Northshore Magazine

May / June 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 48 of 244

Standing on just one acre in Andover, Herb Hill Micro-Dairy doesn't look like a typical farm. Owner and oper- ator Lucy McKain explains, "People have all different visions of farms, but most don't think it can be done in a small space. We're proof that it can be—but it takes a lot of careful planning and education." McKain, a teacher by trade, wasn't formally trained in agri- culture, though she notes, "We've had goats in the family for years." Interest grew when she and her kids got involved with the local 4-H programs. She also took classes through Holistic Management Inter- national and the Northeast Organic Farming Association. Then, a few years ago, she thought people might like the op- portunity to drink raw goat's milk. 46 | MAY + JUNE 2015 photographs by Sarah Jordan McCaffery BY CHARLOTTE ROTH Herb Hill Micro- Dairy redefines the small farm. Good Stewards PLACES Fresh eggs, chicken meat, produce, and goat's milk are all produced on the one-acre farm. In 2009, McKain became one of the few farmers in Massachusetts licensed to sell raw milk. Now, she mentors novice farmers and teach- es holistic management principles and practices. North Shore residents responded positively to McKain's first venture, and their interest afforded her the opportunity to expand. "I real- ized that just offering dairy wasn't sustainable in the long term, and that other enterprises would fit in nicely," she says. A course at Essex Agricultural and Technical High School gave McKain the expertise she needed to introduce egg and meat chickens to the property. Not only are the eggs at Herb Hill certi- fied organic, but the chickens are also treated well. "We give them plenty of access to fresh grass, land, sunlight, and exercise," says McKain. "They're healthy, producing eggs all year round, so we can provide them to customers even in the winter." She also raises four groups of meat chickens between spring and fall us- ing a Community Supported Agricul- ture (CSA) model. The Herb Hill farm is small scale and well organized. "We have a limited [number] of animals, but

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