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

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!