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Tools of the Farmer

Posts by ROBIN AND ALLEN COCKERLINE


Whippoorwill Farm, Lakeville, CT Allen and Robin Cockerline have been farming since the early 1970s. First they ran a dairy farm in Falls Village, CT. Well before dot-commers talked about living 24/7/365, dairy farmers like the Cockerlines were on a treadmill that does not get any easier over time. Allen says, “There’s a saying in the dairy business. Get big or get out.” They got out. The Cockerlines moved to a run-down farm in one of the most beautiful valleys in Litchfield County, on Salmon Kill Road in Lakeville. Their goal has been to raise cows that eat only grass and hay. The meat is lean, full of flavor and healthy. If you still believe that beef cattle need to be fattened on grain to be tender then you need to try a steak from Whippoorwill Farm. At the Whippoorwill Farm store (open on Saturdays and by appointment) you will find in addition to grass-fed beef, seasonal vegetables, eggs, pork, chicken and raw honey. 189 Salmon Kill Road, Lakeville, CT, 860-435-2089 http://www.whippoorwillfarmct.com


Whippoorwill Farm: Backing into Grass-Fed Beef
I was a dairy farmer for 24 years. Then I started to run some beef cattle with the dairy heifers and they grew beautifully. We sort of backed into grass fed here at Whippoorwill Farm. What we traditionally did with our beef cattle would be to take  them off pasture and grain feed them. But when I took them off rotational grazing they looked so good I said why are we going to add fat to animals that look just right? The first cattle that I h [...More]


Farmers With an Artistic Streak
I started out by making just one map—for Trade Secrets’ garden tour, a annual charitable event in Sharon, Connecticut. Then the organizers decided that they wanted to give finished paintings to each host or owner, to show their appreciation. I can paint at any time, though I prefer the summer. What I get down on paper using photographs as a guide is the structure of the garden. What I provide in the end is a portrait, of house and garden.  It helps that I spent a year at the Monserrat [...More]


How Solar Energy Flattens My 20-Year Energy Costs
I was very much opposed to solar power, because it just doesn’t make sense economically. But then we got a grant of $40,000 on a $61,000 system, or $21,000 net cost to us. Then it becomes very hard to say no. Generally, the model for solar systems effectively requires you to pay your electric bill 25 years in advance. But that doesn’t really make sense. In this program the system is leased to us for $87.00 per month plus $16.00 per month for the meter. That’s never going to change. E [...More]