Today we are excited to share with you the story of Maureen and Paul Knapp from Cobblestone Valley Farms. This dynamic duo has over 36 years of farming experience and that makes for a perfect #farmerfridays post if you ask us! Don't forget to CVF them to your social media feeds, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram!
SVHC: How long have you been producing or growing in Cortland County?
CVF: Paul is the fourth generation on the farm so for him, literally forever. But together, we’ve been at this since 1982, although we have ramped things up and added more offerings over the years.
SVHC: Growing food or producing food products cannot be an easy task to take on, why engage this type of lifestyle?
CVF: As you indicate, farming is a way-of-life, rather than a job. Working with the soil, the plants, the animals, and trying to improve all of those in the process is, for us I think, what we all dream of: Doing what you love and being able to support your family while doing it. Learning, observing, teaching others and interacting with the life all around us is a pretty phenomenal way to spend your days!
SVHC: What products or goods do you make or grow?
CVF: The backbone of the farm is certified organic dairy, with all other enterprises connected to and synergistic with milk production. In addition to the dairy we produce certified organic pick-your-own strawberries and pastured chicken & turkey. The poultry enterprise is only operational during pasture season. We also raise grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and laying hens, which although not certified, are under organic management (certified organic feed, pasture). Our eggs go to Origins Cafe for their breakfast sandwiches, and everything else is direct marketed from the farm.
SVHC: What has been your biggest joy as a local grower/producer?
CVF: There are many, but probably the biggest is our customers. We do a considerable amount of direct marketing from the farm and our customer base is just incredible. Their stories, and the paths their lives have taken that so that they have ended up on our doorstep have enhanced our lives more than we could ever influence theirs. Our customers recognize that we are working from a different production model, which takes much more into consideration than just price and are willing to support that.
SVHC:What has been your greatest challenge as a local grower/producer?
CVF:The weather, because we are at its mercy – and also so dependant upon it. The challenge is learning how to live with the weather, as it can quite literally - make us or break us.
SVHC:If you could tell your community one thing, what would it be?
CVF:We’d like to thank anyone reading this for their interest in locally grown foods. Quite often, the first step - that first purchase - is the most difficult one to take. Once you have met your farmer and taken that first step towards purchasing locally it all becomes much easier, and much more meaningful than shopping at a grocery store.
SVHC:How can the community purchase your goods or connect with you?
CVF: Our website contains everything you need to know about our farm: Pricing, Ordering, Pick-up, Directions, FAQs. It also has a newsletter sign-up near the bottom of the home page. We send out a monthly farm update with whatever is new on the farm, which also acts as a reminder for chicken pick-up times during pasture season. If you decide to order, the way we operate is via email so that is always a record. There are links all over the website for you to get in touch with us, and we hope to hear from you - even if it just to ask a question!
**Cobblestone Valley Farm currently has a great deal on grass-raised beef. Contact Marueen if intrested!**
Large Combo - $150
Ground Beef (12) 1 pound packages
Premium Steak (2); 2/pkg - NY Strip & Delmonico
Stew - 2 pound package OR Eye Round Roast
Small Combo - $75
Ground Beef (8) 1 pound packages
Eye Round Roast OR Chuck Roast
Premium Steak (1); 2/pkg - NY Strip or Delmonico