Updated: Oct 25, 2021
As you drive down the long driveway to reach Daigle Farm in Brooklyn, you may see deer pausing by the property's pond after grazing on tufts of grass. It looks up at the oncoming car, and pauses, as if trying to decide if you are intruding, or if it is.
Though deer are not a friend of vegetables, its presence is a testament to the method Dillon has been using to grow on his acre+ of land. One that mimics how nature grows; without sprays or chemicals, with a living soil that moves and breathes, and space for sun, air, and water. Though these all seem idyllic, it's a lot of hard work: something that Dillon Daigle, owner of the farm, is not unused to.
In his teenage years when other kids were working at the local grocery store, he made his own business, delivering eggs to neighbors. It was his flock to care for, his route to truck (whether car or bike), and his responsibility in collecting and spending his hard earned dollars. Well, he's older now, but he's still caring for a flock of laying hens...and a small herd of pigs, some broiler hens, a farm dog and cat, and a whole ton of veggies. And it is no small amount of work to care for it all. He works full time, with his partner Cassidy lending a hand, giving this farm the attention it needs because he wants healthy food.
Dillon says he farms because he looked at what was in the grocery stores, at what people bought for their families, and he knew they needed a better option- something that was better for them and better tasting. Something that was natural. So he quit his job working at a local nursery and went to work, making sure his community was eating food that would strengthen their bodies through their diets. To grow this food for the community, he uses organic practices. The plants are free to grow and
battle it out with weeds and pests, but they have Dillon and Cassidy to defend them. The animals aren't pumped with unnecessary antibiotics or given growth hormones, but they have Dillon and Cassidy to watch over them closely and feed them substantial diverse diets. Dillon knows that this means his food has more nutrients, does more good for the body, and does more good for the environment too.
Though a small farm (using just under 2 acres of land for production) they have plans to grow on the property. Cassidy imagines integrating other forms of health to the farm with exploring medicinal herbs and practicing reiki at the pond. Dillon sees more access to the forested area of the property to give the pigs more foraging opportunities and better crop rotations to rest the soil. They both want to see this as a place people come to and feel a little more alive because of it. But even if they can't
come to the farm, Dillon makes deliveries to homes, they sell to local restaurants and partner with other farms so it's a health that is a little more accessible.
But what helps bring that health along are the farmers themselves. If you stop by their stand, you'll probably end up laughing and wanting to linger and talk longer. They don't just know how to care for plants and animals, they care for people, and the lighter heart that you leave with after getting your weekly veggies ensures that you leave with a little bit of a healthier spirit.