Hello! I’m Marleen, and together with my husband Dan and our two sweet little boys we run Beavertides Farm. It is only a few years ago that I was still living in New York City, working in an office and dreaming of something more. More green, more community, more freedom.
I dreamed of days of using my body what it was made for, of eating great food that I’d not only prepare from scratch, but grow myself. I dreamed of not knowing a lot about one single thing, that what I was doing at work, but to know a bit about a lot of things, to be a Jill-of-all-trades. Basically I was dreaming of knowing how to take care of myself in a more natural setting.
I started doing all the different things I could think of doing in a big city that would make me feel closer to this dream; fermenting, baking, growing my vegetables in my landlord’s yard, I even went to a pig butchering course while still being a vegetarian. When I saw how beautiful and healthy and without damaging the environment an animal like that could be raised, respectfully harvested and consumed nose to tail, it was the end of 16 years of not eating meat.
Then, longing to raise animals as well, I started my most exciting project yet..beekeeping! I felt that a lot of my dreams came together in the beehive. Learning about the incredible communities the bees form, how they are in balance with the natural world around them, the art of managing a hive without doing damage to the honey bees, and it would even give me a wholesome delicious sweet reward.
After two years of keeping bees myself in a small garden in the city, I signed up for a beekeeping course to learn more and fell head over heels in love with the beekeeper who taught the course. Dan had been working for years as the beekeeper and livestock assistant manager at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, after working as an environmental/ag volunteer in the Peace Corps in Malawi. He dreamed of a more rural, self-sustainable life as well, of owning a farm where we could raise animals in a way that not only doesn’t harm the environment, but that actually regenerates, makes the land healthier and better than it was before.
Soon after we had the incredible opportunity to start our own farm at the most beautiful piece of land in NW Connecticut we could have imagined, that had pastures as well as woodlands and wetlands, with all the diversity in plants and animals that comes with an environment like that. We had two baby boys, started of course with an apiary, raised chickens and ducks, started an quickly expanding herd of meat goats, custom graze a herd of grassfed beef cattle, and manage an orchard that produced apples, pears, quince, peaches and much more.
Farming as a growing family has challenges and struggles, there is never enough time in a day for what needs to happen, but every single day we know this is the life we want to live and want to raise our two boys in.
Today our main focus is to provide you with 100% grassfed meat from sustainably raised sheep and goats, honey and other bee-related products. We teach a Beekeeper Training Program, a Newbees class for the youngest beekeepers, farm walks and much more.
We’d love to take you on our journey of farming, homesteading and rural life. And that is possible!
Besides the several different courses we organize on-off events to share with you what we know about beekeeping, animal husbandry and sustainable living. We have a beautiful little cabin in the woods where the more adventurous camper can soon come stay the night with the sounds of the forest, visit the farm and cook our farm product on a old fashioned woodstove. We sell our meat in New York city, in our area or directly from the farm. And we share more with you about our lives here at the farm and what we’ve learned over the years about regenerative agriculture, cooking and sustainable living in our weekly blog.
With this overwhelming sense of worry about climate change, and observing the infighting happening over budgets in the US Congress, we try to focus on solutions close to home. This Guest Commentary piece that Dan sent in to our local newspaper last week...
Have you ever wondered if you'd be able to raise honeybees in your own backyard? The answer, most likely, is yes. When I lived in Queens, NY, I was looking for ways I could learn more farming and homesteading skills while living in the city. On a trip to...
When I think about spring here at the farm, I think about cuddling the softest lambs, the peepers singing their songs in the wetlands and the joy of watching the land green up after a long winter. It's all that, it really is. But reality often times looks more like...