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Next Barn Over
Contact: Ray Young
Address: 15 Lawrence Plain Rd Hadley, MA, 01035
Email Address: info@nextbarnover.com
Phone: 413-461-8444
About Us
Next Barn Over Farm is a 34-acre, certified organic, mixed vegetable farm in Hadley, MA at the foot of the Holyoke Range, near the confluence of the Fort & Connecticut Rivers. We grow over fifty different crops, primarily for our on-farm CSA, as well as for off-farm box-shares and a few grocery store and restaurants. We generally work with a crew of seven in the fields as well as a membership coordinator and a shareroom manager (and since each of these exceptional folks tend to pull the weight of two, we manage to get it all done). Ray and Tory started Next Barn Over in 2010 building on the tradition and community of Food Bank Farm where they apprenticed with Michael Doctor.

Once the rich bottomland of ancient Lake Hitchcock, archeological research suggests that the fertile valley we are in has been farmed for several thousand years. In addition to the corn-beans-and-squash that was grown here for millennia by Native Americans prior to the arrival of European immigrants, the last several hundred years have seen a variety of farming primarily dairy, hay, tobacco, winter squash, potatoes, corn, asparagus, and other vegetables. Hadley loam, Hadley asparagus, and Hadley corn have distinguished this otherwise quiet New England town.

Because of its rich soil and strong agricultural industry, Hadley has the most farmland in Agricultural Protection Restriction (APR) in the state of Massachusetts, with over 2,400 acres protected from development. The APR program has helped farming remain viable and new farms like ours possible. Almost all of the land that we farm is preserved for agricultural use forever.
Practices
We strive for sustainability in all aspects of our relationship with the earth, each other and the broader community. We are inspired by the challenge of finding new ways to improve our local food system.

plantshardeningoffThe majority of our land is certified organic and we use the same organic methods in all of our fields. All our produce is grown without synthetic or artificial fertilizers or pesticides. We build the fertility of our soil using cover crops, organically approved fertilizers, compost and manure. A careful rotation helps us to minimize pest and disease damage.

We grow over fifty crops with many varieties and successions of each. This way, if some plants don’t thrive due to pests or weather, we can still count on having an abundance to harvest each week. We also rely on crop rotation, beneficial insects, mechanical cultivation, row cover, and other cultural practices to control weed and insect damage to our crops. No chemically treated seeds, pesticides, or fertilizers are ever used on our farm. We try to avoid organically certified insecticides or fungicides as well, using them only on rare occasions when we deem the risks to be minimal and the benefits great. Though we pride ourselves on the quality of our crops, we are careful not to use inputs to grow perfect crops at the expense of long-term sustainability.

We try to limit our resource use whenever possible. All electricity at the farm comes from the photovoltaic panels on our barn roof. We reduce our water use by using drip irrigation in all of our fields. This not only conserves water by placing the water right where it’s needed, but also prevents many plant diseases by keeping crop foliage dry. When making decisions about when and how to cultivate we try to balance the immediate needs of weed management with our understanding of what is best for the long-term health of the soil.

We believe that building a sustainable food system is a work in progress. We will continue to evaluate and improve our farm systems and practices based on our core values of recognizing our interdependence and honoring the earth.