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Posted 12/5/2015 5:21am by Rodney Hornbake.

 During the 2015 growing season the land at New Mercies Farm took a rest. The soil was improved by planting cover crops of buckwheat, peas and oats.  

At the same time the landowners, Rod and Debby Hornbake, and their consultant Kathy Ruhf of Land for Good, completed a search for new farmers.  Ruhf’s organization specializes in matching farmers and landowners throughout New England. Her rigorous process brought us a number of highly qualified applicants.  

 

At the end of that process, the lease to operate the farm was offered to and accepted by Baylee Drown and Ryan Quinn.   Baylee is known in the community as the operator of Upper Pond Farm in Old Lyme.  She has shown a track record of success there and has expanded her operations steadily. She will further expand her farming to the land on Beaver Brook Road.  

 

Baylee is a farmer by birth, by training and by choice. She is a fifth generation farmer from Michigan where she was raised on a farm.  Baylee is a graduate of Michigan State University and was awarded a Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems by Green Mountain College in Poultney Vermont.  Along the way she has accumulated an impressive record of leadership and management success in diverse farm ventures.  Since January 2014 she has been an entrepreneur farmer.  

 

Ryan Quinn, known as “Quinn”, received his BS in Biology and MA degree in Education from the University of Connecticut. He is transitioning from part time to full time farming.  He has a rich and diverse background as a chemistry teacher, farmer, outdoor educator, carpenter, handyman and even as Chief Steward aboard the Kalmar Nyckel, a tall ship sailing out of Wilmington DE.  

 

Alone either Baylee or Quinn would be competent to operate New Mercies Farm.  Together and with their staff of four assistants and apprentices they are truly formidable.  We believe our community will be blessed by their energy, experience and enterprise.  

 

New Mercies Farm was started in 2012 by Rod and Debby Hornbake as a Social Enterprise dedicated to three social goals:  1) to preserve land for agricultural use;  2) to provide wholesome food for the community; and 3) to provide opportunities for young farmers to be successful in their chosen field of endeavor.

 

Posted 2/7/2015 5:55am by Rod Hornbake.

New Mercies Farm will take a Sabbitical this growing season.

We plan to return to full production in 2016.

We remain committed to farming as a social enterprise with 3 goals

  1. To preserve farmland
  2. To provide the community with locally grown, wholesome food
  3. To provide opportunities for younger organic farmers to build a farm business without having to own land

2015 is our 4th year of pursuing these goals and much has been accomplished.  The land has been redeemed from the threat of real estate development.  The land has been improved and infrastructure built for a sustainable farm enterprise.  Vegetables have been produced with the expected flavor and nutrient density.  We have achieved USDA Certification as an Organic Farm.

2015 should have been the year that we made the transition from an employed farmer model to a leasehold arrangement with the farmer.  Unfortunately we were not able to develop a credible and mutually satisfactory business plan to achieve farmer independence.

So during the 2015 growing season we will focus on improving the land by planting a cover crop of nitrogen-fixing legumes.  We will also focus on finding the next farmer with a skill set and experience better matched to long term sustainable farming.  To that end we have retained the services of Kathy Ruhf of Land for Good (www.landforgood.org).  Kathy is a consultant with long experience in farm transitions and preservation.  She will assist us in developing a sustainable model that combines independence and support for the farmer.  She will also assist us in the search for a new farmer.  Kathy will also provide us with assistance in our longer term goal of transitioning ownership of the farm and/or development rights to an appropriate not-for-profit entity.

We apologize to those who hoped for a CSA share this year or looked forward to our produce at the Lyme Farmers Market or enjoyed our heirloom tomatoes on the menu at Al Forno Restaurant. We hope to see you in 2016.

We wish our friend, lover of the earth and fellow farmer Michael Melillo the very best in his next endeavor.

Please feel free to call or email with any questions or concerns.

Best regards,

 

Rod and Debby Hornbake

New Mercies Farm

hornbake@comcast.net

860-526-4307

Posted 1/22/2015 7:04pm by Rodney Hornbake.

Farmstand by reservation!

When: Pick up Tues. 27
           3-5pm

Where: New Mercies Farm
            256 Beaver Brook Rd
            Lyme

The farm stand by reservation works like this:

From the list of produce below reserve the types and quantity you want by replying to this email. I will send you a confirmation email. Once you've received your confirmation you will then come to the farm on the specified date and time to pick up your produce. We accept cash or check. Reservations must be made by 8pm Sunday Jan 25.

We have some very delicious produce available this week!

Our sweetest tasting spinach is Back!!

Braising Greens:

  • Mustard Greens ($4/bu)
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard ($4/bu)
  • Baby Spinach ($5/ 1/2lb bag)

Roasting Veggies:

  • Hakurie White Salad turnips (Juicey crispy sweet when eaten raw) ($3/bu)
  • White Potatos ($3/lb)

 

Green Cabbage: small heads ($1.75/ea)

Garlic ($8/lb)

Shallots ($5/lb) 

Joshua Town Rd Maple syrup ($20/17oz - $7.75/3.38oz)


Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953

Posted 1/3/2015 10:51am by Rodney Hornbake.

Happy New Year!!

Farmstand by reservation!

When: Pick up Tues. Jan 6
           3-5pm

Where: New Mercies Farm
            256 Beaver Brook Rd
            Lyme

The farm stand by reservation works like this:

From the list of produce below reserve the types and quantity you want by replying to this email. I will send you a confirmation email. Once you've received your confirmation you will then come to the farm on the specified date and time to pick up your produce. We accept cash or check. Reservations must be made by 8pm Monday Jan 5.

We have some very delicious produce available this week!

Our sweetest tasting spinach is Back!!

Braising Greens:

  • Mustard Greens ($4/bu)
  • Kale ($4/bu) Specify Green Curly or Lacinato
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard ($4/bu)
  • Baby Spinach ($5/ 1/2lb bag)

Roasting Veggies:

  • Hakurie White Salad turnips (Juicey crispy sweet when eaten raw) ($3/bu)
  • White Potatos ($3/lb)
  • Carrots  ($3/lb)

 

Green Cabbage: small heads ($1.75/ea)

Garlic ($8/lb)

Shallots ($5/lb) 

Joshua Town Rd Maple syrup ($20/17oz - $7.75/3.38oz)

 



Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953

Posted 12/21/2014 3:03pm by Rodney Hornbake.

Christmas Holiday Farmstand by reservation!

When: Pick up Tues. Dec 23
           3-5pm

Where: New Mercies Farm
            256 Beaver Brook Rd
            Lyme

The farm stand by reservation works like this:

From the list of produce below reserve the types and quantity you want by replying to this email. I will send you a confirmation email. Once you've received your confirmation you will then come to the farm on the specified date and time to pick up your produce. We accept cash or check. Reservations must be made by 8am Wednesday Nov 26.

We have some very delicious produce available this week!

Our sweetest tasting spinach is Back!!

Braising Greens:

  • Mustard Greens ($4/bu)
  • Kale ($4/bu) Specify Green Curly or Lacinato
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard ($4/bu)
  • Baby Spinach ($5/ 1/2lb bag)

Roasting Veggies:

  • Rutabega ($3/bu)  rutabegas are a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They are a seasonal crop and suitable for eating this time of year. They mash 
    well as a potato substitute, roast to a sweet nutty flavor, or compliment any soup! 
    Give them a try this year we think you'll love'em like we do!
  • White turnips ($3/bu)
  • White Potatos ($3/lb)
  • Carrots (purple, yellow, orange!) ($3/lb)

 

Green Cabbage: small heads ($1.75/ea)

Garlic ($8/lb)

Shallots ($5/lb)

Eggs ($6/dz) limit 1dz 

Joshua Town Rd Maple syrup ($20/17oz - $7.75/3.38oz)

New Mercies Farm Honey ($5/half lb jar)



Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953

Posted 11/24/2014 12:49pm by Rodney Hornbake.

Thanksgiving Holiday Farmstand by reservation!

When: Pick up Wed. Nov 26
           3-5pm

Where: New Mercies Farm
            256 Beaver Brook Rd
            Lyme

The farm stand by reservation works like this:

From the list of produce below reserve the types and quantity you want by replying to this email. I will send you a confirmation email. Once you've received your confirmation you will then come to the farm on the specified date and time to pick up your produce. We accept cash or check. Reservations must be made by 8am Wednesday Nov 26.

We have some very delicious produce available this week!

Braising Greens:

  • Arugula($3/bag)
  • Braising Greens mix/soup mix ($6/ 1/2lb bag)
    (contains Kale, Mustard, Arugula, Asian greens)
  • Mustard Greens ($4/bu)
  • Kale ($4/bu) Specify Green Curly or Lacinato
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard ($4/bu)
  • Baby Spinach ($6/ 1/2lb bag)

Roasting Veggies:

  • Rutabega ($3/bu)  rutabegas are a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They are a seasonal crop and suitable for eating this time of year. They mash 
    well as a potato substitute, roast to a sweet nutty flavor, or compliment any soup! 
    Give them a try this year we think you'll love'em like we do!
  • White turnips ($3/bu)
  • White Potatos ($3/lb)
  • Carrots (purple, yellow, orange!) ($3/lb)

 

Green Cabbage: small heads ($1.75/ea)

Garlic ($8/lb)

Shallots ($5/lb)

Leeks ($3/bu)

Eggs ($6/dz)

Joshua Town Rd Maple syrup ($20/17oz - $7.75/3.38oz)

New Mercies Farm Honey ($5/half lb jar)



Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953

Posted 10/21/2014 8:30am by Rodney Hornbake.

Farm stand by reservation!

Pick up Friday Oct 24

3-6pm

The farm stand by reservation works like this; On the weeks that we have produce available I will send out an email with a list of available produce. You would reserve the quantity and types you want by replying to the email then I will send you a confirmation. Once you've received your confirmation you will then come to the farm on the specified date and time to pick up your produce. We accept cash or check.

Farm stand by reservation will be held this Friday Oct 24 from 3p-6p at New Mercies Farm 256 Beaver Brook Rd, Lyme.  The deadline for reservations will be Thursday 9pm. 

Produce available this week:

Arugula($3/bag)

Braising Greens/stir fry mix ($6/ 1/2lb bag)

Broccoli

Broccoli Raab($4/bu)

Green Beans ($5/lb)

Green Cabbage small heads ($1.75/lb)

Carrots ($3/lb)

Eggplant ($3/lb)

Garlic ($15/lb)

Kale ($4/bu)

Swiss Chard ($4/bu)

Sweet Red/Yellow/Green Peppers(Mix) $5/lb

Heirloom tomatoes ($5/lb)

Snow Peas!!!($4/ 1/2lb bag)

Snap Peas!!!($4/ 1/2lb bag)

Shallots($5/lb)

Eggs ($6/dz)

Joshua Town Rd Maple syrup ($20/17oz - $7.75/3.38oz)

New Mercies Farm Honey ($5/half lb jar)



Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953

Posted 10/15/2014 10:38am by Rodney Hornbake.

On behalf of New Mercies Farm I cordially invite you to the New Mercies Farm 2nd annual Farmer's Ball!!! It’s a harvest celebration. A festival to celebrate the bounty of our efforts and toils throughout the year. 

It will be a potluck style banquet. Bringing crafted seasonal drinks and dishes that support the seasonal theme of the Harvest season are deeply encouraged. Please prepare whatever your contribution may be to nourish 10-12 people.

CSA Members will receive a complimentary jar of our very own honey!!!

There will be all sorts of activities for children and adults:
-Archery contest with prizes from the farm like sauerkraut, honey, canned tomatoes, maple syrup, winter squash and garlic!!

-Crown Making Table
-Dream Catcher Making
-Apple Bobbing
-Circus/Acroyoga Workshops
-Drumming/Bonfire 
-Harvest Altar
-Pagan ritual/storytelling (The idea here is to re-acquaint 
our senses to the Moon phases and seasonal agrarian 
rhythms through story, prose and song)

We will also be featuring local musician and dear friend Jen Taylor's release of her latest CD Holy Cow! As well as other live performances from Cosmos Sunshine, Someone You Can Xray and LionBird. It will be a dance party extravaganza ya'll!!!!


I graciously accept all of your contributions and talents and ideas/suggestions to make this a festival to remember. Please contact me personally if you have specific talents you'd like to contribute. Are you an artist and want to help decorate? Are you a storyteller? What gift of yourself can you share with us? Any contribution is greatly accepted!!! Please contribute your uniqueness to this once a year celebration.

Specific contributions I am looking for:
-Bow and Arrow for children and adults
-Decorations/ Altar design
-Film recording
-Story telling
-Harvest Altar preparation
-Welcoming Portal - a festive entry way for guest to enter 
our sacred space
-Crafts/craft making tables

There will be places throughout the farm to pitch a tent to spend the night and join us for brunch sunday.

Rain Date will be the following day Sunday Oct 19 2pm

Please Please RSVP ASAP!!! so I can know how many chairs, dishes etc. to have on hand. Hope to see each and everyone of you!


Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953

Posted 8/21/2014 8:42am by Rodney Hornbake.


Hi Everyone!  

We are keeping the farm stand, first come first served open all week in fact were keeping it open until further notice. We have an abundance of delicious vine ripened heirloom tomatoes that will knock your socks off!  Just yesterday we made a delivery to Al Forno's restaurant in Old Saybrook. The Farm stand will be open 9am-6pm M-F on a self-serve honor system. Also in the stand:

Farm Fresh Garlic

Honey from our very own beehive!!

Local micro batch Maple syrup from Joshuatown Rd.

 

Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953

Posted 7/29/2014 10:18am by Rodney Hornbake.
Farmstand by Reservation returns this Wednesday
July 29 from 3p-6p!!
Please make your reservation by 8am Weds morning
 
 
How the Farmstand By Reservation works.
At the bottom of this email you will find a list of crops along with their pricing that are available for this Saturday only. All you need to do is respond to this email keeping the original subject of the email. In the body of your email please list for me the crop and quantity much the way I have listed them here. After you have sent your email please wait for a confirmation email with your total cost. When you receive your confirmation you have successfully reserved your veggies and can come to the farmstand on Saturday between the hours of 9am and 12n. Please bring payment (cash or check) and a carrying bag. Please note that quantities are limited and we may sell out so you may not get everything you request.
 
 
This week by reservation:
 
Yellow Fingerling Potatoes-$4/lb
Red skin/pink flesh roasting potatoes-$3/lb
Arugula-$3 per quarter lb bag
Basil- $1 small bag
Hakurei Turnip(Sweet white salad turnip) $3/lb
Slicing cucumbers- $3/lb
Asian cucumbers(great tasting for slicing)-$3/lb
Pickling cucumbers-$3lb
Yellow Squash-$3/lb
Green Zucchini- $3lb
Sugar sweet baby carrots-$3/lb
Rainbow Swiss Chard-$4/bunch
Wild Wood Sorrel(adds a citrus zing to salads and savory dishes) $3/bunch
Joshua town rd Maple syrup $20/qt $7.75/pt
Really Free-ranged Eggs-$6/dz
California grown cold pressed extra-virgin Olive oil 17oz bottle $12
 

Michael Melillo

Land Steward

New Mercies Farm

203-427-3953