A Family Gift

Dove Song Dairy farmer Lena Schaeffer says she encountered some resistance to being in charge of the farm, but that’s changed: “Now no one thinks twice about talking to the boss, which is me.” | Photos by Daryl Peveto

At Dove Song Dairy, raising goats is a multi-generational calling

When Lena Schaeffer turned 15 years old, her father asked her what she wanted for her birthday. Her answer: “A goat.” Her birthday wish was granted, and decades later, goats still hold a special place in her heart.

Schaeffer, now a grandmother, keeps 200 goats on her farm, Dove Song Dairy: “They have awesome personalities. You can pick them up on your lap and hold them when they’re babies.”

Adorable though they may be, goats have become a serious business for Schaeffer and her family. The Schaeffers have been milking commercially since 1996 on their 47-acre farm in Bernville, Bucks County. In addition to their raw goat milk, the farm offers a variety of products, including yogurt, cheese and soap made from goat  milk; pastured eggs and meats. They also raise chickens, pigs, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas geese and guinea fowl.

Read More

Spicing Things Up

Homesweet Homegrown owner Robyn Jasko grows all of the peppers in her sauces. | Photos by Daryl Peveto

Robyn Jasko’s “hyper-organic” peppers
ensure a farm-fresh hot sauce

When Robyn Jasko launched her Kickstarter campaign in March 2013, her husband implored her not to be upset if her attempt to crowdfund a new hot sauce business was unsuccessful. By the time she woke up the next morning, her $850 goal had been met, and 45 days later, when the campaign came to an end, she had raised more than $53,000.

“It was insane,” Jasko says, still incredulous nearly a year and a half later. “I just thought, ‘Let me put this out to the universe and see what happens.’ I never thought this company would take off like it has.”

Read More

Growing Together

Dakota Borneman Murtha, the daughter of Blooming Glen Farm farmers Tricia Borneman and Tom Murtha, smells freshly pulled fennel. | Photos by Daryl Pevet

Blooming Glen Farm is a labor of love for farming couple

Ask Tricia Borneman and Tom Murtha of Blooming Glen Farm how they met, and the couple credit a well-crafted mixtape. But almost 20 years since they first got their hands dirty together while urban farming as college students in Philadelphia, it’s clear that farming has been a strong thread running throughout their relationship.

“I think we were just looking for something to do outside together that felt meaningful and that we were passionate about,” Borneman says. “The ideas of working for ourselves and working with the earth gelled together in farming.”

Read More