About Our Beautiful Farm
This is a work in progress and will probably never be "finished". You can participate in the development process, or just sit back to enjoy, relax and rejuvenate. Over the years, we have developed a variety of farm-based activities and services (use the tabs, above, to explore our current offerings).
Our animals include: work-animals, pet-animals, wild-animals, and food-animals. It is very important not to get those categories confused.
Of our 125-acres, about 60-acres are fields and pastures, about 60-acres are forest, and about 5-acres are gardens, buildings, etc. Our pond occupies about one-quarter acre. All areas are managed with regard to enriching the habitat for our native wildlife and improving the environment.
The number and type of animals can change from season to season, but some remain fairly constant. Our permanent residents are draft (work) horses, goats, ducks, chickens, dogs and cats. We board a few of our friend's Alpacas in the summer (because they are so much fun to watch). Most summers, we raise a few sheep (yes, for food). Our neighbor is a dairy farmer, so cows are part of the "view". Wild animals seen frequently on the property include turkey, grouse, song birds, deer, fox, ground hogs, and many more. Please visit our Photo Gallery for more about our animals.
Fields & Pastures
The fields and pastures are certified organic. Our good neighbors, the Stoltzfus family, farm part this land and raise feed for the cows on their organic dairy. They trade us milk and meat for the hay.
We practice "Managed Intensive Grazing" (MIG) for our horses and other livestock. The horses are moved to new pasture every 2 to 3 days. This provides them with desirable (not picked over) and clean (not contaminated with fresh manure) food every day.
The goats and chickens have a fixed pasture (permanent, secure perimeter), but their shelters are movable so that they have a clean place to sleep when the old one is soiled.
We have twenty five "rescue" ducks that occupy our "waterfowl sanctuary". We are grateful to the people who donated time, muscle power and funds to complete that project in 2013. Domestic ducks are not capable of surviving "in the wild" and must be provided with food, shelter, and protection from predators.
The 3-4 acre winter pasture for the horses will be occupied during the summer by a few Alpaca (owned by Autumn Hill Alpacas and Kellogg's Alpacas). We provide them a free pasture "summer camp" -- in exchange for the entertainment and educational value of the visiting Alpaca.
Of the 60 acres of forest, some areas are human-managed for future generations and some areas are "old grove" (managed by a higher authority). In all cases, consideration is given to the health of the forest and all of the occupants therein - we want healthy habitat and healthy and diverse inhabitants.
We practice "responsible" gardening. We are not certified organic as we are producing for ourselves and the certification process can be time-consuming and pricey. However, the toads are our "pesticide" and a hoe is the "herbicide". Our soil amendments are horse manure and other composted materials from the farm. The resulting produce is as clean and safe as it is possible to obtain anywhere.
We have a 60' by 40' vegetable garden (enough for the house, for canning and a bit for market), a 36' round herb garden (containing every culinary herb that we can find seeds for) and flower gardens of every description.
We have purchased a greenhouse. It will be 8' wide, 16' long and about 6' tall, when it is assembled. It is currently sitting, in many flat boxes (in about a zillion components) in our hay barn. We are quite excited about getting started on the "some assembly required" part as soon as the ground thaws. Want to come help?
Pond and other water features
The pond covers about 1/4 acre and teems with frogs, fish, etc. Fishing is not permitted - the fish are too small and it would be a betrayal of trust (you may feed them, if you wish). We recently fenced the pond for child-safety and to provide a habitat for our ducks. There are also many natural springs and small trickle-creeks on the property. SO much to discover!!