Welcome back to another season of farm and homestead tours! We’re always ready for more entries! Please read here for guidelines.
We’re heading down home… to your farms! Urban, suburban, or rural — whatever you’re growing and doing, we want to see it.
Welcome to the Down Home Farm Tours series. To see all the farms and homesteads featured in this series, click here. If you’d like to be featured, please read here for guidelines.
Welcome, Hills of Shiloh Farm!
15 acres of pasture and woods fifteen minutes from a town in Vermont is home to Hills of Shiloh Farm. Leslie, along with her dad, Ken, and younger brother, Nathan, are growing heirloom vegetables and fruit plus raising chickens, ducks, goats, and cattle.
What is your name and the names of your family members?
My name is Leslie and I farm with my dad, Ken, and younger brother, Nathan.
How long have you been farming/homesteading?
We’ve been homesteading for six years.
Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
We live on 15 acres of pasture and woods just fifteen minutes from town. It’s got the deep-in-the-country feel, but conveniently near a good hospital, stores, and neighbors.
What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We grow a quarter acre of heirloom, organic vegetables and maintain several fruit trees. We started out with laying hens to see if we could in fact keep animals alive and well. We then branched out to beef cows (two at a time). We now also raise meat chickens, ducks, and our latest venture is dairy goats. We are blessed to get most of the food groups off our own land!
How did you get into farming/homesteading?
Originally, my father, mother, older sister, younger brother, and I wanted to quit life as individuals and learn to work together as a family. We were getting more and more into the first “G” of GNOWFGLINS, and wanted to live to glorify Him. We started from scratch — none of us have an agricultural background. My sister married and moved away a year after starting and my mother died three years ago. The three of us remaining are still committed to this lifestyle.
Any future plans?
Yes, we actually hope to move to New York in the future, and continue what we’re doing there. We hope to turn some of it into a business now that we have the foundation laid. If anyone is interested in a beautiful patch of land with a renovated 1850s farmhouse in southern Vermont, please contact me (hillsofshilohfarm at gmail dot com).
Please share a funny story.
Two summers ago, we culled our laying hen flock. We had two identical bantam hens, and we thought we had slaughtered both of them. A few mornings later, I went into the hay barn and heard a “peep-peep-peep”. We obviously hadn’t killed both those hens, because one had hatched twelve chicks in a haystack. She was sitting on 17 eggs! We cherish broodiness, though, since it’s been “bred out” of most chicken breeds. Right now, we have a broody duck and chicken on nests about to be mothers.
What about a sad story?
Only two months after getting three does, one ate too much azalea or rhododendron, and had to be put to sleep. I warn everyone with goats or sheep that that family of plants has neuro-toxins that destroy animals’ brains. Hearing her suffer was one of the worst events of my life.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
This lifestyle is one of the most, if not the most, satisfying. We thank God for all His blessings and provisions He has given us along the way. Relationships have been healed, character built, pastures re-established, visitors welcomed, blessings shared, bellies filled, and hearts bursting with thankfulness.
Let’s Tour Hills of Shiloh Farm
(Wardee: In the captions below, you’re hearing from Leslie as she tells what is in each picture.)
Me, Leslie, holding Squawkers, our oldest laying hen. She’s more of a pet and will die of natural causes.
Ken (my dad) with one of his American Lowline calves. He has also raised Irish Dexter.
Nathan (my brother) making a bench as he boils maple sap down to make syrup.
Raising meat birds on the hills of Hills of Shiloh Farm.
Pullets free-ranging. Our favorite layer breed is the Buff Orpington.
Who doesn’t like fuzzy ducklings? Ducks have been a great addition to the farm. Their eggs make the best omelets.
Our goat herd went from two to eight in two days this June! Both our does had triplets. We’re raising the five boys for meat and the one girl will be a future milker.
My mom and I loved gardening together. (Wardee: I’m so sorry for your loss, Leslie.)
Veggie and herb garden.
Leslie, thank you for sharing with us! We hope you enjoy your free thank you video, our gift to you. Plus, feel free to display the following graphic on your site. (Right-click and save to your computer, then upload to your site and link to this farm tour post.)
Would you like to be featured?
Are you a homesteader or farmer at any level? You don’t have to live in the country, you don’t have to be doing everything.
Being on the journey is the only qualification. We want to see what you’re doing, no matter how big or small.
Click here for submission guidelines for the Down Home Farm Tours series. We’re excited to hear from you!
If you’re selected, we will share your farm/homestead pictures and stories in a dedicated blog post, plus you can add the featured graphic to your blog or website. And, we’ll give you a free thank you video of your choice!
Please give the Leslie and her family a warm welcome in the comments!
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[email protected] says
Beautiful farm leslie,,, do you have a blog we can follow?
Sorry no blog! I am often tempted to start one, but need to keep focused on the eternal. Thanks for asking!
I now have a blog – mostly to promote my online shop
This is such a gorgeous garden! I really enjoyed your tour ~ and another orpington lover checking in <3 We just started a small flock of buffs: six pullets and a roo so we can hatch our own. I also have three lavender orpingtons who are just beautiful. They really are a sweet breed.
Mama hens raising their own brood is so much easier and beautiful than the heat-lamp way. Hope you have the enjoyment of chicks hatching!