Spring is starting early at local farm


An early spring photo from earlier this decade at Two Pond Farm on weaver Road. Ann Genader photo

BY ANN GENADER
WEST MILFORD – Spring is nearer than one might believe.
That’s the word from Allison Hosford, local watercolor artist and farmer.
A clear sign is that the ewes on the farm are pregnant and getting rounder every day with due dates in early April.
Hosford and her husband, Roger Knight, raise and breed a small flock of Dorset and Romney sheep for lamb and their wool which Allison sells and uses for her knitting and weaving projects.
Hosford and Knight have been preparing for a breakthrough in the cold winter since January when they were already planning their 43rd organic farming season at Two Pond Farm located at 176 Weaver Road.
The couple said plans for their small farm and organic workshops are unfolding.
Hosford announced in an email that although it was freezing cold, it was time to get ready for spring. It was then that she was putting together her main order of onion starts from Dixondale Onions in Texas.
She has been buying her supply from that company for years and believes their “starts” are the best. She said she chooses Walla Wallas, Red Zeppelins and Highlanders.
Six piglets, meat chickens, and laying hens also have been ordered.
People who want to grow yams should get them started and those who are starting their own vegetable plants from seed need to start their seeds inside now, she advised.
Hosford has also already laid out her summer garden plans.
All the vegetables are organically grown in two large gardens with many from the seeds which she has saved from last year’s plants.
“I can’t wait to get my hands into the rich soil,” Hosford said.
Most of the property is underwater (two ponds), swampy or heavily forested and gardens and pastures are the few tillable places.
The farm is between massive rock ledges.
Hosford and Roger have accomplished the goal they had when they began farming.
That is to have the land support itself and to grow as much of their own food as they could with little or no hired help organically and humanely.
They also raise enough to supply those who have discovered them and come to love their produce.
They said their power is 85 percent solar and they heat their home with an outside wood fired boiler using wood harvested from the property.