Northshore Magazine

May / June 2015

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

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48 | MAY + JUNE 2015 CONTACT Herb Hill Micro-Dairy 320 High Plain Rd. Andover 978-475-7931 theherbhillmicro PLACES everything works together," notes McKain. "The animal manures result in organic-rich compost, which feeds and sustains the microorganisms in the soil." The farm's once-weekly, 20-week vegetable CSA is popular with customers who value healthy, local produce. "I grow many cool- season crops and practice multi- cropping because of my limited growing space," says McKain. "One year, I grew black beans—it was fun for me and for my customers to try something new. Most people had never seen black beans in a pod before." She also notes the impor- tance of giving people a nutritional crop with good flavor. To that end, she partners with Red Fire Farm in Granby to supplement what she can't grow in such a limited space. Additionally, she grows produce for a wholesale distributor, the local Whole Foods market, and two local restaurants, Flatbread Co. in Burlington and Fuse Bistro in Low- ell. "I love the opportunity to help local, organic produce reach more people," she says. "My goal is to be not just a source of healthy foods, but also a source of education for the community." In the spirit of education, Mc- Kain invites students from Wood Hill Middle School to learn about grazing management as they herd goats to graze at Andover's Ham- mond Field. "Our goats' job is to eliminate the invasive plant species there, supply nutrition to the exist- ing grasses, and awaken hidden seed beds, [thereby] restoring more diversity to the environment sustainably," she explains, noting that such grazing has made a visible difference in the landscape. Herb Hill also sponsors a Kid's Week every June; children are invited to morning sessions, during which they learn about running a small farm. "They do everything I do," says McKain. "I teach them how to milk the goats, gather eggs, move the chickens and goats, and even make soap from the milk." One of the most popular activities, she notes, is mucking out the stalls. "At the end of the day," says McKain, "I hope to show people that small farms are a doable value resource. Organic farms are good stewards of the land, and you don't have to grow on a large scale to get results." On a relatively small piece of land, Lucy McKain raises chickens and goats and grows vegetables, which are sold through the local Whole Foods.

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