It was the mid 1800’s when Dalby Farm came into existence and has remained in our family ever since. It was originally a chicken farm and functioned as one for many years, selling eggs and meat to local merchants.
Throughout the years, a variety of animals and birds have lived on the property. They were, however, more for enjoyment rather than for commercial purposes.
Why Rare Breeds?
Back in the late 1980’s, I remember paging through the Boston Globe one Sunday morning. In the Parade section, there was an article called ‘Safe Keeping’ which focused on rare farm breeds, their importance in our world and how many of them were close to extinction. There were pictures of a rare goat and pig. Before reading this article, we never realized that farm animals of any type could be in such jeopardy. As we have always loved animals, from that moment, we realized just how passionately we felt about this problem and how necessary we felt it was to prevent these breeds from perishing forever! At that time, however, we were not in a position to become actively involved in anything because we had 2 babies that needed our full attention. But, knowing that we had to someday follow up on that endeavor, we tucked the article away for a time when we could contribute to the cause.
It was around the year 2000 when the article resurfaced. The children were getting older by then and we had more available time. It was at that point that we began contemplating starting a venture that would not only contribute to the quest of saving rare farm animals but also on one that would take it a step further. Dalby Farm would be the perfect place for doing something so worthwhile. It was our belief that in today’s world, the opportunity for children (and adults too) to learn about and ‘experience’ typical farm animals, first hand, is in short supply. The chance to interact with and learn about rare farm animals, however, is even more limited.
We began researching viable breeds for this geographical area and how we could become involved in their preservation. We believed that, along with their preservation, educating people about these rare breeds was just as important, if in the long run, they were to survive. Communication with organizations that were already involved with them was our first step. Things just seemed to come together little by little, after that.
Dalby Farm Today
Today, Dalby Farm has various rare farm breeds ranging from rare poultry to rare livestock. We are actively involved in teaching and raising awareness about animals and nature. Our mission is to expose people to these amazing breeds and to teach them about their value in our world. Animals and nature have so much to offer and it is very important to remember that in nature, everything is intertwined. What affects one thing today will ultimately affect many other things, down the line. If people do not start to address this problem, it will be too late and once a species becomes extinct, it is lost forever.
The program director and owner, Cheryl Bowen-DiTommaso, has been teaching crafts to children, both privately and through Scituate Recreation Department, for over a decade. All program staff are carefully selected based on their experience and character. Most of the helpers have grown up coming to the farm programs themselves!
We are a satellite farm for Plimoth Plantation’s Rare Breeds Department and are also a member of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC). In addition, Dalby Farm is a member of the Arapawa Goat Breeders USA. Membership in this association is very limited as there are only a dozen registered breeders nationally.
We are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Game.