Tag Archives: family farm

365 Celebration

Last Saturday my family’s farm celebrated our 365th anniversary.  It was a hot one, but we all had a great time.  I’m pretty sure it was the best day of Joshua’s life; all those tractors made it a little boy’s dream come true. 

History Lesson

A few years ago, I picked up a copy of my family’s genealogy book Descendents of Robert Rose of Wethersfield and Branford, Connecticut, Who Came on the Ship “Francis” from Ipswich, England in 1634 by Christine Rose (scroll down on the first link to find the book title).  We knew that the Rose family had been on our farm since the 1600’s, but we didn’t know exactly what year they first got there.  According to the book, records indicate that Robert Rose came from England in 1634, settled in Wethersfield, CT and then moved to our part of the state around 1644, which was then called Branford, Eastern New Haven, Totoket, or North Farms, depending on which records you’re looking at.  The first record of him owning land in Branford was in 1646.  We chose to use the date 1646 as the anniversary of our farm, but the Rose family could have been here as early as 1644.  But 1646 is from official town records, so we went with that.  Since then, Roses have moved all over the country, but my branch of the family stayed on this farm.  Check out this recent article by Susan Misur in the New Haven Register or the History of North Branford by Janet Gregan for more history of our farm.

(As a side note, it’s a ton of fun for me to read these family histories.  I looked through the first book quite a bit when trying to think of a name for Joshua, as I just love old-fashioned names.  There was a Joshua Rose who owned a saw mill near where our home is!)

365th Anniversary Celebration

On Saturday, July 23, we had our celebration.  The main even was an antique tractor pull, run by CT Bragging Rights, a pulling group that my brother has participated in for the past couple of years.  The boys in my family set up for the pull by putting in a “pulling pit” and setting up bleachers and a tent for shade.  Pullers, family members and members of our town’s Agricultural Commission helped out at the pull throughout the day.

There were also free hayrides around the scenic 60 acres of the farm.  Country 92.5 and DJ “Cadillac” John Saville were there playing country music, and they played just about every song with the word “tractor” in it!  There was food, ice cream, and plenty of drinks, in addition to our animals to visit and play bull-roping.  The whole family, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and lots of friends were there to help out and celebrate, and it was a great day! Check out a video of the day’s events by Noah Golden at North Branford Patch.

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Wordless Wednesday: Ford Tractors

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Enjoying the Apple Harvest

As apple season nears its end in our area, I spent some time going back through my recipes to make sure I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy them all with fresh apples.  Since I grew up with an apple orchard right next to my house, apples have always been a big part of my life.  Snipping blossoms and arranging them in a big vase in spring time, watching the little apples grow throughout the summer, picking that first Macoun in early fall and polishing it on my jeans before taking a crispy bite, sampling all the different varieties, helping press the apples into cider, and of course baking apples into a pie.  Now that I no longer live on the farm, I’ve planted my own little mini-orchard of six apple trees, but it will be a few years before I get any apples. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat apples.  As you prepare any of these recipes, I highly recommend eating the skin that you peel off of the apples.  The skin smells and tastes wonderful, so don’t waste it!

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Apple Tart

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Apple Walnut Bread

Apple Raspberry Crisp

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Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or traditional Apple Pie

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Cinnamon Cider Jelly (Reduced-sugar version, too!)

Applesauce and Caramel Apple Butter 

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Cran-Applesauce

What’s your favorite way to eat apples?

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Goodbye, Bill

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Bill passed away overnight.  My dad and uncle buried him inside the horse pasture by the pond.  As I said before, Bill had many tumors, had begun to act unlike himself, and we expected him to go soon.  He’ll be missed, but we’re happy he’s not suffering anymore.

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Jealous Neighbor

Moo…

Visitors!

Moo?

Apples!

Moo!?!?!

Nah-nah!

Be polite and share!

Moo!

And they all lived happily ever after.  The End!

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Bill and Eddie Update

While Bill and Eddie aren’t in top condition, they’re hanging in there!  I visited both of them this afternoon.

I love that Eddie’s using a rusty chain for a pillow here.

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Eddie and Bill

 We’ve got two animals on the farm that aren’t doing so well.

Eddie the sheepdog is showing his age.  He has a hard time getting up, and his back legs are really weak.  He barks for no reason, constantly, making us think he’s senile.  He’ll growl and bite when you try to help him up, and he’s having some digestive issues.  Eddie’s about 13 years old.  I think we could best describe him as a grumpy old man, but the lovable kind.

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eddie

Bill the Percheron draft horse isn’t doing well either.  He has had tumors for a few years now, and in the past week or so he’s started acting strangely.  He lies down a lot, which he never does.  He doesn’t eat his grain, and he even had some convulsions last night.  Today, he seemed to be off in his own world when I went to visit him.  I’m guessing he’s about 18 years old, and there’s not really anything we can do for him except make him comforatble and let him spend time with the other horses.  His teammate Vinny lives in the pen with him, and Annabelle and Isabelle are right next door.  Yesterday, I went to visit him and they were out to pasture.  It was a beautiful view of Bill lying on the hill, the sun setting through the old maple tree on the horizon.  I didnt’ have my camera, but I’ll never forget how pretty it was.  Here are some other pictures of Bill.

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Bill’s on the left

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Bill’s in the middle (1999)

While I’m hoping that both Eddie and Bill will make full recoveries, I know that’s unlikely.  Growing up on the farm, I learned that death is a part of life.  While I’ll certainly miss these animals when they’re gone, I take comfort knowing that they had long, happy lives here with us.  We love them, and they love us back.

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