Blue Star Equiculture™ currently leases the historic 129-acre farm, known locally for decades as "Burgundy Brook." We are currently seeking funding and opportunities to purchase the land, which would allow us to make capital improvements to it, while maintaining the rich community roots we have already put down in Palmer and nearby Belchertown.
Burgundy Brook Farm is located at the intersection of the Ware and Swift Rivers. It is bounded on the south by the Ware, the west by the Swift, the north by the abandoned Hampden Railroad ("The Railroad That Never Was"), and on the east by Rt. 181.
The farm features an 1890's barn. The barn has 3 new draft-sized stalls upstairs, and 10 box stalls in the back barn, which is a converted dairy barn. The barn also offers storage for hay, and the landlord's tractor. The back barn has a dedicated grooming supplies / halter / leadrope room, and a secure feed room. The lower barn, underneath the main barn, has 3 small pens, able to accommodate an additional 6 horses, plus a run-in area for another 4-6 horses. We have a capacity of about 25 horses.
We have five fenced paddocks, which allows for pasture rotation and rehabilitation. We hope to reseed and improve the grasses in these paddocks, which had previously been used for cattle grazing.
We have a separate tack and carriage barn, in the old seed house. This building, separate from the barn, can be heated and is where we store our harness, saddles and our 1890 vis-a-vis carriage.
Blue Star Equiculture™ also has use of a "carriage shed" that has two bays for storing additional horse-drawn vehicles, and a separate workshop for wood-working and carriage restoration.
Executive director Pamela Rickenbach lives on the property in our cozy farmhouse, which is the headquarters of Blue Star Equiculture operations. The foundations of the house date back to the eighteenth century and the floorboards (when seen from the basement) look like they're at least 100 years old. The farmhouse is typical of many New England farms, where layer upon layer of the past has been overlaid over the years of continued practical use.
Next door to Blue Star Equiculture™ Command Central is the independently-run restaurant, CJ's Burgundy Brook Country Store. Blue Star Equiculture benefits from our neighbors, who attract many customers during their regular business hours. Blue Star Equiculture advertises inside the restaurant with flyers and donation boxes.
Blue Star Equiculture™ has access to the entire 129 acres, and permission to farm / develop about 3-4 acres in our organic and permaculture plantings.
Trails from the rear corner of the farm join with trails from a neighboring camp on the opposite side of the abandoned Hampden Railroad.
Blue Star Equiculture™ seeks to gain ownership of this land or other suitable facilities in order to continue to improve the habitat for the Blue Star herd, while returning the native ecosystems to balance and preserving the rich history of this piece of land.