Stay With Us!
While we are aware that we are still so new to so, so much of this lifestyle, we're occasionally awed by everything we've learned already. If you are interested in learning with us through an educational farm experience, peruse away, and fill out the form below.
At the moment, we have a guest bedroom in our house, as well as ample tent-camping space and camper parking. We are hoping to get a "glamping" situation going (Fall asleep to the howls and yips of coyotes! You're in the wild now! Greet the morning with a big farm breakfast!), and are also looking into a four-season guest house situation.
We used to vacation in the Finger Lakes ... and loved it so much that we moved here. We love where we live: deep in the woods, but near some very cool small towns. We're within 30 minutes' drive of several small cities and within an hour of a bigger city and airport. We live near many wineries, fantastic hiking, lovely restaurants and artisan food and spirit ventures, as well as downhill ski resorts and cross-country skiing trails. If you're looking to just come and get away from it all, please fill out the form below!
Unfortunately, we are not equipped to accommodate other pets. Our livestock guardian dogs are sweet goofs around people but take their job seriously.
Things we know enough about to share:
Heritage Breed Swine
We have Mulefoot and American Guinea Hog (AGH) breed stock and meat pigs, as well as one batch of AGH-Mulefoot crosses. Our pigs spend the vast majority of their time wandering expansive woodland enclosures comprised of mixed hardwoods. During the fall, we feed very little grain, and supplement with excess organic squash from our dear friends at Fruition Seeds, a regionally focused organic seed company in Naples, New York.
Whole-hog Butchery and Curing
We met while living at Tenuta di Spannocchia outside of Siena in Tuscany, Italy, where we worked with Cinta Senese pigs. This included an intensive apprenticeship with the on-farm butcher. At Scrumble Wood Farm, we are exploring how our current breeds respond to the Tuscan methods we know and cherish. We also incorporate our new-found knowledge of Finger Lakes cultural and natural history to create regionally adapted methods for animal husbandry, sustainable land stewardship, and whole-animal butchery.
Diversified Vegetable Gardening
On this front, we mostly know the right people to get the best answers, but our store of knowledge is growing as we work to establish good soil health on the rocky, slightly acidic, and relatively clay-ful (made that word up) landscape at Scrumble Wood.
Viticulture, Vinification, Distillation
We are working with Cornell Cooperative Extension and sampling as many regional wines as we can (it's hard living in wine country) to make a decision on what varieties of grape we'd like to establish in a small-scale vineyard for home wine (and grappa!) production.
We are fortunate to have rescued a lovely, sprightly, and gentle horse we've affectionately named Filomena. She rides and drives, and we are slowly working toward restoring her health, beginning to ride her, and figuring out carts and sleighs for work and fun.
Things we know less about (but do anyway):
We graze our sheep, dairy cow, horse, and goat. Currently we are working to convert a 4.5 acre section of our property from a poison-ivy-infested larch plantation to additional pasture, a food forest, and a vineyard.
Cheese and Fermented Dairy
With gallons upon gallons of sweet, creamy Jersey cow milk expected by mid-year 2019, and with our second dairy goat and Icelandic ewe due late spring 2018, we are busily preparing our cheese press, yogurt maker, and ice cream churn!
Rachel is a knitting fiend, and we now have a plentiful supply of raw wool, but we're just beginning to test our hand at processing the wool and spinning. For the time being we are opting for the easier method of sending the raw product away to be spun for us. With so much high-quality fiber, even Vincent is getting in on the knitting fun.
Food Forests/Integrated Orchard Management
As mentioned above, we have a two-year plan to clear land and establish various fruit trees, nut trees, and berries, as well as native understory shrubs, grasses, herbs, etc.
From invasive garlic mustard to the rare morel stash, we look to friends and books to help us better understand the wild bounty of our home. We tap our maple trees; harvest hickory nuts, and black walnuts; search for wild herbs and greens; and generally fret over all the mushrooms we cannot identify (and thus the potential waste of delicious, healthy fungi!).