Cate Hill Orchard and Sheep Dairy Craftsbury Common, VT
Located in Greensboro Vermont, Cate Hill Orchard and Sheep Dairy is a sheep dairy and certified organic apple orchard. This small, diverse permaculture farm is run by spouses Josh and Maria who model their practices after nature in an effort to create a sustainable ecosystem. The fruit trees are interspersed with plantings of herbs and flowers to deter pests and encourage pollinators and other beneficial insects. Leftover whey from their cheesemaking operation is used as a fungicidal spray for the orchard. Apple pomace from their cider pressing is used as sheep feed. Poor quality wool is used as mulch around berry plants. The sheep fertilize and mow the orchard. These cyclical systems feed one another, creating a thriving ecosystem where each farm enterprise is multi-purposed and connected. The dairy is not certified organic, but they do feed certified organic hay, manage our pastures organically, and the small amount of grain the sheep receive is certified organic.