Blue Hill Farm
Blue Hill Farm
"I used to walk up Blue Hill Road every week, for years; sometimes everyday. I loved Blue Hill Farm more than anything in the world.
"Back then it was a dairy run by two brothers. What a mess! They had cows pasturing in the front yard, for god's sake... And the barn and house were run-down and so dirty I couldn't believe it. And you know what? I loved it. I loved the open pastures, I loved the backdrop of blue hills, I loved that I felt like a queen every time I came up here.
"But whenever I told the brothers I wanted to buy the farm, they just laughed. ‘Lady,' they'd say, ‘This farm has been in our family for three generations. We're never selling.'
"I'd return the next week, and they'd say the same thing. ‘Never selling.' This went on for years.
"Then one day I arrived at the top of the hill and one of the brothers came running over to me. ‘Ma'am, do you still want to buy this farm?' I couldn't believe it. He didn't even let me answer. ‘My brother and I have gotten into the biggest fight. If we don't sell it now we're going to kill each other.' I told them I was interested. ‘Ma'am,' he said, ‘we're selling it now, or forget it. Right now.'
"So I said yes. I hadn't even been inside the farmhouse, and I didn't know where the property began and where it ended. But it didn't matter. I just knew this was the place."
~Ann Marlowe Straus, as told to her grandchildren David and Dan Barber
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Occupying 138 acres in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Blue Hill Farm has been in the Barber family for three generations and served as the inspiration behind both Blue Hill restaurants.
Originally a dairy, the farm was converted into a cattle-grazing operation by Dan and David's grandmother in the 1960s. Her belief in the importance of land preservation and the intimate connection between great farming and delicious food was passed on to them; Dan began farming and cooking for family and friends at the farm, and it is there that he acquired his passion for locally grown and seasonal produce.
In 2004 Dan and David decided to reestablish Blue Hill Farm in its original form, recruiting local farmer Sean Stanton to manage the land. Today, the farm is once again home to a vibrant population of chickens, pigs, dairy cows, and laying hens.
Though still in its early stages, Blue Hill Farm has already begun to supply the restaurants with vegetables and grass-fed meats. The recently renovated dairy barn will be the future home of Blue Hill Farm Cheeses.