Dancing Dog Farm is a family homestead farm in Dublin, NH. Run by me (Carol Lake), Peter Schmidt and two very able bodied teenagers, Geordie and Marika, the farm provides much of our food during the growing season, and all of our exercise! We have a small dairy goat herd, laying hens, a Lambert Morgan, several hogs, a sweet Dartmoor pony, two English Shepherds farm cats and a veggie/herb garden. We also have a Warre hive and a top bar hive for our treatment free beekeeping, and run pastured poultry and hogs during the growing season.
We call our small farm “Dancing Dog” as a tribute to my sweet working farm collie, Jake. Jake helped me take care of my family, and was my right hand man when I was running the educational farm. He passed over the rainbow bridge shortly after Peter and I met one another. Jake seemed to “know” Peter right away, and would literally ‘dance’ every time he saw him, even when Jake was terribly ill. Jake expressed such joy in life, and his delightful, goofy and sweet greetings would bring a smile to anyone, anywhere. We are so lucky to have found a pup that was related to our Jakey, an English Shepherd we have named “Levi”. We are thrilled to see he carries on that joyful dancing tradition we so admired and loved in Jake.
Everything we raise is “beyond organic” – we use no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. I’ve been farming organically and biodynamically for over ten years, and at one point founded and ran a 300 acre nonprofit educational farm. We are eagerly learning basic permaculture principles as well.
Peter specializes in soil biology, (he wrangles ‘micro herds!’) in fact his company compostwerks.com, provides products, services and support for ecological landcare.
We believe: it is our privilege to be stewards of the land and that we should leave it in a better state than when we got it.
We believe: our children and our animals should be raised in a healthy mental and physical environment.
We believe: animals should be treated kindly, humanely, ethically and have access to fresh air, clean water, green grass and sunshine.
We believe: a healthy environment and gentle handling grows healthy animals, which reduces disease and the need for medications.
We believe: healthy, biodiverse soil creates healthy, happy plants
We are so grateful to be here, and feel blessed to be able to grow good food with love for all who are nourished by it.
We have several considerations for the well-being of our animals. Each animal is allowed to express its species-specific characteristics. That means pigs will be allowed to root in the soil and forage. The cow, pony and goats graze fresh pasture through rotational grazing. The chickens are able to forage and peck at bugs and legumes. A deep appreciation for each individual animal on the farm and for the products and service they provide permeates our daily work. Our animals hold a very important place in the life of the farm. Through their hard work they turn what nature has grown into a fertilizer that further enhances soil life and health. The incorporation of animals is essential in allowing us to replace nutrients taken from the soil and grow good feed and wonderful veggies, herbs and flowers.
We have lots of milk and cheese from our dairy animals, and always have meat in the freezer. We try to put away as much food as we can for the winter, and are looking forward to building a root cellar and a hoophouse for extending our growing season.
We have a small farmstand in front of the house during the growing season, stop by! We love visitors, just give a call or drop us an email first to be sure we are home.
Carol Lake and Peter Schmidt have over 35 years combined experience in organic land and tree care, and in owning, operating and managing small, integrated farms and equestrian facilities. We can help you plan, implement and maintain a homestead, horse farm, small commercial organic farm or organic country estate in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.
Our consulting philosophy is based on Carol and Peter’s core principle of farmstead management: listen to the land. Our simple conviction is that the land, and it’s varied, unique ecotones, will best define a farm’s purpose and will continue to speak if we learn to listen.
Specifically, Carol and Peter’s consulting work covers:
species specific animal welfare requirements
types of livestock, genetics and breeds best suited for your farm, with particular emphasis on heritage livestock breeds best suited to small farms
specific management practices to increase soil health and tilth
on farm composting systems
If you’re thinking about starting a homestead farm or a small scale commercial organic farm, or are considering ways to transition to organics in either landcare or farming, consulting with Carol and Peter is a great way to begin your research. If you already own an organic small farm, our expertise may help you operate more efficiently.
Contact us to schedule a consultation.