Allard Family Farm

by Betty Reece

Full-time diesel and generator mechanic Ben Allard was an aspiring farmer at the beginning of 2020. As the COVID pandemic became reality and we began to see empty shelves in the supermarket and global supply chain disruptions, Ben decided that it was time to make his dream a reality. So, while many of us were planting the 2020 version of victory gardens, Ben was building chicken coops and buying chicks.  His goal was to become a source of local and fresh food for himself and his neighbors in the event that the food markets did not stabilize or that another crisis were to occur. Serendipitously, he met Molly, a UConn agriculture graduate and vocational agriculture teacher, and now his fiancé, around that time.

As a firm believer that happy chickens taste better, Ben’s flocks are pasture raised. The meat birds live in mobile coops that are moved to new pasture daily and the egg-layers are free range with access to the coop and the field.  He is a proponent of regenerative agriculture and believes in raising healthy food that improves the environment. Luckily for us, Allard Family Farm is stepping in to fill the void left by the Yankee Chicken Company who is no longer in the area. They will offer their sustainable and humanely raised chicken every other Saturday at the market.

If you like to know exactly where your food comes from, and how it is raised, then you have come to the right place. The chickens raised on Ben and Molly’s farm are happier, healthier, and better for the consumer and the environment than birds from factory farms. From its conception as a source of food security for neighbors, to its thoughtful, wholistic, and environmentally conscious operations policies, to the future plan to expand to a location that will be open to the public--Allard Family Farm perfectly exemplifies ‘local and fresh…community at its best’.

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