Allyson Angelini’s Story
Organic farming nourishes every aspect of my being. During college I studied Sustainable Agriculture and fell in love with the local food movement. Inspired by hardworking farmers and delicious food, I went on to intern/apprentice at several farms and then to work as a farm manager for a couple of seasons. This season will be my first owning and operating a farm. Full Heart Farm aims to encourage a return to the family table through meal-based farming. Our small, diversified family farm will grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs, and meat, marketed through a Full Plate CSA. Each week the farm will deliver boxes of freshly harvested farm products needed to make 1-2 meals, to working families. We aim to support our family and our local community through food, education, and the arts. We hope to cultivate a greater appreciation for food by teaching others how it’s grown, prepared, and enjoyed. We aspire to nurture healthy bodies, minds, and souls through creativity and the art of agriculture.
The first season of our farm brings many capital expenses – repairs to our house and barn, gardening and harvest equipment, seeds, feed, and more. One of the key aspects of our growing plan is pasture-raised meat chickens. For the first two seasons, we plan to raise and process 50 birds bi-weekly. There is space in the barn to brood the chicks, but we will need to build at least two mobile chicken tractors to allow the birds constant access to fresh grass. The estimated cost of building materials for two tractors is $600 (primarily wood, chicken wire, wheels, hinges, etc), and my family has offered to help with the construction. Having chicken tractors will help protect our chickens from predation, while allowing them constant access to fresh pasture. This growing method will improve the quality of life of our animals, as well as the pasture (which has been fallow for several years).
Our Full Plate CSA encourages families to incorporate local, organic foods into their lifestyle. The cost of the CSA is equivalent to $25/week of farm products (vegetables, herbs, meat, eggs), roughly 10-20% of the average family\’s food budget in our area. We believe that by offering a wide array of farm products along with recipes and cooking ideas, we can inspire more families to buy local and cook at home. We help educate families on the benefits of eating organically raised foods and show them that making simple changes can result in an improved lifestyle.
We also plan to serve our community by offering children\’s educational programs at the local elementary school and working with students at the neighboring agricultural high school. As active members of the New CT Farmers Alliance we aim to encourage youth to pursue careers in agriculture.