Wilhelm Farm has operated as a subsistence farm of mixed agricultural enterprises for over a century. It is a small, part-time, farm that continues to balance family needs for cash income against available farm labor, as has been done a through the duration of the known farm history.
Wilhelm Farm has been owned by the family since 1936, and Ann is the third generation to farm this land. Ann and her husband, Bill, bought the farm property from her parents in 2003 and have raised their two sons here. Ann became involved in running the farm in 1990, when she expanded the large, family garden and began selling fruits and vegetables. Wilhelm Farm’s self-service, roadside stand became a local landmark that was popular for many years with both Granby residents and out-of-town visitors.
Ann and Bill discontinued the farm stand business at the end of the 2012 season, after 22 years of operation. As they move into the “empty-nest” stage of life, Ann and Bill are rethinking their strategy for how to run the farm and manage their property. They still raise fruit and vegetables for family consumption, while they learn about more intensive growing methods and establish raised garden beds. They are clearing hedge rows and old fence lines of multi-flora rose (with goat helpers from Sweet Pea Farm) and hope to return livestock to the landscape at a future time. Pasture improvements and a silvi-pastoral component, in the zone where woods and pastures merge, are part of the plan. A tree harvest of the woodlands is in progress. Active management of the forested land, which includes areas of plantation white-pine and upland hardwoods (mainly red oak and sugar maple) is part of an ongoing forest stewardship plan. Diversity of wildlife is an important goal for the family, and they greatly enjoy watching the birds and animals that share the property with them.