The Farm and Family
We are a small, diversified family farm with a focus on healthy pasture raised meat and rare heritage breed animals that thrive in our rough New England climate in Norwich, Vermont. Hogwash Farm was created by Nancy LaRowe and Dave Yesman in 2006 in the Union Village part of Norwich VT. They chose the great farm name Hogwash in an effort not to take the endeavor too seriously.
In late 2011 Nancy and Dave moved the farm to its current location, and in 2017 Nancy sold her amazing business to the O'Hara family. Leslie, accompanied by her two young daughters Lillian and Susie, runs the business now - trying to live up to the great name and farm that Nancy created.
The sizable antique farmhouse is also home to the Greniers who are essential to keeping the farm functioning in top form.
We sell our meats all year from the farm, at the Norwich Farmers’ Market, and through a meat CSA. Please email with any questions…Thanks!
Our distinctive Jacob Sheep (so often mistaken for goats) thrive on the steep hillside pastures surrounding the farm. Heritage breed pigs root in the woods and fields gaining and adding nutrients to our land by turning over and foraging in the pastures and woodlots. We raise a batch of turkeys every summer - they are great characters that range across our pastures adding fertility and eating to their hearts content. And last but not least, our laying flock runs pell mell ALL OVER the home farm, frequently stopping traffic as they range wherever they see fit!
Our sheep are exclusively grass fed, except for treats and bribery. The pigs get a daily ration of non-GMO feed that is locally sourced and produced. A significant portion of their feed is organic, but not all of it. The pigs are also lucky enough to get day old breads and pastries from King Arthur Flour, prep veggie scraps from the Co-op Food Stores, and unclaimed pumpkins and surplus veggies from several local farms. Turkeys eat a non-GMO (partially, but not fully organic) feed. And the entirely too spoiled laying hens help themselves to everything on the farm, but get a daily ration of soy free, organic feed.
We raise our animals outside year-round because the animals are happier and healthier which produces a better product.
In an average year Hogwash has an ever fluctuating farm population of 35-80 sheep, 35-100 pigs, 45 laying hens, and up to 300 turkeys. Turkeys are only around in the short, warm months of summer.
While Hogwash had always raised about 1,000 broiler chickens every summer, in 2022 we made the decision to hand off the honor/struggle to Lucky Fields Farm. Lucky Fields is another small family farm that specializes in raising pastured poultry so they now custom raise birds for Hogwash. They are raising pastured Freedom Ranger broiler chickens with great success and we're thrilled to support them and have a slightly less full summer on our farm.
The Food and Practices
Pasture-raised meat and eggs are ideal for your health. Animals living on pasture can move freely and engage in natural behaviors, and as a result they experience lower stress and fewer health problems. We firmly believe that well managed pasture based animal production can improve soil health and fertility, and help combat climate change.
Happier healthier animals produce nutritionally superior meat and eggs. Pastured animals exercise a lot and consume many extra nutrients from the land they live on, all of which results in meat rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, less saturated (bad) fats, more polyunsaturated (good) fats, and a lower ratio of omega 6 (inflammatory) to omega 3 polyunsaturated fats. A lower ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in the diet may improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Although we aren't certified in any way, the Hogwash Farm property is treated organically to protect the lively wetland ecosystems that surround the barns and pastures. You also won't find any traces of added hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs in our meat. You are what you eat! We raise happy healthy animals for a healthy product and community.
Hogwash Farm is lucky to call one of the oldest farms in Norwich its home. The farm sits at the heart of the historic Root District of Norwich VT, across the road from what used to be the community's one room schoolhouse. Known as 'The Slafter House,' the antique farmhouse was built and lived in by John Slafter after his service in the French and Indian war in 1768. Sloping floors and walls, multiple fireplaces, and intricate stone basement declare the age and majesty of the antique house. One of the gorgeous barns is as old as the house and has been meticulously preserved by the farm's caring landlords. We who live here hope to call the cherished property home for many more years!
If you love old schoolhouses, barns, and farmhouses check out the Norwich Historical Society's podcast tours!