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Public invited to Turning Page Farm for July 22 Open Farm Day

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MONSON — On Sunday, July 22 Turning Page Farm at 842 North Guilford Road will join similar operations across the state by inviting the public to stop by for Open Farm Day. The event provides an opportunity for attendees to meet the goats, pigs and chickens of Turning Page Farm, see how the cheeses and soaps are made, beer is brewed and experiecne how owners Tim and Joy Bueschen are living their dream.

“We said we are turning a page in our lives,” Joy Bueschen said about the farm she and her husband began in April 2016. She explained that after 20 years of working in the corporate world, they wondered if the reward was worth the effort. Instead of continuing to try to climb the ladder a different dream was pursued, cultivating joy by following their passions which were fueled in part by visiting a farm in Ireland with a herd of goats.

“Our first year everything was new to us, the community was great,” Bueschen said as she and Tim began to get the operation up and running.

The couple lost their goats, barn and half their home in a March 2017 fire, and now they are getting back to where they were before the blaze. A new barn is up that is “functionally open” Tim Bueschen said.

Joy Bueschen said she first heard about Open Farm Day through the Maine Cheese Guild, and thought the event would be an opportunity to show the community how Turning Page Farm is back in business.

“It’s a really nice statewide event,” she said. Bueschen said she hopes to share the goats with the public.

“They seem to be getting more and more popular,” she said about the animals. “How to milk a goat I think is interesting as well.”

Tim Bueschen said he hopes to show visitors the pigs and how these animals thriving at Turning Page Farm. He mentioned an expression used in the industry is “‘you should visit your farm to see where your food comes from.’”

“We are trying to build something and show them,” he said. “We treat our animals ethically and they have a good life. We think it is important because it gives people a sense and they can agree with what we doing and they are supportive of that.”

“Our farm is 25 acres, most of it is wooded,” Joy Bueschen said. “First and foremost we are a goat dairy. I milk four goats a day and make goat cheeses and soaps.”

She said while vacationing in Europe she fell in love with the Guernsey breed and now has a small herd of these goats, not common in Maine. “I have four girls and two boys,” she said, with several kids born in late April. The kids are bottle fed and kept separated from the older goats for the time being, being reintroduced to the herd at a later time

“They are not a big breed, right in the middle sizewise,” Tim Bueschen said.

“They are a very quiet breed and they are great for making cheese because they have a high yield,” Joy Bueschen said, as the sweet milk can be used to create unique tastes.

She said she has a goal to educate those who are interested in dairy goats that the Guernsey breed is a great option for first-time goat owners and the small-scale homestead. A way to achieve the objective is “Goat School” as those interested can come to Turning Page Farm to be immersed.

“Goat School really was a lot of fun,” Bueschen said about the two-day course. “It was just people like us, sitting at the cubicle every day thinking about quitting their jobs and working with goats.”

“A surprising number of people do not know where to go to learn about goats,” Tim Bueschen said, saying in Maine some residents may take their proximity to farms for granted. “They learned the basics of what to do to find and keep them.”

Joy Bueschen said a recent session of Goat School had attendees from as far away as Washington, D.C. and Texas.

“We have 12 layers, mostly for ourselves,” she said about part of the 20-bird chicken flock of Turning Page Farm.

“Everything we can provide for ourselves we provide for ourselves and eggs are a huge part of our diet,” Tim Bueschen said.

He said the chickens are free-range. “We open the door in the morning and we close it in the evening and we think it makes for a better egg,” Bueschen said.

“We have meat birds because we like to have good meat in our freezers, it is not store bought,” he said.

The couple also believe how pigs are raised determines the taste of the pork and Turning Page Farm has had both Tamworth and Mangalitsa breeds. Currently the Bueschens have a pair of approximate 13-week-old Tamworths.

Tim Bueschen said the normal habitat for the animal is the forest, rooting up snacks found in the rich soil. He said they optimize the pig’s environment by moving the animals to fresh forest every few weeks to ensure the livestock has ample space and vegetation to keep their noses in the ground “and root around to do what pigs do.”

“You clear the land and get meat out of it,” he said. Bueschen said the happy lives the pigs experience leads to a better tasting meat.

“I have my dairy license, so this is my cheese-making room,” Joy Bueschen said about a space in the new barn. “The state is really great, they know how to work with small farms.”

“Tim has his brewery license, he brews beer,” she said, with the beverage being sold wholesale. “I have honeybees, so we sell honey as well.”

She said Turning Page Farm products are available online and at several stores. Bueschen said the community was great after the fire, wanting to know how they could help. Until the operation was up and running again, Bueschen said there was not much anyone could do for them. With Turning Page Farm in business, she said they need sales to keep going and Open Farm Day will be a great way to gain some community support.

Turning Page Farm is located at 842 North Guilford Road in Monson. For more information, please go to www.turningpagefarm.com and see the farm’s Facebook page.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
A CHANCE TO VISIT THE FARM — The public will be invited to stop by and see Joy and Tim Bueschen’s Turning Page Farm on the North Guilford Road in Monson for Open Farm Day on Sunday, July 22. Turning Page Farm is a goat dairy, making goat cheese and soaps and also offering “Goat School” to allow those interested to learn more about raising the livestock. The Bueschens are getting their business back to where they were before a 2017 fire in which they lost their goats, barn and half their home.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
GUERNSEY GOATS — A herd of a half dozen grown Guernsey goats are kept at Turning Page Farm in Monson. The European breed produces a high yield of milk to create unique tasting cheeses. The small frame and silent, docile nature of Guernsey goats makes the animals an ideal breed for new farmers.

Photo courtesy of Turning Page Farm
JUST A KID — Several young Guernsey goats are at Turning Page Farm in Monson. Those looking to learn more about raising the animals can attend the farm’s “Goat School” or visit during Open Farm Day on Sunday, July 22.

Photo courtesy of Turning Page Farm
MANGALITSA PIGS — The Mangalitsa breed has been raised at Turning Page Farm.

Photo courtesy of Turning Page Farm
TAMWORTH PIGS — The owners of Turning Page Farm in Monson believe how pigs are raised determines the taste of the meat, with happy animals leading to better pork. A pair of Tamworths are able to root around in a section of forestland as they please, being moved to a new section every few weeks.

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