The original part of the farm, which included the barn and 44 acres was purchased in 1980. The first trees were planted in 1981. In 1986, the first 100 trees, all white pine, were sold wholesale to O.W. Houts. In 1987 we opened for retail sales. In 1990 we purchased another 10 acre parcel that was located just across a dirt road (Sharer Road) from the farm. The first trees were planted on that land in 1991.
The original part of the barn is over 200 years old. Sometime well over 100 years ago an addition was built on to it. The most recent addition was made in 1912. You've got to check out the stonework in the barn that defines the various additions.
The farm was one big cornfield when we bought it in 1980. It took seven years of plantings to cover the area that could be planted in trees. There are about four acres that is too wet to plant. It is the lowest corner of the farm and is kept as an unmown meadow that serves as a biological filter for the little bit of fertilizer or pesticide that washes from the fields in heavy rains. The grass strips we grow between the rows almost totally eliminate the runoff of water, fertilizer, and pesticides from the fields.
There was no electricity, water source, or parking area on the site when we purchased the farm. A well had to be drilled, plumbing and wiring installed, and a parking lot and roads installed.
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