About Falls Brook Farm
In May 2006 we, Eileen & Dick Gates, purchased a farm house built in 1808 located in Blandford, Massachusetts, a small agricultural community located in Western Massachusetts. Our property is surrounded by 243 acres of conservation land named the Carl Knittel Conservation Area. Prior to our purchase, this acreage was originally part of the historical farm property. The conservation land consists of open-fields, walking trails, Falls Brook and wetlands. With the exception of hay production, no active farming had been done on the property since the early 1970s. Historically, our property was a dairy farm and then later a potato farm. Our vision was to resurrect the farm as a "hobby farm." After receiving 4 laying hens as a house warming gift we were off to a good start, but we were not sure what other farm animals or activities we would pursue.
In February 2008 Eileen attended a "Woman in Kidding Program" at Heifer International's Overlook Farm located in Rutland, Massachusetts. During this very informative program about goats Eileen had hands-on experience with the birthing of kids, learned about the different types of goats, their required care and health concerns. The program also taught participants about the production of goat cheese and spinning mohair.
Although the focus of the program was the birthing of kids, Eileen also had the opportunity to work with the other farm animals on the premises. Eileen came home from the program with a wealth of knowledge about goats and a 4 day old, 4 pound baby goat that required bottle-feeding. We named him Danny. Shortly thereafter we adopted a friend for Danny from Overlook Farm and named her Peanut. Danny and Peanut are small, Nigerian Dwarf / Pygmy crosses. Their affectionate, playful and inquisitive personalities are the qualities that helped us decide that we wanted goats to be part of our farm.
Hazel, Piko, Bella & April
From Eileen's learning experience about fiber and spinning at Overlook Farm, we decided to pursue fiber goats. Also, as Eileen is a member of the Blandford Spinning Guild, we thought that the Pygora fiber would be a nice variation to add to the guild. We researched fiber goats and attended fiber festivals and ultimately decided on Pygora Goats because of their versatile fiber (types and color), the size of Pygora goats and especially for their personalities. In September 2010 our four Pygora goats arrived and we enjoy them immensely! Their fiber is beautiful and their personalities are so affectionate, gentle and playful.
In addition to our goat and fiber activities, We have a farm stand offering fresh eggs from happy pasture raised chickens, Pygora yarn from our own herd, wool and alpaca yarns grown locally by our neighbors and small gift items from local artists. We also harvest hay for own use and sell it to our neighbors as well.
In addition to the goats and laying hens, we also have two dogs "Bunny" and "Rose" our border collie and a cat "Ben."
We currently are members of the Pygora Breeders Association, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) and the Massachusetts Farm Bureau.
Our goal is to establish a sustainable farm while protecting the natural resources. All of our animals are cared for with gentle kindness and respect.