Marketing, marrying new fields for farmers

February 2, 2017
BY HANNA SNYDER GAMBINI REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

BETHLEHEM – March Farms in Bethlehem last week announced it would begin hosting weddings in 2018.

Getting married in a pastoral setting is not a new idea, but it’s another example of how small farmers are finding innovative ways of increasing revenue and reaching new markets.

Several dairy farms in the area including Arethusa in Bantam and Rich Farm in Oxford have opened successful ice cream stands.

“Typically farming is very expensive and labor intensive, but to offer a space for weddings or corporate functions, it’s a good way to not only get the word out about our farm but to bring in revenue,” March said.

For the Freund Family, their farm success story didn’t start as an attempt to drive people to their farm, but as a way to make use of a farm byproduct.

The East Canaan farm is the world’s only maker of cow pots – biodegradable plant pots made of cow manure that were invented as an environmentally conscious way of using the remaining manure on the farm, said third-generation farmer Amanda Freund.

“We weren’t trying to make money,” she said. “Cowpots was such a far fetched idea that we didn’t see dollar signs attached to this. Now it’s paid off but we didn’t go into it to make money, but because it was the right thing to do for our land.”

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