Lure of the Land
A fresh crop of gentleman (and woman) farmers with a shared passion for connecting with the land is sprouting up around Connecticut
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≈ GREYLEDGE FARM ≈
A FAMILY AFFAIR Family and friends seemed to line up when Libby and Terry Fitzgerald decided to raise Black Angus beef in the pasture land adjacent to their 18th-century farmhouse. “We started with 10 cows; now we have 300,” says Libby. “People are more concerned these days about what they feed their children.” When the Fitzgeralds bought Greyledge Farm in 1993, they got involved in land preservation in Litchfield County, where there’s a big movement to keep farms open and working. But a desire to produce healthy food and raise animals in a humane, healthy and sustainable way is what prompted them to start raising cattle. Splitting their time between Roxbury and New York City (Terry is in investment management there), they oversee farming operations at Greyledge, where they also raise pork and poultry in an “organic and humane” manner. And it is truly a family affair: Their sons (ages 17, 15 and 8) work on the farm every summer—caring for the animals, performing land maintenance and working at the farm stand. As for that commitment to land preservation: With so many animals, they now lease additional land from local land trusts (Roxbury Land Trust and the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust) to accommodate the cows and to farm hay.