Features

Follow me!

... who could ever refuse an offer

by Betty Rossi

                                                                           
                                     My daughter Jennifer DeFeo took this picture

Who could ever refuse an offer of, "Come on, Grammy. Follow me!" by a grandchild? My daughter has taken her children to East Hill Farm in Troy, New Hampshire for the last nine years, winter and summer. (I am writing this article during the torrential downpour of Monday, July 28, 2014. The rain is so heavy, it almost looks like snow. Thunder, lightning and flooding...and Revere. Massachusetts was just hit with a tornado! What kind of summer is this?)

So to get back to my summer story, on a Wednesday in July while they stay at the farm, I drive up to see them. I get there early in the morning, have lunch and dinner and leave around 8 p.m. East Hill Farm is a working farm that hires local students during the summer and school vacations to "muck" the stalls, help serve dinner, help young guests with arts and crafts and help with the three pools. Every morning while my grandchildren are staying there, as soon as they wake up, they go to the hen house and gather fresh eggs. The kitchen then cooks the eggs how the gatherer wants them cooked. All of the beautiful, fresh bread and rolls that are not eaten during meals are saved to give to the animals.

         


One year that I remember, a calf was born and tagged. This year, there were two beautiful baby goats. So, to get back to my story, I followed Jonathan nto the barn. The sow had just had babies. So many piglets! You have to see the hog! He is so huge that one year, when we peeked in to see him, he got up and scared the living tar out of me! He was still outside, wallowing in the mud in all of his glory, while the sow was inside the barn in one of the stalls where they keep the horses.

While we were admiring the piglets, we heard a "clang". Farmer Dave was in a corner of the barn shoeing one of the horses. I thought that was a lost art and didn't realize that horses still have to have their hooves taken care of. The farm is an interactive farm, so we were allowed to get up really close to watch what he was doing. Jonathan and I both got to keep a horseshoe.

         

         

I love to go up there on Wednesdays because that's the day that the guests, young and old, hold a talent show. My granddaughter Joslyn has been the "M.C" for the last couple of years. This year, Rene' was in a skit with another boy about bubble gum. Jaelyn was Jonathan's assistant while he demonstrated how to do science experiments. A few of the other children sang solos, one girl hula hooped and a good time was had by all.

While I was there, we went to a lake where the farm has lake front use, to watch the kids waterski, Kayak, fish and swim. This year, for the first time, Jaelyn water skied around the whole lake. Both of my granddaughters have now climbed to the very top of Mt. Monadnock during their stay at the farm. Volley ball, feeding the animals, milking the cows, Shuffleboard, swings, pools, hayrides, horseback riding, card games and no television! This is where Jonathan learned to make bread. They get to see friends that are also at the farm every year with their families. Families take the same weeks to stay, year after year so the families have become friends and look forward to seeing each other and always have someone to do things with. The older kids watch out for the younger kids. They all hate to leave when their vacation is over. It's really amazing to see.

          

I love my Wednesday up at the farm just seeing them have so much fun.


August 1, 2014


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