My family’s farm is located a few miles above Canandaigua Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate, NY. From the time we were very little, my brother, sister and I were always out helping our grandfather on the farm.
We were fortunate enough to live right next door to our grandparents and were always out with “Poppy” planting pumpkins, cutting corn, tilling fields, picking flowers, and feeding cows. Being homeschooled children, we were able to work our learning schedule around the farm so we could “make hay while the sun shines.”
My family basically leads a sort of “homesteader” lifestyle, eating our fresh grown produce and canning or freezing the excess for use during the winter months. We also churn our own butter, make our own tomato sauce, and have even been known to press cider during a few especially good years.
We grow all the usual veggies one would expect to find at a farm stand, but we also enjoy experimenting with heirloom produce varieties. Heirloom varieties of things like peppers, beans, tomatoes, potatoes and even beets come in an assortment of bright and beautiful colors not usually found in a supermarket (there’s nothing like celebrating the 4th of July with “patriotic” red, white and blue potatoes). Plus nothing beats the fresh taste and good feeling you get from knowing it’s your own homegrown produce. While not certified organic, we do use organic methods on our farm, performing mostly hand labor and not spraying our produce.
In addition to produce, we grow sunflowers, gladiolas, and an abundance of mixed flowers, some of which end up as bouquets on my table at the local Farmers’ Markets. During the autumn months we harvest the pumpkins, squash and broomcorn. Having such a variety allows me to get fresh materials for my craft projects right off the farm, from veggie-derived soap dyes to dried flower wreaths.
Joining us all on the farm are my “darling dears” consisting of five cats, a couple cows, a horse, a sheep, a box of bees, and a very well-fed dog. Most of our furry family members were strays and rescue animals that we took in, and they constantly remind us that they’re the ones who really rule the roost around here.
Black Stallion “Blackie”
Bullseye “Bully” “Ziah”
Little Mosquito and Dragonfly