The Farm: Windy Ridge farm is a small scale, owner operated family farm located in the Berkshire foothills in Hawley, MA. The farm was founded in 2009 by Julia Lemieux.
Since 2014, Julia has also managed a community garden program for the City of Pittsfield. This program operates at seven garden and school sites throughout two of the lowest income neighborhoods of the city. Julia is passionate about empowering others to reclaim their food sovereignty and grow their own fruits and vegetables as an act of dismantling the systems that hold individuals in Poverty. More information about this program can be found by following this link to their Facebook page.
The Plants: Windy Ridge Farm offers a full line of edible and medicinal vegetable and herb seedlings. We grow all of our plants with integrity using only organic practices and are certified with Baystate Organic Certifiers. We offer wholesale rates and will grow custom varieties for other small farms and businesses with advance notice.
The Produce: The basis of our small local family food business lies in the desire to grow as much of our own family’s food as possible. We pass down our own food cultivation, storage and preservation skills to our CSA community as well as our clientele at Farmer’s Markets. By doing this, we are mimicking a timeless tradition of each generation sharing their food growing and processing skills with the following generation. We enjoy the excitement of discovering new ways to prolong our harvest through different methods of crop production and season extension.
Our farm strives to allow access to fresh produce to people from all backgrounds. We have donated excess produce to the Northampton Survival Center, The Christian Center Pittsfield and the Berkshire Dream Center. We accept WIC and Senior coupons at our three farmer’s markets, the Berkshire Mall Market in Lanesborough and the Downtown Pittsfield Farmer’s Market. We also accept SNAP/HIP benefits at the Pittsfield market.
We believe that the health benefits of freshly harvested and organically grown local produce are immense and in an altogether different category than store bought produce. Heritage plant varieties that have been passed down through the generations are disappearing at an alarming rate. Whenever possible we try to select native heirloom varieties. We save much of our own seed in an effort to provide true local food security to our area. To this end, we have worked with and learned from many local farmers in this area who share our passion for sustainable community based agricultural enterprises. We love sharing recipes and teaching families something new about food that changes their diet possibilities. We feel we must leave the next generation with the tools and knowledge to grow their own food and enjoy eating it too!
All farmers have a responsibility to improve the land that provides such bounty for us. Our organic production methods include a four-year rotation schedule, which allows for the planting of cover crops. This greatly improves the viability of the soil while giving the land a chance to rest. We have two Greenhouses at the farm base in Hawley. There are also many chickens and some kids too! Come visit us and see what’s growing!