It turns out Dugan has always wanted to be a farmer and Beth had secret hopes to return to a way of life she had had as girl. Dugan first fell in love with farming when he attended the Mountain School in Vermont. It is a high school designed to integrate academics and farm life together. He left there and continued with the normal course of study which eventually lead to a degree in resource economics and a job in Texas.
Upon his return to CT, he began talking with his parents about how he was concerned about the food supply. His sister, Allena, was already encouraging her family to consume as much organic food as possible and attend farmers markets, but with the added voice of her brother the seed of an idea began to germinate. Dugan began avidly researching homesteading and animal husbandry. He discovered the American Livestock Breed Conservancy and their list of heritage animals. He spoke with a local farmer, Craig Floyd, about his animals and how they were being raised differently from other small farms.
Eventually the search for a suitable piece of property began around the same time that the YMCA decided to sell their North Stonington day camp. It appeared to be the perfect place to start and in June of 2011 the purchase was finalized. Work began immediately to restore the buildings and assess the necessary work to make a day camp into a farm. The first animals arrived at the farm in November of the same year in the form of five adorable Tri-Heritage piglets from Craig Floyd’s Footstep Farm.
Since then, Firefly Farms began its herds of critically endangered Mulefoots (hog), Randalls (bovine), Guinea Hogs (hog) and flock of Dorkings (chickens).
Take a walk around the farm and you can hear the lowing of the cows, the crowing of the roosters, and the grunting of content pigs.