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Here at Lilac Hedge Farm, our farm practice sets a new standard in pasture-raised livestock farming. We are more than farmers, we are caretakers with a commitment to stewardship that reaches beyond our farm gate. We are proud to be bringing to market animal proteins like we used to eat years and years ago.
We take pride in caring for every aspect of our farm, from the complexities of managing an expansive 350-acre farmland to assuring that each individual egg is nest-laid and hand-gathered. We are devoted to farming our way because we believe that the earth’s most delicious, healthiest foods are created when farmers work in harmony with nature. On the farm we raise beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey and duck on a pasture-based system from birth to processing. Animals are then processed and direct retailed to consumers through 15+ farmers markets per week, a meat CSA, and various wholesale and restaurant accounts.
The name Lilac Hedge Farm was named after my grandparent's dairy. I decided on it in middle school when I started collecting farm animals and needed a name. My family's house had a lot of lilacs where I was keeping the animals and I wanted to pay tribute to my grandfather who I was very close to (pictured below):
Lilac Hedge Farm was founded by William MacKay in 1898 at the corner of Salisbury and Flagg Streets in Worcester. My great-grandfather moved the dairy to 876 Salisbury St. in Holden, MA in 1927. No cows were kept after 1927, but milk processing and delivery continued.
Lilac Hedge Dairy remained in the MacKay family, with R.H. MacKay and finally Donald MacKay as owners. Operations continued under the name Lilac Hedge Dairy until 1965, when the dairy was merged into Sunrise Dairy.
Fast forward to 2015, I had a business operating on leased land in 5 different towns, a farm name, but no land to call my own. In what only could have been fate, after looking for land for many years I found a farm to call my own in the same town my dad, grandfather and great-grandfather grew up, and where Lilac Hedge first resided.
Today Lilac Hedge Farm is comprised of two farms in Holden and Rutland, Massachusetts. Our Holden farm is considered our "production farm" where we raise livestock on over 350 acres, and where our packinghouse is located. Our Rutland farm is home to our farm stand, ice cream, kitchen, farm bar, and AirBnB's.
In addition to our owned properties, we rent an additional 200+ acres of ground, predominantly for our hay production.
Ryan MacKay, owner