill Cow Fund (BHCF) learned that recommendations for the management of the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land would reduce and limit the amount of grazing areas for the cows. Lack of rain over the past few years has negatively impacted the quality of existing grasses. These factors make the need to feed the cows hay during the warmer months necessary, and costly, to maintain a healthy herd and have contributed to our decision to close our operations.
Reflecting upon the past 14 years, the BHCF and the cows have brought us joy. There are so many people who have been instrumental in the success of the Cow Fund and so many stories and personal reflections. The present Board wants to thank the Southborough Conservation Commission, the media, our past and present Board members and everyone who has loved, supported, volunteered and enjoyed the cows on the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.
The Breakneck Hill Cow Fund
P.S. We will be making arrangements to return recent contributions to our supporters. We will be in touch once those arrangements have been finalized.
Written by Paul on August 2nd, 2015
A non-profit organization, YouthGROW, that provides agricultural opportunities for Worcester inner city young people came to visit Breakneck Hill Farm and the herd of cows on the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land. A total of 40 including staff helped put up an electric fence on the Back Pasture. After putting up the fence, the group was treated to a lunch of beltie burgers. It was a great day by all accounts.
Written by rdevlin on May 17th, 2015
The Belted Galloway (and occasional Milking Devon) herd made their way across to the Breakneck Hill Conservation land today. The herd is smaller (and possibly less musically inclined) than in past years, but for today it was nice to see the herd as excited as ever to get back to their summer home.
Stop by and visit the Belties on Breakneck Hill Road sometime. They are one of many attractions on this beautiful piece of land.
Written by rdevlin on May 17th, 2015
Due to popular demand (as voiced both by cow fans and the belties themselves) the belties will be making their annual move to the pasture today (Sunday, May 17) at about 4 pm. This is the latest they’ve ever made the move. Hopefully, we will get some rain in the near future to support the further growth of forage on the fields. Please drop by to welcome them to their summer home.
Written by rdevlin on May 10th, 2015
Update: We have decided to delay the move to let the grass recover a bit more from our record-setting winter, so there will be no move today. We’ll keep you posted as to when the move will occur.
We need at least 10 inches of grass in order to start the rotation so we will sacrifice one paddock while we feed them hay. The winter paddock needs to be cleaned out and reseeded. A portion has already been put into barley.