Morning Fog Farm is a diversified family farm in the town of Berne, Albany County, NY.
The acreage we have today is what remains of the original 160-acre land grant belonging to the Shufeldt family, who farmed this land from the 1700's until George Shufeldt died here in 1965. Most of his ancestors are buried here, among the pine trees on a hill overlooking the Switzkill River.
After 1965, the land continued to be farmed by neighbors as it passed through two owners, and then to us in 1999. We came to this land as small-scale organic farmers from New Jersey, having the last working farm in Somerset County at that time .
The farm needed work, and we spent the first five years here basically fixing up. We gained an even greater appreciation for farm life than we already had, and with the help of our neighbors our place really started to shape up.
We then realized that Albany county is experiencing some of the same problems with open space and farming that made us flee from N.J.: sprawl, increasing property taxes, and a vanishing appreciation for local farms.
We decided that the best way to preserve farming as a way of life, and to preserve farmland as an important community resource, would be to work with other farmers in the valley to produce and market superior quality farm products to a local market. In the past we have raised every class of animal for our own extended family.
We have produced Certified Organic eggs averaging 45 dozen a week for a N.J. store. We have frozen our own vetables, dried our own herbs and searched out farm meat sources when necessary for the last 14 years.
Now we would like to provide a source for others who wish to eat the way we do. If we sell it, then we eat it; and if we eat it, we either raise it or we know who does (and how).
One of our goals is to feed local families. In terms of scope, we'd like to develop the capacity to satisfy the majority of the meat, produce, herbs, and other farm products (like honey and maple syrup) consumed by between 25 and 50 families.
We employ the efforts of other local farmers in the Switzkill Valley so that we can offer a wide variety of nutritious food and healthy products. We want to help preserve farming as a way of life in the Valley.
Our beef, for instance, is raised for us by our neighbors at R6 Beef and Livestock.
The calves born on the farm next to ours, are raised by their mothers on plentiful mixed pasture and woods, and then overwintered on local grain and hay produced in the valley..
This leaves no chance for animal products or junk foods to inadvertantly get into the feed
When the animals are ready for processing, we take them to a USDA approved, family owned processing facility in Canaan, NY -- Hilltown Pork.
We believe that the way the meat is aged and cut is important to the quality and taste of the final product and we've been very happy with the professionals at Hilltown Pork.
Since they are a small facility, we process only one or two steers at a time, making the whole process as humane as possible. Beef is carefully aged according to individual needs, not a preset time limit.
Once the meat is processed into cuts, it is cryo-wrapped, frozen, and brought back to our freezers at Morning Fog Farm.
The response to our natural family farm beef has been enthusiastic. Besides direct customer sales, Indian Ladder Farms in Guilderland served our Roast Beef, Hot Dogs, and Hamburgers in their restaurant for their entire season.