Mark Stonehill and Miriam Goler grew up in New York City, and met in high school.
Our introduction to the farming world was in Minnesota, at Easy Bean Farm. After graduating from Macalester College and Cornell University, we worked in urban agriculture and food justice in New York City. In 2011 we apprenticed at Quail Hill Farm, a pick-your-own CSA farm in Amagansett, Long Island. We moved to Maine in 2012 to work at Mandala Farm and later North Branch Farm, both diversified horse-powered farms. In 2014, we moved back to New York to start Full Circus Farm!
When we found this land and met the land owners, we knew it was the right place for us. From the very beginning, we’ve envisioned the farm as a place not only for food production, but also merriment and community.
June is our amazing family dairy cow. She is smart, curious, opinionated, bossy, patient and extremely loving. She also loves to lick you! Her 2016 calf, Tango, keeps her company. Tango lets her mom test the waters first, but then she’ll ask you to please give her some scratches too.
Sandy and Sunshine are our gentle team of Haflinger draft horses. They are very sweet and are good listeners. Sandy is alert and cautious and wants to know what is happening around her. Sunshine couldn’t care less as long as there is some food to eat and ideally someone to scratch her back too!
Mark also keeps a small, motley flock of laying hens. Chickie, Star, and the Repeccah’s constantly amuse us with their mischief and keep our kitchen stocked with colorful eggs.
Our Farming Practices
Our farm is certified organic by NOFA-NY, LLC. Having never farmed conventionally, organic farming is the only kind of farming we know. That means that we do not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
Our farm is a primarily horse-powered farm. This means that we use our draft horses to plow, spread compost, and knock out weeds, among other tasks. Although we have a tractor, we try to limit its use to activities the horses can’t do–like lifting 700 lb hay bales. There are many reasons why we are drawn to farming with horses: environmental concerns (they eat grass instead of fossil fuels, compact our soils less, and their manure is an important source of fertility) and bumpy tractors that smell like diesel make us feel queasy, but ultimately, we use draft power because we have fallen in love with working with horses. There is something magical about the working relationship you build with your animals.