Family and friends say we were “crazy to purchase a farm with all that work”. We call it a “labor of love”. In 2005, we purchased an 18 acre farm in Long Valley, NJ on the top of beautiful Schooley’s Mountain. What were we thinking … college tuition, teenage drivers, a house to renovate, fields that needed desperate attention, and a barn in bad shape – how our lives will change.
But …we saw a wonderful opportunity! We were going to live a healthier lifestyle naturally by raising our own fresh brown eggs, beef, pork, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers.
Here is our timeline of our progress throughout the years:
- Summer 2007 – opened roadside stand
- Fall 2007 – added our own pork and fresh eggs
- Fall 2008 – added our own grass-fed beef
- Summer 2009 – opened our farm market and our first farmers market
- Spring 2010 – increased product line – networking with family farms
- Summer 2010 – Helen manages farm full time & added small group farm tours
- Fall 2010 – added home/office delivery service
- Spring 2011 – hired help & purchased food truck
- Fall 2011 – installed hoop house, began construction of pizza farm
- Winter 2012 – expanding garden, growing greens in hoop house
- Fall 2012 – opened pizza farm for tours
- Winter 2013 – adding on-line shopping, offering bulk buying
- Spring 2013 – selling meats to schools
- Summer 2013 – added more farmers markets & drop off locations, selling our own veggies
- Summer 2013 – started a meat csa
- Fall 2013 – closed pizza farm for farm tours, installed 2nd hoop house, smoking meats now
- Winter 2014 – redesigned layout of farm store, purchased used freezer, walk-in cooler
- Summer 2014 – expanded flower garden for cut flower bouquets
- Fall 2014 – started showcasing local crafters & artisans’ products
- Winter 2016 – Silver Birch Kitchens – temporary home
- Summer 2016 – Simplifying our Life – Back to what we do best
Flash forward to today: Our two girls have careers of their own now, Christine is a 6th grade teacher and expecting our first grandchild and Trish is a seamstress. Bill and Trish are marathon runners.
Our fields are flourishing, our animals are happy and our lives are healthier. Hard to believe it has been ten years experiencing so many different aspects of farming. And, now enjoying more time with our growing family!!