The Not-So-Simple Life
The farm-to-table frenzy has thousands of urbanites trading in their desks for the idylls of agriculture. But one eager young couple learns the hard way that organic utopia is easier dreamed than achieved.
On a sunny fall day in 2005, Kate and Dan Marsiglio pulled their Audi A4 station wagon into the drive at Stony Creek Farmstead, three Tamworth piglets bouncing in the backseat. They had $25,000 and planned to build a second farmhouse on the old ninety-acre Catskills dairy where Dan’s parents had retired.
In the following weeks, Dan set up pens. Kate phoned livestock and feed suppliers. They jotted down goals, such as “feed 100 people everything they need for a year.” The farm would raise organic meats and vegetables. It would become a community center. It would prove the viability of alternatives to feedlots and superstores.
That was eight years ago, when the Marsiglios left emerging careers as schoolteachers for the country life. Today the farm is more or less complete, with thirty cows, twenty-five sheep, 150 chickens and four pigs. There’s a vegetable garden and a greenhouse. More than two hundred families buy products from the harvest each year. The Marsiglios…
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