2023 has been another wild year here on the farm. A year full of heart-breaks and hope! Check out what's been going on at the farm below:
We've lost some friends this year...
Saphira was something of a mascot for many years here on the Russell Farm. Named after the dragon from the "Eragon," book series, Saphira was small but full of personality. Many guests who came to the farm would immediately fall in love with her and often give her treats, making her tail wag eagerly. In her younger years, Saphira would roam the farm and many times would end up on our porch, laying in a dog bed. We have many wonderful memories of our sweet little friend and we will miss her in the years to come.
"Mother" Mary, as we called her, was the last cow from our original dairy herd. When we sold the dairy herd in 2012, we kept one calf who would go on to be the mother of many beef cattle and a reminder to us of our roots. Mary would be the ring leader of the herd out in the field, and would come running any time she heard her name called, knowing there would be a treat waiting. This was and is still very helpful today as all the beef cattle continue to run towards her name when it's called. We will always miss Mary and the joy she brought to the farm.
After losing two teams of horses to Botulism, we were in desperate need some new teams. One of the first horses we bought following that tragedy was Emmett. He was long in the legs, wild, and pretty rough looking! Little did we know that he would grow up to be one of the biggest horses in our pasture and would develop the nickname; "the Joker". Emmett was a very strong horse who loved to play "games" with everyone and loved his apples even more. We will miss this vital team mate and friend. To replace him this year, family members from Hinesburg are bringing over their mare, "Natalie," who we are looking forward to introducing to everyone that comes this year!
We have been filled with HOPE!
Although this year has been filled with heartache, it has also been filled with hope for the future! In the spring of 2022, we lost our beloved cabin due to a fire. Though it was tragic, we were blessed that no one was hurt and the fire did not catch onto the surrounding woods. Much of that was thanks to our Volunteer Starksboro Fire Department who was there to quickly put out the fire. We are very thankful for their bravery, skills, and ability to put the fire out before things got worse. Afterwards, we were forced to start the clean up process. Below are pictures from our time spent time cleaning up the left over mess. Many thanks to our church family from Community Alliance Church in Hinesburg and Fournier Landscaping for the help with this labor-intensive process!