Mack Brin Farms is the type of small family farm that a fictional girl would grow up on in a young adult novel. Its owners believe in “quietly farming” – working with nature instead of drowning it in chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The animals on the farm enjoy every opportunity to “free graze” and live with only essential restrictions for safety. And, they sell bunnies.
But a fire in early October devastated the Ballston Spa farm’s barn equipment and animals, killing over 100 rabbits and Chile, the prized foundation sire of the farm’s endangered San Clemente Island Goat herd. No humans were hurt, but the blaze consumed the shelter, bedding and food of the surviving animals, which have been placed in temporary housing.
In the wake of this shocking devastation, the community has come together to support Mack Brin Farms owners Stu and Julie Murray. A Go Fund Me page has raised $5,940 for the family and the farm’s reconstruction, and a post on the page reports volunteers have been chipping in labor on the farm.
The community is also hosting a fundraising event at The Adelphi Hotel Thursday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. to benefit the family. A Chef’s Night Out will feature local chefs serving local foods in Mack Brin fashion. Food, alcohol and silent auction gifts are being donated by local businesses, and 100 percent of the night’s proceeds will go to the farm.
Featured chefs will include Braden Reardon of Adelphi Hospitality Group, Brady Dillon of Lake Local, Brian Bowden of Ralph & Ronnie’s, Dave Britton of Pies on Wheels, Brendon Dillon of Hamlet & Ghost, consultant chef Mark Graham and Tom Dillon, formerly of Siro’s.
Tickets for A Chef’s Night out are $50 in advance and $65 at the door. They can be purchased at the event’s website: mackbrinfarmfundraiser.com.