The Bug Hill Story and Our Vision
Bug Hill Farm is a small, USDA certified organic, uncommon fruit and edible flower farm in Ashfield, MA. We cultivate a wide variety of crops including raspberries, gooseberries, currants, wild and cultivated high-bush blueberries, alpine strawberries, native elderberry and elderflower, native Aronia (chokeberries), and honeyberries. We craft our nutritious and delicious non-alcoholic cordials, shrubs (drinking vinegars), sauces, and spreads using our berry crops, wild harvested flowers, and locally produced raw honey and maple syrup. Our products contain no added water or preservatives. We keep our own honeybees, purchasing additional honey for our value added products from local apiaries such as Round Hill Orchard in Holyoke, MA. We manage our fields and additional 38 acres of forest for the health and well-being of native wildlife and plant communities, with particular emphasis on providing habitat for native pollinator insects.
Our cordials, shrubs, spreads, and sauces are currently crafted and bottled on-site in our own certified commercial kitchen. We sell our products at our own little farm shop here on the premises, as well as at local farmers' markets, groceries and health-food shops.
Bug Hill Farm has been the recipient of several grant awards, including (recently) a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer Grant entitled: "Effects of controlled disturbance within early-successional northeastern forest habitat: Evaluating soil quality, plant production, and economic feasibility", and a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP) for installing permanent drip-irrigation systems for our berries.
Kate Kerivan, owner/grower,
has an MA in Ecological Landscape Design from Conway School
of Landscape Design, Conway, MA, and an MS in Conservation
Biology (Environmental Studies Department) from Antioch
University. Her undergraduate degree from the University
of New Hampshire is in Plant Science.
Drizzled over rhubarb or other fruit cobblers before baking
Delicious currants from the farm!
Kate Kerivan didn't start out as a farmer - but
as a plantswoman, designer and innkeeper who enjoyed
serving great food to guests in a spectacular mountain
garden setting for over twenty years at Bungay
Jar Bed & Breakfast Inn in Franconia, NH.
After selling Bungay Jar, Kate moved to the highlands
of Western Massachusetts in 2005, to what is now
Bug Hill Farm.