Our family migrated to Western New York from Saratoga County in 1991 and settled in a snug valley just south of the Finger Lakes. Over the years, that valley watched four children, countless dairy cattle, some chickens, goats, a few horses and the occasional pig grow, live and play on 300 acres of rocky farmland. Our farm has grown and changed quite significantly over the years as we have worked to keep up with an ever changing agricultural landscape. What started as a small dairy herd has grown into a diverse enterprise involving goats, sheep, chickens, vegetables, maple syrup, and our favorite new developments - ice cream and cheese!
The last five years have seen several exciting changes around the farm and in our family. In 2016 we constructed our farm store and creamery. Coinciding with the completion of the creamery, Anna, the oldest of the Stewart children, launched the dairy goat side of the business. With over 30 goats milking on a seasonal basis, Anna stays busy bottling their milk and turning it into tasty chevre cheese and ice cream mix. Daniel, the second of the Stewart children, alongside his wife Hannah joined the business contributing all naturally grown vegetables, cut flowers and delicious sourdough bread. This past year, however, saw them decide to pursue their passion for the outdoors through transitioning to Colorado as backpacking guides. Lizzy, the third of the four Stewart children who called this farm home, lives in South Carolina with her husband Dan where she cheers on her family from afar. She manages our social media and is always a willing taste tester on her visits home. Ian, the youngest, still lives on the farm and works as a mechanic for Monroe Tractor. He still finds time to fix broken equipment or put in a few hours on the tractor doing field work.
The kids aren't the only ones who have ushered in changes around the farm. Kathy has enjoyed tending her growing herd of Shetland sheep and in her spare time, which is sparse indeed, turns their wool into yarn, knit and felt products found in the store. She also enjoys developing and testing ( and tasting) new ice cream recipes. The cow side of the farm has also seen some major changes in the last few years. After 34 years of milking cows morning and evening, Dave and Kathy invested in a robotic milking machine, which has changed their routines a fair bit. Dave spends more time cleaning the barn so our cows stay clean and comfortable and Kathy spends her time cleaning the robot and feeding the calves. They both spend a goodly amount of time making sure the robot is working properly.
Even though much has changed around the farm, a few things stay the same. We still love waking up to fresh country air and the sound of animals stirring about. We love taking care of the land, that in turn takes care of us. We also love that our lives include animals of all shapes and sizes, from Miss Piddles, the pet sheep, to the cows, who have weathered the changes with us, our farm wouldn't be complete without them. While some changes have been very hard, others encourage us and bring us hope. The farm store has allowed us to get to know the people who benefit from our work and we love sharing the fruits of our labor with all the visitors to our store and the wonderful folk who find us at the various local farmer's markets. We would love for you to join our little community of farm friends! Please stop by the store and say "Hello!", wave to our goats, and share a bit of ice cream with us!