About Maple Wind Farm
Maple Wind Farm, owned by Bruce Hennessey and Beth Whiting, is a diversified pasture-based livestock, poultry, organic vegetable, and maple products farm located on two conserved properties in Huntington and Richmond, VT. Using environmentally sustainable practices and alternative energy inputs, we produce 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, certified organic and non-organic broiler chickens, layer chickens for eggs, and certified organic turkeys, all on pasture. We process our own poultry and poultry for other farmers at our Richmond-based Vermont-inspected poultry processing unit. Maple Wind Farm also operates a small sugar bush, offers winter yurt rentals, and relies on wind and solar power for much of its power requirements. We sell direct at our farm in Huntington (by appointment), at the summer Richmond and summer and winter Burlington farmers’ markets, and wholesale to restaurants and food markets and coops in Vermont and greater New England.
We began farming in 1999 and have been dedicated to working within the farm ecology, utilizing natural processes whenever possible. Please read on for more detailed information about our farming practices.
Livestock on Pasture
We use high-density, intensive rotational grazing, making sure not to graze any piece of land until the grass has recovered fully. Our cows and broiler chickens are moved daily to new grass, while pigs and layer hens are moved as they utilize pasture resources. This method builds soils, reduces erosion and increases the diversity of our pasture, as well as transition zones where meadows and forests meet. Because we graze a variety of different species over the same ground, we encourage a diverse ecosystem and utilize different aspects of the pasture with different animals.
All of our Animal Groups have a Job
Pigs are our renovators and aerators, cows pull solar energy out of grass and legumes, layer hens, broilers and turkeys cleanse the pasture of parasites and fly larva and fertilize it with their manure.
Energy Conservation & the Production & Use of Alternative Energy
We’re dedicated to energy conservation and the production and use of alternative energy. We have two 6kW Solar Trackers that combined average 750 kW per month. Tied into the grid, we utilize what we need and export any excess.
Pasture-Based Farming Reduces Our Use of Fossil Fuels.
Most of our feed is eaten live and in place by the animals, and most of their manure is evenly distributed as part of the rotation process. The energy comes from the animals doing what they naturally do. Animals also provide energy for other farm activities. In addition to the work our other animals groups do on pasture, our draft horses provide about 20% of the farms field power, performing manure spreading, logging, and cultivation work.
We capture much of our manure during the winter months when soils cannot absorb it. By doing so, we reduce our potential for polluting our Huntington and Richmond watershed. In the spring we compost it, and spread it on our pastures as fertilizer.
Nutrient-Dense Organic Vegetables
At Maple Wind Farm, we integrate our livestock management with our organic vegetable program to increase fertility and build soil for high quality vegetable produce. We use high value compost produced from our cows, pigs and poultry to continue building vibrant, biologically active soils. Recognizing that centuries of agricultural activity has depleted even our best managed soils of essential minerals, trace elements and micro-nutrients, we have committed to building back the capacity of our soils to produce the most nutrient-dense vegetables available. Cover cropping, compost spreading and minimal tillage help us maintain these soils for future planting.
Maple Wind Farm is Committed to Selling Locally!
With the average conventional steak traveling 1000 miles from home to table and 80% of the vegetables in the U.S. coming from California, we’ve decided to cut out the environmental costs of such practices by keeping production close to home while strengthening the food system in Vermont and providing our customers with some of the freshest and healthiest food available.