Barstow’s Longview Farm
Many generations back, farming was a way of life for almost everyone. As times changed, fewer families were able to make a living on the land, and today it’s the rare farm family that’s still making it work. Barstow’s Longview Farm, run by brothers David and Steven Barstow and their children, is one of those exceptions. Since 1806, seven generations of Barstows have raised cows on this dairy farm on Route 47 in the scenic and historic hamlet of Hockanum in Hadley.
It’s hard work filled with challenges: The family had to sustain a living during the many rollercoaster years of the fluctuating dairy market. Then in 2008, the Barstow family made a move to stabilize the future of their farm by opening a dairy store and bakery in front of the farm with a view of the river. In 2014, the Barstows installed an Anaerobic Digester—only the second in the state at the time—which breaks down manure and food waste into fertilizer and energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A Deep Commitment to the Land
The family agreed to sell an Agricultural Preservation Restriction, which extinguished development rights from the land to preserve these 123 acres of farmland forever. Funds from the sale of the APR were reinvested back into the farm to support their production of local dairy products.
“Our decision to protect this farmland, as well as open up the farm store, reflects the family’s deep commitment to the land and to enhance the community’s awareness of the importance of farming and the importance of all people being stewards to the land,” the brothers said.
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Department of Transportation Scenic Byways Program
Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Conservation Fund
Franklin Land Trust
This project was part of Kestrel’s broader Mount Holyoke Range Landscape Partnership Project.