Knowing where your food comes from and eating local is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet and one of the many perks of living in Orange is the variety of roadside stands available where local farmers sell their bounty.
Now Cedar Hill Farm owners Stephen and Rachel Bespuda have a new product to add to the list of freshly farmed Orange products for sale – prime cuts of poultry, turkey, pork and beef raised at their farm at 831 Derby Milford Road.
Stephen, with wife Rachel, recently opened their new farm stand featuring over 40 cuts of flash frozen beef and fowl raised on the Bespuda farm for production. Stephen describes the family’s farming practice as “sustainable and humane.” “To us, this means doing more with less – that our production methods use natural resources in the most efficient way possible, allowing future generations to produce food off the same land.” Bespuda describes accomplishing this goal by combining generations of “tried and true techniques along with modern technology.”
“While on the farm, the livestock has room to move around and graze, access to clean air and water, dry bedding and quality feed. They are raised with care and attention to detail,” Bespuda said. While antibiotics are never used to promote growth, Bespuda does not believe in ever withholding antibiotics when needed to treat a sick animal. “When a problem or an illness does arise, we do everything we can to keep the animal from suffering and may use antibiotics when deemed necessary, under the guidance of a veterinarian,” he said. He also believes in transparency in the meat production process and welcomes discussing it with his customers.
Bespuda feeds the animals a complete balanced ration of home-grown feed with just trace amounts of grain – a diet that contributes to the excellent quality of the product. “It’s like trying to describe the difference in taste between a tomato being grown in a greenhouse and one you grow in a garden,” Bespuda said. “Once you taste it you know the difference. It is hard to describe it.” The cost of this quality is reflected in the higher price per pound of the farm-raised meat versus meat that is mass produced and sold in the grocery store.
Stephen Jr., is the fourth generation of Bespudas to operate the family’s farm, that’s been in Orange since the 1930s. He, his wife Rachel and daughter Caroline – who, though still a toddler, shows signs of being a fifth-generation farmer – live in the original farmhouse that was built on the property in the late 1700s. Three generations of the family still live and work on the farm; Stephen’s grandparents Walter and Maryellen; as well as his parents, Stephen Sr. and Linda.
Originally a dairy farm that provided milk to customers in surrounding communities, today the farm specializes in raising sustainable meat, pork and livestock and growing feed and hay. The stand is open every Thursday from 4-6 p.m. and the first Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Laura Fantarella – Orange Town News Correspondent