Hobby Farming With Our Water Resources in Mind!

Posted March 6, 2024

We love our animals, gardens and pastures in the Manchaug Pond watershed – especially horses, donkeys, beef cattle, sheep, and chickens!  A 2020 watershed survey found close to 30 small hobby farms dot the landscape in this corner of Sutton, Douglas and Oxford. With water quality in mind, the Manchaug Pond Foundation is offering two new outreach programs to small farmers as part of a s.319 Nonpoint Source Pollution grant received from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

~ The first is a series of 24 newsletters and 12 podcasts – Hobby Farming with Water Quality in Mind.   Our series is “for owners of ‘Hobby Farms’ – small scale farms operated primarily as a residential lifestyle – to provide their owners with the tools to develop and operate an environmental-friendly farm and promote responsible stewardship of both land and the environment.”

Each Wednesday for the next 24+ weeks, we will release a newsletter on a topic of interest to backyard gardeners and animal owners which offers best management practices, options and solutions to farm and raise animals with our lake, streams and wetlands in mind.  Topics will go the gamut from planning your farm to understanding fertilizers, dealing with mud and manure, to utilizing integrated pest management and more.

~ The second initiative offers technical outreach to several animal owners or backyard gardeners/farmers within the watershed. This spring, an environmental specialist will visit small farms in the watershed offering site specific recommendations on stormwater management, nutrient and manure management and water quality protection. During the site visit, individualized recommendations on site layout; land, nutrient, and animal management; and non-point source reduction will be offered.  A list of recommendations will be discussed with each participant receiving a copy of the handbook:  Hobby Farming with Water Quality in Mind: A Guide to Successful Backyard Farming While Protecting Our Water Resources, October 2017 (funded under s.319 project #15-05/319 – Small Farm BMP Guidance).

So, stay tuned! and if you would like your stable/pasture/homestead/small farm considered for a technical site visit, contact us through the website at www.manchaugpond.org.

Manchaug Pond Foundation Land Conservation




This project has been financed with Federal Funds from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (the Department) under an s. 319 competitive grant. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of EPA or of the Department, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

Manchaug Pond Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to the welfare and correct use of Manchaug Pond and its watershed.  In advocacy, education and action, we work together on issues and needs including water quality, dam and waterlevel, watershed conservation, priority habitat for endangered species, safe boating and public access.
Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Federal Tax ID # 32-0303891

* * *