Backbone Farm is a small 67-acre farm on the east side of the Hector backbone that is owned and operated by the Carestio family.

Our Story

In 2015, Katherine and Jamie Carestio began as newlyweds on raw land. As ambitious pioneers do, we saw this neglected haven adjacent to the Finger Lakes National Forest as an opportunity for restorative agriculture. For the first two years, we committed to observation (and planted a bunch of trees and bushes). We studied the ecosystem, degraded soil, and interaction of water with the uncultivated landscape. We studied the inherited challenges and resources: mixed hardwoods, a sugarbush, a conifer plantation, a wild apple orchard, abandoned hay fields overtaken by brush and invasive plants. Our motivation has always been “How do we nurture this place?” By the winter of 2017, management-intensive grazing of beef cows became clear. With gratitude, we were able to start with an excellent black Angus “grass-bred” herd from our friends at the Good Life Farm. The original herd matriarchs are from our mentors and friends at Angus Glen Farms.

Our Family


Coming soon …


Coming soon …