2017 Farm Season

Hey folks, Farmer John here.

It’s 2017 and we’re hitting the ground running! Well, feels like we never stopped running from last year. We had a lovely winter over here at Camps Road Farm and we are as ready as you are for warm weather, sunshine, and all things growing.

This year brings about some major changes to our farm. We are both growing and contracting in various ways which is both exciting and nerve-wracking. There are a lot of layers to our decision-making but after having the slower winter months to iron out some details, we’re feeling great going into the Spring.



Beer Tasting Room and Farm Store Opening in May

We are open for farm tours, bottle sales, and growler fills as of April 8th, 2017.

From then on we will be open Saturdays from 12-4pm with farm tours at 11:30am and 2pm. We are currently undergoing construction on our barn to turn it into a classy looking farm store and a sweet sweet beer tasting room. We’re pretty far along in the process and it looks like we’re all set to open for tastings in mid to late May. We will be updating the farm’s website and social media as well as making announcements through the brewery website.

Just a review:

  • Farm and Brewery Open Saturdays 12-4pm
  • Farm Tours at 11:30am and 2pm
  • Tasting Room and Farm Store opening later in May

We won’t be at the New Milford Farmer’s Market  in 2017

The biggest change this year is that we will not be participating in the New Milford Farmer’s Market (NMFM). This is a bitter sweet decision for us and definitely merits some explanation.

The Bitter

The most bitter part of not attending the farmers’ market this year will be missing all the regulars who we see every weekend. The NMFM is how I was able to get started farming in this area, it gave the brewery a leg up when the law was passed allowing craft breweries in Connecticut to sell beer at farmer’s markets, and it is where all our friends and fellow farmers are on the weekends.

Everyone here at the farm and brewery are eternally grateful for the help and support the market has given us through the years.

The Sweet

We will still be visiting the farmer’s market personally, because that is where we buy all the food that we can’t grow during the season. That and if my daughter Mabel has to go without apple cider donuts from Averill Farm & Orchard I’m going to have an angry 3 year old on my hands.

Not attending the NMFM this year will allow us to focus all our energy into making the farm/brewery experience a great one.


No CSAs This Year 🙁

This was the toughest change to swallow. Because of all the energy we are putting into the farm store, tours, and tastings, we have paired down some of the other operations we are committing to so that we can remain focused.  As part of that we are raising fewer batches of chickens and pigs, resulting in less availability outside of our farm store.

It is our plan, it is our hope, it is in our hearts that this change is ONLY FOR THIS YEAR. We want to bring it back as early as 2018. In order to do that we need to make sure that our systems with this new part of Camps Road Farm are streamlined, effective, and productive.

… That was a bummer to write. We can’t end this blogpost like this…



See? There is good news! This year at the farm store, not only will we be offering the best pasture raised chicken and pork you can find in the whole entire world, but we will be picking up our egg operation again and will have them for sale exclusively at our farm store. Additionally, we are using our growing spaces to bring you some tasty seasonal veggies. There’s a lot, and we’re excited for it. Let’s review:

  • Eggs (because we know you love them)
  • Chickens
  • Pork
  • Vegetables
  • Flowers
  • Herbs
  • Apples (in the fall)

Of course, while you’re here you will be able to taste our beer, buy a bottle or fill a growler to take home, and even get your picture taken with our Brewery Manager Barry (Barry’s consent not yet obtained).


I know this is a lot, and I thank you for sticking with me. Small scale farming can be tough, but all your support over the past couple of years makes it a whole lot easier and enjoyable. We will keep you updated through our email newsletter and the website here as our season progresses. We of course welcome any and all questions by either contacting us here at the farm, or coming in person for a visit.


Thanks again! Hope to see you soon.


Farmer John

May Farm Update

chickens in chicken tractors
We have birds out on pasture and the chicken CSA starts on June 6th this year. Things are going well and the birds are as good as ever! This batch started on the South of the farm and is working its’ way North.

For information on our Chicken CSA click here.

red rangers in chicken tractors
In addition to the white birds called “cornish cross” we are trying a new breed of meat chicken out on farm this year. They are called red rangers. They take longer to raise but they spend that time developing flavor. The meat will be a little darker on this birds. They are a “more heritage” variety than the white ones.
chicken mobile
Then of course there are our lovely ladies who are producing eggs for us. They are certainly happy that summer is now here. They have been cruising around pasture in their custom built chicken-mobile and loving every second of it.
pastured eggs
Our eggs are delicious! Well, at least I know I love them. They are also getting more rare as we scaled back the size of laying flock a bit. You can still get them at the New MIlford Farmers’ Market and on farm.
pastured sheep
And who can forget our sheep? They spent some time cleaning up the hop yard this spring before heading out on to pasture rotating before the birds. Porter, Boch, and Stout invite you to the farm any time to come and say hello!
Look at this cast of characters! Betsy, James, and I have been working very hard to get the farm where it needs to be this year. It is no small feat and they have been a great addition to the farm. More on them in future posts.
kent falls
It is ok to work hard for something, but you also have to take time to slow down and enjoy life. Here Kate, Mabel, and I went to Kent Falls to check out the namesake for the brewery. It was stunning and I recommend going if you have not yet. We had a wonderful day and were proud to come home and drink a beer from Kent Falls Brewing Company!

For a map of EVERYWHERE we currently have beer click here.

baby fire fighter
There have been a ton of projects on farm with a lot to get done every day. The list of to dos never seems to get shorter. Thank goodness we have a professional fire-fighter on staff to put out fires when we need!

Winter 2015 at the Farm

chicken tractors in winter
Our chicken tractors rest in tehsnow drifts dreaming of warmer days.
winter greenhouse
Outside the greenhouse the farm is under alot of snow. There has been much plowing and shoveling to be had. However, inside the greenhouses is a different story.
Claitonia or “miner’s lettuce” grows very well in the winter. We have a limited amount but it is delicious. This is an area of the farm we hope to expand next year. It can be very tricky growing food throughout the winter, but the pay-off is well worth the effort.
winter arugula
Winter arugula has a nice spicy taste while maintaining a hearty yet tender texture. Needless to say we’ve been eating like kings.
Our three katahdin ewes have been faring really well in the winter. They have a nice warm coat and we keep them well fed on hay from a local farmer in Washington Depot. This is “Porter” everyone’s favorite.
barred rock chicken
It’s time for your close-up! Our hens have been laying phenomenally. Our eggs are available on the farm 7 days a week if you can make it here. We are also joining the Litchfield Winter Farmers’ Market starting February 7th from 10-1.
winter chickens
Always looking to get on camera our chickens flock around me as I take some pictures in the second greenhouse. The birds have been doing great and I am really proud of how well they are laying considering the weather and the time of year.
kent falls brewery
From left to right our friend Dan, our Brewery Manager Barry, and our Head Brewer Derek are currently brewing a water batch. I took this photo on 2/3/15 and came inside to write this blog post. The brew house is up and running and they are running hot water through it to test all the connections and buttons before brewing their first batch this Friday. Click on the photo to go to the brewery website and learn more. So excited!!!
farm baby
Always end in Mabel! I seriously cannot get enough of this kid. She did this all by herself, sat down, pulled the blanket around herself, and started reading books. She’s not big onteh cold weather and is pretty eager for spring. She does love going in with the chickens though.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read the blog. I enjoy posting pictures and I hope you enjoy looking at them. Community is a large part of why I farm and supporting that community is a large part of why Camps Road Farm is in business.


Farmer John

October at Camps Road Farm

October is my favorite time of year on farm. The intensity of the work load is slowing down, the days are cooler, the fall colors are beautiful, and most importantly there’s no snow yet! It is a time of year to get big projects done before winter and sit back and enjoy a fall beer.

Here’s a quick over-view of what the farm is like in October:

pastured sheep
Our sheep have been rotating our pastures doing some mowing and fertilizing for us. They’ve really enjoyed the cooler weather. They are perfectly suited for the temperature change and their coats have been getting thicker as the temperatures drop.
frost on pasture
We have already had a couple of frosts on the property. The field crops are done at this point and we are busy planting the greenhouse for winter. That’s right, salad greens all winter.
chicken in green house
Speaking of greenhouses, our chickens are going to spend the winter in our greenhouse. Instead of bringing the chickens to the pasture we’re going to bring the pasture to the chickens. They will have a safe and warm home in greenhouse #2 with an outdoor run to get out and stretch their legs. We will give them a deep bedding system of pine shavings with a thick layer of hay on top.
orchard stakes
To prepare the orchard for winter we upgraded them to steel stakes. Not an easy task for the arms pounding all the stakes in, but the trees are very secure now.
rodent guards
To keep the young trees safe from hungry rodents we installed rodent guards. This keeps the pests out and the trees safe.
preparing garden beds
Our brewery is close to being in production. Knowing beer is coming it is time to start growing more than hops. We have been preparing ground for next year where we will have a brewer’s garden. Here Farmer Alan roto-tills the new ground.
catching chickens
Speaking of brewers, everyone pitches in to help out on the farm. Here Derek and Barry help me catch up the last batch of broilers for the season. Aside from being pro-chicken-wranglers they are great brewers.

Get the latest and greatest of where the brewery progress is at their Facebook Page Here.

farm baby
What is a farm blog post without a picture of the farm baby? Here Mabel is decked out in her fall farm attire eating kale right from the plant. She’s got some great ideas for what we’re going to grow in 2015 and is looking forward to all the possibilities and potential that the farm has.

Hops and Chickens in the Summer

There is no shortage of things to do on farm these days. With the busy days comes the immense reward of farm life. There is fresh chicken and vegetables on the table, the hops are flowering and starting to smell like fresh beer, and the raspberries have been amazing.

Farm update:

Here are some highlights from the farm to illustrate how great things are going:

hop farm
Many of our second year hop plants have topped 18 feet tall and are filling up with cones. Even the plants that didn’t get the height are filling out with the delicious beer ingredient.
hop flower
Inside these hop flowers lupulin is forming. While lupulin plays a major role in the bitterness and aroma of hops, it is also has a relaxing effect on the body which helps you mellow out, gives you confidence, and makes you a great singer.
sheep farm
This little critter is one of our sheep. They came on farm originally to help us prune the hop plants. Not surprisingly we have become attached. Now there is serious talk about expanding the herd as part of the farm. One thing is for certain, they’re darn cute.
tomato horn worm
This little devil has been plaguing our greenhouse tomatoes. The tomato horn worm will eat everything in its’ path. It’s a good thing we have feathered friends on the farm who love to eat them.
pastured poultry
When you walk up to the chicken coops with a little container of tomato horn worms just picked from the green house the chickens always seem to know. They come running for a snack. Why do you think our eggs have such a good protein count?
chickens on pasture
Waiting with bated breath for the next delivery of precisely plucked plump plant pests.
clown rooster
This rooster I have dubbed “The Clown”. I mean, look at the guy. He’s shy so you don’t always get a chance to spy him. I had to crawl under the coop for this picture. He’s an Americana rooster. When he sees you he runs away and it kind of sounds like he’s laughing. Maybe it’s all a game to him?
squash bed
Besides hops we are also growing a few other things for the brewery. Here we have a winter squash bed with some green beans mixed in. They will be ready and able to store for when they brewery is up and running. Update on that = next picture. (The green beans are for pickling.)
brewery foundation
The site is prepped for the brewery and the molds for the footings are in. As I write this the concrete is being poured for the beginning of the foundation. Very exciting!
chicken CSA
The chicken CSA has been going great this summer. We are loving seeing all the returning members each week as well as the regulars and new folks at the farmers’ market. Here a batch of broilers hangs out during the day in one of our chicken tractors. The pink spots on them are where they haven’t grown feathers because of the heat. Completely normal, if not a little weird looking.
building mobile chicken coops
Because we love our chickens so much we are constantly working to improve their living situation. Here Nick is adding a deck extension to hold feeders for the laying hens. Their coop has gone through a bunch of upgrades and the hens seem to really like it. Next we need to make little rocking chairs for the new deck.
farm baby
What would be a blog post without a picture of everyone’s favorite farm baby? Mabel says, “hello.” Though it might not sound anything like that. She can say, “Da Da,” though, and it makes me melt. It kind of looks like Kate is pushing the swing with mind powers.
farm flowers
Now this sure is purdy! Thanks for stopping in, enjoying the photos, and supporting the farm!

Spring on a Chicken and Hop Farm

Sustainable farming begins and end with diversity. Having more than one agricultural operation in operation makes for a more balanced farm. We have a couple of different operations here at Camps Road Farm, but let’s focus on two for a second. Chicken and hops.


pastured organic eggs
These are a group of our laying hens. They love coming out of their coops each morning and searching for bugs that landed in the pasture over night.

The main focus of the farm for now is pastured poultry. All the other areas of the farm revolve around what is best for the chickens. We go to great lengths to make sure our birds are happy, and that they place nicely with the rest of the farm.

Chicken manure is a great fertilizer in the right dose. We keep our birds moving around farm, and they keep us supplied with manure. Both our egg laying hens and our broilers rotate on pasture and live life out doors.

pastured poultry
Our pastured broilers are different kinds of birds completely. They live their lives in chicken tractors which suits them just fine. There are no floors on the tractors and they are moved daily to ensure fresh pasture and no manure build up.
building a chicken tractor
With the expansion of the farm to incorporate the Chicken CSA we got busy building more chicken tractors for our birds in the field. We have a total of 24 tractors that house 30 birds a piece. If you do the math, that’s a lot of birds to manage.
chickens in chicken tractors
The broilers in the chicken tractors have certified organic feed that is free from GMOs. You can see they have plenty of grass, water from the orange bucket, and lots of fresh air. Those are the ingredients for the best chicken you have ever had.


As we are working toward having a production brewery on site, having a hop yard up and running is a big focus around here. When Kent Falls Brewing Company opens its’ doors for the first time our beer will have hops from the farm and grain from local growers. It takes a while for hops to get established, so we had to get an early start.

tying coir
Farm Manager Barry is tying one of the 1000 plus strands of coir that is used to trellis the hops. The hop bines (bines not vines) grow up the coir and are harvested in the fall. The hops reach 18+ feet high during the growing season. It has been no small task getting all those lines up.
mulching hops
Brewer Barry and Farmer Sarah spread mulch around the hops plants. The mulch keeps weeds down, helps with moisture retention, and will keep the plants a little warmer in the winter.

Put it Together

Putting chickens in the hop yard holds several benefits. It helps fertilize, the chickens mow the grass down, and they even add pest protection. Last year we had a problem with Japanese Beetles until we put the chickens in the hop yard. The beetles flew into the chicken’s waterers and the chickens ate them right up. Everyone was happy (except the beetles).

chicken and hops
These are our chicken tractors moving through our hop yard. It’s a beautiful relationship.

Spring on the Farm is Beautiful!

farm house
There has been a good balance of rain and sun here. The color green is exploding everywhere, and the farm is simply stunning.
farm baby
Of course I had to show off Mabel. She is getting bigger every day. In the last couple weeks she took her first steps, said, “Da Da!”, and her top teeth are poking out. She’s been busy. It feels amazing to be able to raise a kid on a farm.

Spring is here and Camps Road Farm has a lot of chicken

chickens on pasture
Every morning seems to be beautiful on the farm. Sure with each sunrise comes a full day of work on the farm. It is all worth it to see our birds out on pasture, enjoy the fresh air (not typically associated with chicken farms), and the rewarding life of a farmer. The ladies in this photo are our youngest batch of laying hens. They are not laying eggs yet, but they enjoy the grass just the same as the older ladies. In the background our hop yard is coming to life with all the spring rains and sunshine.
broiler chicken
The laying hens aren’t the only young birds we have out on pasture. Our broiler chickens are out on grass and having a good time as all the bugs come out from their winter dormancy. Our Chicken CSA starts in June, the only bad day day in our chicken’s lives.
chicken tractors
Our broilers live in these chicken tractors. They are moved every single day, fed certified organic grain, and enjoy a pretty comfy lifestyle. The design of the tractors is to keep them safe, healthy, and easy to work with. They enjoy human visitors so make a appointment to come check out the farm anytime and see for yourself.
chicken tractors
We are very often up to see the sunrise. We’re also usually out late enough to see it go down as well. Producing quality chicken and eggs takes some serious effort!
alan tenhoeve
Part of that serious effort is put in by Farmer Alan. While I stop to look at the sheep Alan keeps working, seriously the guy never stops. Alan is restringing the electric fence around the chicken tractors. There are a number of predators on the farm and all our birds are safely surrounded by electric fences (our sheep too).
Our lambs got big fast! We are no longer bottle feeding them. Instead the sun is growing their feed and they are loving it.
apple buds
The warmer weather, sun, and rains have done wonderful things around the farm. Everywhere in our area buds are coming out on the trees including the year-old trees in our apple orchard. These apples will one day feed our distillery in Portchester. For now, they are just enjoying being part of the farm.
farmers market
We are at the New Milford Farmers’ Market every Saturday day for almost eh entire rest of the year on Saturdays from 9-12 in the morning. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Mabel there!
duck friends
These are our duck friends. There is a diversity of life on the farm besides out chickens, hop, and apple trees. There are snapping turtles crossing our orchard, a lot of birds, two bothersome beavers, deer, and a vast array of things that would love to eat chickens. With sustainable farming you live and work within a more natural system. The diversity of plant and animal species on our farm is a direct result of working with nature instead of against it.

Camps Road Farm, Then and Now

Horray! It’s the first blog post for the Camps Road Farm website. We have been active on Facebook for some time, but we wanted to start branching out with how we share our story. This blog post is to give you a little bit of our back story and to share some of our plans moving forward.

Here on Camps Road Farm we are restoring an old dairy farm and over the years we will be building it into a whole diet farm. There are a lot of moving parts and in order to grow ourselves sustainably and without any sacrifice to quality in any of the areas we wish to develop, we are implementing them slowly through the years.

I’m the Farm Manager, “Farmer John”, and it will be primarily be me who will be putting together the updates on the blog and through our e-mail newsletter. I like to tell stories with a lot of visuals, and thus you will see a lot of photos when I post to the blog.

Camps Road Farm Then

cows on pasture
“Back in the day” Camps Road Farm was called Fools Day Farm. Chad and Gene Hoyanski farmed dairy cattle with their son Aaron. In time they sought different pastures in Maine and the farm was bought by the current owner David Birnbaum.
wild flowers and pasture
On a warm summer day David came to visit the farm and fell in love with the gentle breezes, beautiful wild flowers, and peaceful pond across the street from the farm house. The farm wasn’t actively “farmed” for a few years and was loaded with potential.
farm pond
Across the street from the entrance to the farm is a 5 acre pond.

Camps Road Farm Now

baby chicks
One of the first additions to the farm was egg-laying chickens. Of course they didn’t start by laying, they started as tiny little balls of fluff that peep, scurry about, and do a lot of sleeping.
chickens in the garden
As the chicks started to grow we moved them around the farm, added, more chicks, and started to incorporate other elements into the farm. In this picture we moved one of our coops into one of our garden areas in the fall to have them help us with fertilization for the spring. We will be turning over a lot of new ground for veggies in the years to come and the natural fertilizer is a big help. Have no fear, the chickens are long gone and everything is broken down before we eat anything out of those fields.
pastured eggs
The chickens have been making use of the pastures the cattle left to them. Busy converting grass into eggs the birds spend their days enjoying some sunshine, eating bugs, and mowing our lawn. We have a number of heritage breed chickens which accounts for the different egg colors. Nutritionally they are all the same, but the different breeds lay different color eggs.
foodcyclist joins camps road farm
I joined the farm last year and eventually took over as the farm’s manager. With me came my farm, FoodCyclist Farm where I raised chickens on pasture for meat instead of eggs. Together David and I agreed that combining the two farms into one was the best move since I was happy here. Camps Road Farm will proudly be offering pastured chickens for the 2014 season marketed through our CSA and Farmers’ Market (Saturdays in New Milford, CT 9-12).
chicken tractors
Here are the chicken tractors moving through our hop yard. It worked out really well that our hops vines were being attacked by Japanese Beetles when I first moved chickens in there. The chickens cleared the problem right up!
chicken tractors
The chicken tractors are my original design. They are moved once every day so the birds always have fresh grass and bugs, and so their manure does not build up. The chicken tractors also keep the birds safe from the many predators we have in the area.
camps road farm
This view of the farm was taken from a 40 foot high “cherry picker” as we we were working on the trellis for the hop yard. We’re coming into Spring around here and the farm is really coming to life. I am excited for the year and really looking forward to the markets starting.

The 2014 Camps Road Farm Plan:

For 2014 we will be concentrating on pastured chickens for both meat and eggs. There are a number of things we are gearing up for, but setting up the different areas of the farm is going to take time.

Chicken and eggs will be available at the New Milford Farmers’ Market on Saturdays starting May 10th. We will have eggs available at the market starting at the beginning of the market with broiler chickens available starting in June. We will also be selling items through our Good Eggs page into New York City and Brooklyn, NY.

Later in the year we will have sheep sausage as well from some our of sheep that are acting as lawn mowers and pruners in the hop yard.

If you are interested in our local CSAs you can find more info on our Egg CSA page and Chicken CSA page.

Future Areas of the Farm

Plans are always subject to change. We are working with the land to produce what best suits the farm. We are also paying close attention to what our customers ask for and we will adjust our plans accordingly as time goes on. I always love to write the steps down as we go so that we are able to go back and reflect later.

Camps Road Farm will develop into a full diet farm specializing in protein. This year we will have chicken and eggs, and toward the end of the year we will have some sheep sausage available. In the future we plan on adding turkeys, pigs, ducks, and perhaps some goats.

In the future we plan to offer diversified vegetables. With so much new ground to break in this year we are delaying the vegetable production so that we can add soil amendments like our home-made compost (the chickens help) to get the soils into the right balance for growing. I wish it was as easy as just planting some seeds in the ground! All good things in time.

Camps Road Farm also works very closely with two other budding businesses. Kent Falls Brewing Company should break ground on an on-farm brewery this Spring with first batches possibly coming out this fall (you never know with new construction, our fingers are crossed!). To supply the brewery with brewing ingredients we have a 1.4 acre hop yard. We just spent time trellising the wires 18 feet in the air that the hop vines get trellised to. We will also be growing botanicals and a few other specialty ingredients for the brewery.

Neversink Spirits is our distillery located in Porchester, NY. To supply ingredients for the Distillers to create their signature apple brandy we have a 1.4 acre apple orchard on the farm as well. Along with the hops we will be growing botanicals for the spirits as well.

Both the hop yard and apple orchard were started in 2013 and will need a few years to reach peak production.

Thank You

We are making strides to work with the land, work with our local community, and work with what our customers want to see produced. Our motto is “Whole System Sustainability” and that works on so many levels. There are certainly a lot of moving parts to put into place.

Thank you for taking the time to read our first blog post, thank you for your support of the farm, and thank you in advance for being part of what is shaping up to be a great growing season!