What is the value in living a life if the life is not truly lived to the fullest? How do we find purpose and fulfillment? What can we do that can make an impact on the world, or at least a little portion of it? Why did we choose a path that little think to venture down? How can we give back to the Earth for all she provides and protect her from what may come?
The Farm Story
The farm on Northford Road in Wallingford, Connecticut has been in the Cooke family since the mid 1700's. Up until the 1990's it operated as a dairy farm and at its peak operated over 1000 acres of land and 400 head of Holstein milkers, dry cows, heifers, calves, and one or two bulls. These days the farm has retained 100 acres and runs a hay operation as well as leases to a local vegetable farmer as well as Kirsten and Chris who run the pastured poultry operation and grow their crops on the land.
Meet Your Farmers
A Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Chris grew up playing in 400 acres of town-owned land in Salem, CT. He was up at 4am milking cows for a local dairy farmer after graduating High School. After leaving the Corps in 2007, Chris landscaped before heading to Maine in 2008 to work in Ski Patrol at Sunday River. He returned in the Spring and apprenticed as a farrier (horseshoer) before migrating into stone masonry. In 2010-2011 he worked as a private security contractor in Baghdad and finally ended up back home to attend school.
His interest in farming began in 2015 as he became more educated on the benefits of homegrown food and minimizing his carbon footprint.
Chris is the handyman of the farm and it shows in the careful construction of the "chicken tractors" and reconstruction of the bull-barn turned brood-house. Chris attends many seminars and workshops for Veteran Farmers to expand his knowledge of all things farming and network with other like-minded folks.
Chris is in control of processing the poultry and heading the building and maintenance of infrastructure on the farm. He also works closely with local chefs from various restaurants to supply them with crops grown on the farm.
Kirsten grew up on Co-Ag/Cooke Farm, the land which Muddy Roots Farm currently leases. Her grandfather and great-great-grandfather were dairy farmers, but even with agriculture in her blood, it wasn't until post-college that she took an interest in farming after continuous visits with her Aunt in Vermont who practices self-sufficiency and neighborly bartering. This lifestyle was intriguing and she was awed of the amount of harvest that could come from a small area and the friendly neighbors who would trade raw milk or honey, for chicken and vegetables.
With this newfound interest in the self-sustainable lifestyle she began with a 12x20 vegetable plot in 2007 growing tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and squash. Incentivized by the success in feeding her family, that plot expanded year after year. Trial and error was a good teacher and the internet had plenty of resources. As time went on, the interest in crops remained and a new interest came to light in the preservation of native pollinators and learning to attract beneficial insects to the garden to do their part in the management of pest species, as well as utilizing natural control methods to combat disease, and also practicing soil regeneration by use of natural resources.
Kirsten's focus is on crop production and flock management. She handles most customer interactions and marketing of the farm products.