Leslie Farrington grew up helping out on her father’s vegetable garden in Canada. It became such a passion that, as a mother at home with young children, she took the first opportunity she got to start her own small farm.
Lilac Valley Farm started by producing a range of vegetables on just half an acre of land, before adding pastured laying hens in 2012. In addition to fulfilling her lifelong wish to have animals, having laying hens enables Leslie to be confident about the quality of the eggs she feeds her own family—and lets her share any bounty with her local community.
Leslie pursued AWA certification for the flock because many of her customers shared her own concern with how animal are raised. “We’re very proud to be certified. Having the AWA seal on my eggs lets people know that my birds are well-cared for. In fact, they’re spoiled rotten,” says Leslie. Unlike intensive confinement operations, Lilac Valley Farm’s chickens are raised outdoors on pasture where they are allowed to peck and scratch for seeds and bugs, and take dust baths. “Raising animals outdoors is incredibly important for their welfare,” Leslie explains. “It makes for happy, healthy animals—and that makes healthy products.”
Leslie’s small flock includes many breeds, including Cochin, Austrolorp, Orpington, Speckled Sussex, Silkie, Wyandott, and Easter Eggers. This mix produces a beautifully varied carton of eggs, with shells that range from light brown or cream-colored, to pink and green. Like the high quality produce from Lilac Valley, the eggs from Leslie’s chickens are certified organic: “They get organic feed and organic bugs on our farm.”
Leslie is very grateful for the help of Dennis Klotz—her husband, farm handyman, and “servant”—who does a lot of work around the farm. Eventually, the produce garden will expand to an acre and a half. Leslie hopes to keep adding chicken breeds to the farm, although with such small acreage, she expects that the flock will never grow to much more than 30 birds.
Lilac Valley Farm’s pasture-raised eggs are available at the Milford Farmers’ Market and direct from the farm. Contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 672-4054 for availability, or visit www.LilacValleyFarmNH.com for more information.