Philo Ridge Farm is pleased to announce a collaboration with University of Vermont Extension to enhance research and education for grass farmers in Vermont. Research Director Juan P. Alvez, Ph.D. explains, “The main goal of this project is to monitor and research soil health and pasture forage as they relate to the production of high quality grass-fed, grass-finished beef in Vermont. Knowledge generated on Philo Ridge Farm will have broad application to farms throughout the region.”
Located in Charlotte, Vermont, Philo Ridge Farm will serve as a unique living laboratory due to its proximity to the UVM campus and the availability of farmland that can be utilized for research. Research topics will include evaluations of beef cattle performance and quality on transitional pastures; cocktail/salad-bar cover crops to accelerate soil health; and nutrient runoff from tile drainages installed on the farm, to name just three. Research conducted on the farm, and data generated from the research, will be considered open-source information and will be shared and distributed widely to producers in Vermont and New England.
Philo Ridge Farm has a major commitment to producing the healthy foods ranging from fresh vegetables to diverse meats under the highest environmental and ethical standards. Diana McCargo and Peter Swift acquired Foote Farm in 2012 to rehabilitate a key historic crossroads in Charlotte, Vermont. Their ideas quickly expanded during the purchase and rehabilitation of the farm property, and the new landowners began Philo Ridge Farm.
One of the farms’ main goals is to produce humanely raised, high quality grass-fed, grass-finished beef. Farm General Manager Ed Pitcavage explains, “This year we started our own herd of Belted Galloway cattle, bringing in 20 head from Meadow View Farm in Lyndonville. We will begin barn construction this summer to overwinter the herd at the farm. The construction will hopefully be complete by this fall.” The cattle aren’t the only animals on the farm getting special treatment, “We are also in the process of re-roofing the sheep barn on Mt. Philo Road to make sure our 37 sheep stay warm and dry,” says Pitcavage.
The farm currently uses regenerative grazing techniques, moving the cattle, pigs, sheep, and poultry in a rotational system. Planting has begun on the one-acre market garden and this summer will be growing a variety of produce, herbs, and flowers for sale along with pasture-raised meat at their farmstand, opening for the season on July 1st. The self-serve farmstand is located at 2766 Mt. Philo Rd. in Charlotte, and will be open Thursday through Saturday during daylight hours. The farmstand area now includes a new parking lot, constructed in the beginning of May.