Louisa, John, and Emmylou Mayock Silkey Road Fiddlehead Farm Camp is the perfect introduction to farm life for your 4 to 8 year old! We encourage good safety habits and proper technique when working with animals.
Each month, the Granby Drummer publishes an interview with a local farmer from our town. Read on to lean more! 1) How did you get started in farming? Well, I was born with horses on the brain. When my family moved to the States from Ireland when I was eight, I was promised a pony. That was the start of the farm adventure! Soon after, my pony arrived, and more followed: additional ponies, horses, goats, chickens, and just like that ... instant farm!
2) What's your favorite product/service that you produce? We offer many farm education programs to suit a variety of different situations such as summer farm programs, farm-themed birthday parties, girl scout farm outings, and more. But I would have to say that Emmylou (our 12-year-old daughter) and I would agree that our greatest satisfaction comes from the programs we run for kids that come to our farm from the inner city from places such as Safe Home (an orphanage for uprooted children that are often in crisis) as well as a number of other institutions that have children in situations that typically would not be able to have access to the setting we have here at Fiddlehead Farm. Often times, we have had children arrive that are truly withdrawn and detached. But shortly after having their hands on grooming and riding a pony, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, watching silly baby goats, or just snuggling a kitty, they just become joyful and lighthearted, if even for a short while. This gives us satisfaction without measure! We also have a young man from an assisted living home visit us. While bound to a wheelchair, he still manages to get up close and personal with all the animals. You can visibly see the joy his visits give him.
3) What will your farm look like in ten years? Hopefully some new fencing. And lots of kids here having lots of fun all the time!
4) How does the community benefit from agriculture? Well, in so many ways: fresh food for one, an awareness of the simplicities of life, teaching children an appreciation for where food comes from and the hard work it takes to make it happen, tending to animals and understanding how much care they need, but mostly to not take so many simple things for granted. With agriculture comes farm land, and preserving this land is a must in so many ways, because once it's gone, it's gone for good.
5) From whom did you learn the most when you were getting started? As a kid, I was very involved in Pony Club right here in Granby as well as 4-H. Those opportunities are a wonderful source of knowledge and there for the taking! Having grown up on a small family farm, I had a pretty good understanding of what I was getting into. My passion for this setting just kind of led the way.
6) What do you wish more people knew about farming? In addition to understanding the cost of farming (feed and vet bills, insurance, maintenance, etc.), knowing the kind of work time involved, long days and endless chores. I hope people will continue to realize the need for supporting your local farmers in a dedicated way, so they can thrive and continue providing services right here in our community, so we can keep it all local!
7) What's on your farm's wish list? New fencing, general maintenance.
8) What's the biggest issue facing agriculture today? Continued support. We want to be sure that the surge in supporting local farmers is not a fad but a mind set forever!
9) What's next at your farm? I'm good with all there is to tend to at the moment thank you! We will continue offering functions through the winter such as farm-themed birthday parties and perhaps offer some beading/arts and craft classes as we have done in the past. Our little antiques shop will remain open on the weekend for folks to come and shop for unique and unusual vintage items, antiques and collectibles.
10) What's the most amazing thing you've seen on your farm? Not wanting to sound corny, but honestly the joy that children have around animals and nature in general. And of course, babies being born. Goats, puppies, donkeys—all miracles!
11) What's the best thing about farming in Granby? Well, I have been at this farming thing for a good while before there became an awareness for the need to appreciate farms small and large and to encourage folks to support them. So naturally, I am thrilled to see people thinking this way! You know, "No Farms, No Food." It is so important and so rudimentary, don't you agree?