Freak of the Week - Donna Chandler

Unbeknownst to of most Pittsfield, Donna and Bill Chandler have been farming right here in our city for over 10 years. They began on 3.5 acres with two merino sheep they purchased from Hancock Shaker Village. This hobby grew into their fiber business Sugar Maple Merinos. In 2007, Donna’s dream house went on the market and they relocated, down the street, to 17 acres at Brattle Farm, the oldest standing house in Pittsfield, MA. This historic house, located at 600 Williams Street, was built in 1762 by William Brattle Jr. The Chandlers' mission is to maintain the historic property as open space by running it as a working farm to preserve rare and heritage breed animals. With a lot of hard work, knowledge and help from their young grandsons Daniel and Isaac, they raise about thirty five natural colored, merino sheep, chickens, turkeys, a handful of cows, a couple pigs, a few horses, donkeys, and a large food production garden. Their focus is on sheep and wool with their notable soft fleeces in a variety of colors for the hand spinning market. Their sheep have won many awards at the Massachusetts and New York Sheep and Wool Festivals, including Supreme Grand Champion Fleece in Rhinebeck NY.Organically fed, free range, heritage breed chickens, turkeys, and ducks greet visitors to the farm stand that is open seven days a week from 8 am to 7 pm. Beautiful, and nutrious multicolored, chicken eggs are for sale, as well as, duck eggs. (Duck eggs can be used in place of chicken eggs and especially shine in baking and make fantastic ice cream.) The Chandlers also sell pasture raised meet, yarn and fleece, seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and seasonal produce including pumpkins and cornstalks in the fall. Starting June 2nd, there will be a selection of baked goods utilizing the farm eggs, seasonal local fruits, and natural and organic ingredients. Jams and jellies will follow soon.

Brattle Farm is located at 600 Williams Street, Pittsfield, MA and the farm stand is open daily 8-7pm