Splendid Toad Art Farm is based in central Massachusetts, a bucolic region of forest and farmland.
Two working studios comprise the farm: Toadbriar, where Kim paints and assembles creatures,
and Grip And Word, where Andy pursues weaving, printing, lutherie, and haberdashery.
Central to the purpose of the Art Farm is the priority of preserving heritage and rare breeds – the hardy, thrifty animals suited to small family farms instead of battery cages and feedlots. The Art Farm is home to a flock of Ancona ducks. The Ancona is listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as a critically rare breed of duck. This is a shame, because it is a truly marvelous breed. See the duck page to learn more about them.
A pair of American Buff geese live with the ducks. They are another critical breed, but remarkably gentle, calm, and sweet birds. Geese are very vigilant, and are likely to spot a coyote or fox before the ducks do. They are also effective deterrents against birds of prey.
This is our first year with Narragansett turkeys – a threatened variety. They are a heritage breed – smaller than the broad-breasted white birds that supply the meats in supermarkets. But heritage breeds are healthy, vigorous birds that can mate naturally (the broad-breasted kind are too bulky to mate and must be artificially inseminated.) They can forage for a greater portion of their food, and do a good job of eating bugs and garden pests.