Our Story - What makes our farm special?
Hart-to-Hart Farm, owned and operated by Doug and Linda Hartkopf along with their three energetic children Olin, Dylan & Myrilla, is located in one of the last remaining, active farming communities in central Maine.
In the spring of 1997, the Hartkopf's transitioned their 284 acre farm to organic and began shipping milk to Organic Valley, a farmer- owner cooperative. They were one of a handful of dairy's who plowed new territory in the state of Maine to become an organic dairy – real pioneers.
"Farming is a lifestyle choice that we made because of our own deep connection to the land, environment and animals. The business can often be like riding a roller coaster filled with peaks and valleys, but it is the simplest reward we cherish, like sitting at an evening meal and serving 95% of the food raise by our own hands. Farming keeps our soul full".
Doug and Linda purchased their farm in 1990 after 5 years of renting and managing dairy farms in Maine. Neither Doug nor Linda was from a farming family. In many ways they were considered a rare breed entering the dairy business. Even their families couldn't understand their desire.
Doug manages the mixed herd registered of registered Holsteins and Jersey's cows. The total number of cattle including all ages of animals from newborns to heifers ready to calve is around 140 head. The milking herd is housed in a new freestall barn and walks to the old barn for milking time which takes place twice a day. Cows are milked in a milking parlor.
During the spring, summer and fall cows move from paddock to paddock knon as rotational grazing. Each feeding, cows receive a fresh patch of grass to graze. When winter arrives the cows begin feasting on stored feed harvested from the summer months and a mixture of grains.
Linda Hartkopf, directs the education programs in addition to managing the calf program, book keeping and general farm work. She holds a Master's in Environmental Education and Bachelor's in Animal Science with a concentration in dairy; and has farmed with Doug for since 1986. She is an avid supporter of agriculture and works with numerous school programs both in an school and on their farm, conducts tours and works with a variety of state organizations.
Youth and adults attending farm camp experience a rich program as Linda incorporates her educational teachings into her current programs. The result is a unique and rewarding experience for each individual. Her enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge will provide your child with an incredible farm/camp experience.
Both Linda and Doug are very progressive in their thinking and implementing of holistic , sustainable practices on their farm. One of their main objectives continues to be improving soil health. It all starts with cultivating the soil's micro organism and nutrient base to produce strong viable plants which in turns strengthens the welfare of the cows , their family and friends who purchase products from the farm. Plan a visit to to their farm and experience life on Hart -to Hart farm.
Life's vitality begins in cultivating the area were we live.