Friday, December 26, 2008

Spring Valley Farms

Spring Valley Farm is the name given this property by my Grandfather, Lester, when he bought the property in 1948 (the year my mother was born). The oldest deed we have on file is 1829. The property is roughly 300 acres and is comprised of three different farms that my Grandpa pulled together over the years - Lynne Farm, McLaughlin Place, and Price Place.

My Grandpa and Grandma moved to Spring Valley Farm on January 1, 1970 in the middle of a snowstorm. They raised my mother and her older sister as well as many troubled foster children, adopting 3 (two boys and a girl) over the years. My uncle Jimmy, who is closest to me in age, became a best friend.

Today, my Grandmother manages the gardens, orchard, animals and the main home on the land. My uncle Jimmy lives with his family on the property in a home he's built with his own hands and takes care of the property (equipment, land etc.) while working a full time job .

Currently the animal count is down from it's height, but so is the labor. :-) Today we have 5 horses, ~40 cattle (10 calves in the last week), ~20 sheep, 2 peacocks, 1 chicken (Raccoons have wreaked havoc on our chickens), 1 goose, 1 duck, 1 pig (just butchered, man that's good bacon!) 7 dogs, ~10 barn cats, 3 house cats, and a flock of wild birds that visit to feed (Blue Jays, Cardinals, Humming birds, Chickadees, Gold Finches, Meadow Larks, Crows, Red Tail Hawks, Cooper Hawks, Kestrels, Woodpeckers, Blue birds, Great blue heron, little blue heron, red wing black birds, starlings, grackles, Baltimore Orioles, kildeer, Canadian geese, mallard ducks, wild turkeys - and many more)
Working the farm is such a joy. There are daily chores and an endless list of "todo's" that keep my ADD to a minimum. We are currently in calving season (10 born in the last 10 days - sadly, one just froze to death) and February is lambing season. The timing is based on weather and the fair dates as we take both steer and lambs to the fair for show as well as to the market for sale.

Next week we shear the sheep in preparation for the birth of their lambs...stay tuned!

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