Goodale Farms in Aquebogue, with its dirt driveway and noisy goats meandering out front, might not at first glance look like a full-scale dairy and butchery.
But the Aquebogue farm, which was founded just 10 years ago, boasts those facilities as well as 60 acres of land, 25 dairy cows, 125 goats, 10 beef cows, 20 pigs and 250 chickens. This past Wednesday, Peconic Land Trust teamed up with Goodale Farms to offer an educational tour of the property.
Hal Goodale, who owns the business with his wife Anne Marie, noted that his family has been farming on the East End since the 1800’s.
“Before starting the business, I traveled the country and saw what was happening in the dairy and meat industries,” he said, referring to the reliance on industrial agriculture. “I started with only dairy, but then grew to include meat and produce as well.”
Kathy Kennedy, who is the Peconic Land Trust’s outreach manager, organized the tour along with Goodale.
“I was really interested in the production situation which is really unusual for out here,” she said. “I wanted to bring people here and help them see that meat production is viable on the East End.”
The farm, which is one of the only sources for pastured meat on Long Island, offers meat products that are free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.
“We vacuum seal and then freeze our meat, and by the next day it’s brown — not bad, just brown,” Goodale said. The stuff you see in the supermarket they keep red by pumping it with carbon monoxide.”
Last summer, Goodale Farms began offering grocery deliveries at $75 per week using a community supported agriculture share-style model. Goodale said there are about 110 members in the program. The goal of the service, Goodale said, is to get food to people’s houses in a traditional and cost-effective way.
“Bigger farms have to use antibiotics, and the price of eggs has actually risen because of the avian flu,” he said referring to the outbreak which has killed millions of chickens in the country this year. “When there’s that many birds in one space, it’s bound to happen.”
Members of the CSA usually receive eight to 10 fruits and vegetables, a choice of one of three dairy products, and a meat of their choice.
“With other CSAs what you see is usually what you get,” he said. “Here we see it as an opportunity to bring wholesome meat to people.”
See more pics from the tour below. Photos by Kendall Stark