The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

Growing Organically Since 1982

Enhancing Pastures at Lillooet Farm: CANCELLED

Sheep at Lillooet Farm
May 31, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Lillooet Farm
48 Topsfield Road
Boxford, MA

NOFA Members: $25/ Non-members: $35 (Scholarship Available)




Click on the Brown Paper Tickets logo to register.

Join us at Lillooet Farm to learn how they are using rotational grazing to enhance their pastures and provide their sheep with healthy forage while minimizing inputs and improving soil health. During this event attendees will walk the pastures with Nathaniel and other members of the Lillooet team, and along the way will:

  • Discuss their grazing plan, fencing systems and ways to save labor
  • Speak about choosing livestock that fits the farm and maintaining a healthy flock 
  • Learn about the benefits to soil and biodiversity and how they are measuring the results of their regenerative farming practices 

We will conclude with a tour through the main barn and view the dairy facility for a discussion session with about:

  • Milking and storage systems
  • Effects of forage and feed on the quality of cheese
  • Creamery procedures and aging techniques

Lillooet Farm is comprised of 100 acres of fields and forest in the town of Boxford, Massachusetts. The land has been used for homesteading and farming since 1688. Owners Gillian Marino and Nathaniel Higley have been working for four years to reclaim pastures that had been left fallow for 80 years. They raise sheep year-round in order to provide wool and meat for their farm store, local restaurants, and community.  

The most effective rotational grazing systems mimic the ecology of natural grasslands. By following an intensive rotational grazing program your livestock will eat a variety of forage and sequester considerable amounts of carbon in the soil. Lillooet Farm focuses on regenerative farming methods that minimize waste and emphasize quality. These principles and practices allow them to produce quality food while improving the biodiversity, soil, and watershed on the farm. They strive to be responsible environmental stewards and consider the humane and ethical treatment of their animals above all else.

Nathaniel Higley grew up in Massachusetts with goats, pigs, and chickens. He studied Environmental Studies and Economics at Hobart College, worked to develop sustainable transport systems in Boston, and returned to farming after meeting his wife Gillian. He has milked cows in Western Massachusetts, sheep in New York, and for the last four years has been working on improving the soil and biodiversity at Lillooet Farm.

Erin Bligh began farming in 2010, and specializes in cheese making and goat husbandry. In 2012, she founded Dancing Goat Dairy and developed a line of award-winning goat milk and mixed-milk cheeses, naming many of them after the women that inspire her. Erin’s herd currently resides at Lillooet where she has been applying her years of farming and cheesemaking experience to help Lillooet craft some exciting new sheep’s milk cheeses and well as furthering her passion for sustainable, local food systems and land protection.

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More Info

For information on our refund and inclement weather policy, click here.

Our tour of the farm will likely cover uneven, occasionally rough terrain. We want to make sure your accessibility needs are met during the event. Please share with us your needs regarding (but not limited to): physical accessibility, allergies, noise, scent, gender; intellectual accessibility, and any instructions or tips to help you fully participate.

For questions contact Doug Cook, Education Events Coordinator, at or (603) 969-8195.

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