The Farmer's Daughter|
Our blog is written by Jennifer Shea, Dan and Cathy's oldest daughter. Jennifer is part of the 13th generation of Schoonmakers to work on Saunderskill Farm.
«Return to Main Blog Page
One Big Farm Family
May 2, 2012
It's funny living in a valley with so many farms that sell their produce to local people who live in the community. Right here in Accord/kerhonkson there is Burd's, Kelder's Saunderskill and Barthel's in Ellenville. In Stone Ridge there is Davenport's and Gills, then New Paltz has Walkill View, Dressels and many others. The other day I was in our store sweeping the floor and a customer came in with a HUGE grin on her face, chuckling to herself. Then she said aloud "Do you know who that was? Do you know who just left your store?" Thinking I must have missed a celebrity appearance I said "No who?" She replied "It was ----Davenport! In your store, not theirs! Can you believe it!" I just kinda laughed to myself and thought why wouldn't she be here?
Many people see the farms in the area in competition with one an other. Maybe we are slightly, we all want to have the sweetest berries and the most irresistible corn, but we are not like Shop rite and Hanna ford's competing for customers. We all have our specialty, our own knack or something that might draw a certain crowd verse another. We are all friends and work together, we want to see each other grow and prosper.
When I was growing up, Bruce and Mimi Davenport lived next door to our home. I babysat their boys, Bruce helped my parents build their home, my Grandfather and their Grandfather were best of friends. My Uncle David and Chris Kelder are like long lost brothers, always talking about how things are growing, what stragaty they will use this year and what the latest happenings are with Farm Bureau. I take my daughter to Kelder's Farm weekly to visit the animals and bounce on the pillow. She absolutely loves it!
The farms have a great relationship with one another that is amazing to see. One weekend Davenport's donut machine broke down so we made the donuts at our store and sent them to Stone Ridge so their customers would not go out. After Irene we lost all of our tomatoes, Davenports fortunately did not, so we bought their tomatoes to sell in our market.
We sell Dressel's apples and apple cider in our store, we are lucky to have an orchard that makes such delicious cider and offer a great selection of apples.
It's funny, when I first starting dating my husband I remember going to his parents fridge to get something, pulling it out and my father in law blushing from ear to ear. 'we bought that at Walkill, not Saunderskill' "that's great!" I said. For the longest time they were ashamed if I found out they bought something at a farm other than ours. But the truth is that makes us happy!
I just wanted to make a point that we are lucky to have all the farms that we do in this area. With out them it would not be the same. We are grateful for our neighbor farms. So please don't be embarrassed if I stop into Davenport's to pick up something for dinner and I run into to you. It will only warm my heart that you are supporting the farms.