Riding his pony one summer day, my father, then ten years old, came across a beautiful country property. He slowed his pony to a halt and gazed across a lush field of native grasses. Then, giving him a nudge with his legs, he pulled the pony’s head up from the fragrant grasses and coaxed him through the field and into the woods, descending down into the cool, deep ravine. He followed the spring-fed stream, turning and twisting, up to its source, then climbed up to a clearing dotted with mature black walnut and tall shagbark hickory trees. Pausing there and settling comfortably into the curve of the little pony’s back, he began to dream. Ideas spun in his head. Excitement grew as he rode back again through the field and through an old orchard. He urged his pony to a run as he hurried home to tell his mother and father what he had found. He was so convincing that they soon purchased the land. Three years later, in 1939, my grandparents built their small home on twelve beautifully diverse acres and began with a huge vegetable garden and a Jersey cow. The vegetable garden not only fed their family of five, but also helped feed my grandfather’s co-workers at The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company during the Great Depression.
By the time I inherited the property in 2006 the orchard had fallen by the wayside, the fields were grown up with sugar maples and wild apples, and gardens were grown over with grass. Remembering what used to be, work began to restore the property. The gardens have been rebuilt and the orchard is being revitalized. Blueberries have been planted and a bee hive sits along the path to the orchard. Ponds were added, fencing installed and chickens now roam around the barn and pasture. The future is bright for this place that began out of love for nature, sustainability, diversity and preservation. Welcome to Stone Cottage Farm & Garden.
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