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Contact Us

Farm Store
Open Daily
8 am - 7 pm
411 Main Road
Gill, MA 01354

Clifford Hatch
clifford@upinngil.com
413 863 2297

Sorrel Hatch
sorrel@upinngil.com
413 863 4431

Isaac Bingham
isaac@upinngil.com
413 863 4431

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Upinngil Sign

 

More than a Farm

New Barn at Upinngil Upinngil is a place and a business, but it is also a great deal more than that. It puts into action the belief that the key to regaining and maintaining environmentally sound farming practices is to re-establish the connection between consumers and the land that produces their food. When people visit a farm to buy locally-produced food , they not only re-educate their tastebuds, but they also begin to grasp the fragility and complexity of the process that puts healthful food in their stomachs. Our pick-your-own crops (strawberries, raspberries, and grapes) maximize the benefits to both the consumer and the farm: consumers enjoy a lower cost by picking fruit themselves and the farm eliminates significant overhead expenses. In the future, we hope to expand the pick-your-own model to other crops.

The Land

front of upinngil farmWe farm more than 100 acres at the 411 Main Road farm and at several locations in Gill, Massachusetts. Our location in the Connecticut River Valley, the terminus of the glacial ice sheet during the Wisconsin Period, is one of the most fertile places on earth. Much of the land at Upinngil has been in cultivation or used for grazing continuously for more than 300 years. We manage our land intensely and attentively, balancing the core values of sustainability, viability, practicality, and awareness of customer needs.


Ayrshire Cattle


The Ayrshire breed originated in County Ayr, Scotland, in the eighteenth century. Adapted to Scotland's rocky terrain and long winters, it is also an ideal New England cow. Ayrshire cows are efficient grazers and producers of high-protein, medium-fat milk. As such, they are ideally suited to grass-fed dairying operations and to cheese production.
Ayrshire calves, heifers, and cows are often available for purchase. Call or email Clifford (clifford@upinngil.com) for more information.



For more on the Ayrshire breed: Upinngil Ayrshire Cattle on Flickr
The Ayrshire Cattle Society of Great Britain and Ireland

The People

Members of the Upinngil crew, Fall 2016, from left to right: Issac Bingham (and son), Jodie Stafford, Simon Eaton, Kelli Clemens, Sorrel Hatch (and son), Clifford Hatch, Sarah Provechio.

Clifford Hatch comes from a tradition of New England family farming that reaches back to the early seventeenth century. Cliff grew up on his family's farm in Granby, MA. Cliff Hatch of Upinngil He founded the farm on Center Road in Gill with his wife, Patricia Crosby, in 1987. The first farm raised Finnsheep, an Apiary, and produce for farmers' markets. On Center Road, they still raise Ayrshire calves and keep a flock of chickens. Cliff's vision and fortitude saw the farm through the early days before our valley was excited and supportive of local agriculture.

The heart of the diversified farm is now at 411 Main Road in Gill. The Farm Store and the farm's many other activities revolve around its three distinctive products: Milk, Strawberries, and Wheat. Cliff manages and oversees all aspects of farm production: the planting, cultivating, and harvesting of the field crops, tractor driving and equipment maintenance, payroll, bookkeeping, herd management, cheesemaking--and he still insists on milking cows every Sunday morning. He is active in local and regional farming organizations and serves on the boards of the Greenfield Farmers' Cooperative Exchange, the Northeast Organic Farmers Association/Massachusetts, the Franklin County Technical School, and the Greenfield YMCA. During the precious moments he's not farming (usual during the winter months) you'll hear his "whistle blowing" above the store, where his model trains run.

Sorrel Hatch of upinngil farm Sorrel Hatch, "The Farmer's Daughter", has been with the farm for 30 years (since its founding when she was four years old). Sorrel is the linch pin that holds us all together. Many distinctive features of the farm Sorrel conceived, developed, and then taught to employees: the Little Red Hen Bakery, the Market Garden, the Farm Stand, Upinngil's much sought after salad mix, the CSA program, the chickens and their many magical moving coops, Upinngil's self-check-out and honor system, the pick-your-own flower garden. Sorrel works non-stop juggling her two boys and all that is Upinngil, which at this point can't be done without the support team we now have. She and Isaac were married on the hill behind the farmhouse in 2013 and are raising their children on the farm.

Isaac with a chicken on his shoulder Isaac Bingham Isaac Bingham has been with the farm for four years. He makes infrastructure improvements, milks cows, makes cheese, writes the newsletter, and connects the farm to the wider community in countless ways. He is a carpenter, designer, ceramic artist, and chainsaw sculptor whose works you can see all over the farm.

Rhys

Rhys Hatch grew up in Gill and was feeding the animals before he could read or tie his shoes. He graduated from Brown University in 2008 with a degree in Literary Arts. On a trip home from Rhode Island in 2009, he decided to help out a little. A few months later, he was putting the finishing touches on Upinngil's magnificent post-and-beam barn.

Jodi Jodie Stafford has been with the farm for seven years. Jodie bakes Upinngil's Little Red Hen bread, cookies, muffins, and scones, working with Sorrel to develop new recipes and bakery products. Jodie has become part of the family, and offers invaluable help to Sorrel juggling the kids, placing orders, managing the Farm Storebottling milk, and helping customers.

Simon Eaton has been with the farm for seven years and has become Clifford's right-hand man. Simon is the evening cow milker, production manager for Market Garden and Hoop House, winter salad harvester, and strawberry season crew leader. He drives tractor, plants and cultivates field crops, maintains equipment, manages the potato cave, assists with the wheat harvest, and manages milling and grain sales.

Sarah Provechio has been with the farm for three years. There's some debate as to whether she should be called the cow wrangler or the cow whisperer, in any case she does both. Sarah is the morning milker. She bottles milk and makes cheese. She also manages cow health, breeding and calving; maintains and rebuilds fences; manages pasture rotation and mowing; and tedds and rakes hay. How she manages to get it all done never ceases to amaze us.

Kelli Clemens began in 2016 as a seasonal morning harvester and now works part time all year. In season she manages the Farm Stand, harvests the morning veggies and summer salad mix, and helps Simon with the strawberry crew. She also washes bottles, packages cheese, and is increasingly involved with sales and store management.

Eileen Polumbo has been with the farm for over a year. Eileen tends to the Farm Store, stocking, organizing, helping customers; washing bottles; assisting Clifford in running the Strawberry U-pick. She is a tremendous help to Sorrel managing the store. We look to Eileen to keep us all informed on the latest progressive issues.