Welcome back to another season of farm and homestead tours! I’m 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, Our Humble Hill Farm!
Courtney and Rick, along with their six children, live in the Finger Lakes Regions of Central New York (near Ithaca) at Humble Hill Farm. You can visit their website here.
What is your name and the names of your family members?
My name is Courtney Sullivan and my husband Rick Tarantelli. We run Humble Hill Farm with our six children Yvonne, Shakira, Rose, Mason, Simone and Renee.
How long have you been farming/homesteading?
We have been growing at Humble Hill Farm for 15 years.
Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
Our farm is located down a quiet dirt road in the hill far from town. Altogether we own 170 acres of land. Of that we only farm about seven acres — the rest is natural habitat.
What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We’re direct market growers and sell our produce three days a week at the Ithaca Farmers Market. Our passion for helping people connect with their food led us to open The Lodge, a B&B style Farmstay where guests can spend the night on the farm.
How did you get into farming/homesteading?
My husband got into farming 28 years ago through music. He took a trip to Jamaica thinking he was there for one reason, and got into farming instead. I got into farming because I was always seeking out the best, high quality food I could find. Naturally, when I met my husband, everything aligned, and five years later we bought this farm.
Any future plans?
We have many plans for the future; such as clearing more land, starting a farm school, building up a product line of enhanced Ag products and creating info products about marketing tools farmers and small business can use to tell their story online.
Do you have any funny stories to share?
One funny thing about our farm is we don’t have animals. My husband never felt that we had the extra money or time to get started with it. Feed, cost of stock, and fencing were his big concerns. I was up for it and thought if we really wanted to we could find a way, but my husband works so extremely hard that I never wanted to be responsible for animals getting loose into his patch and destroying all his crops; so I never pushed the issue. Now that everyone is older, the Market is more profitable, and the Farmstay is open, 2014 is going to the year Humble Hill gets animals!
Let’s Tour Humble Hill Farm!
(Wardee: In the captions below, you’re hearing from the Courtney, as she tells you what is in each picture.)
We have lived on this farm for a long time. We first moved here when my oldest was 18 months old, looking back I was a baby as well at only 22. Over the years I’ve given birth to 5 of our 6 children on this land, including a set of twins. Walking through the fields during my labors is a memory I’ll always cherish.
Every farm has their signature crops tender, delicious lettuce is one of ours. Last spring was very lush, these were some prize heads of our early season.
Rainbow carrots are another one of our signature crops. These colorful beauties really help us increase overall sales at Market because people stop in their tracks to ask us questions about them.
Question: Do they taste different?
Answer: Yes, but they still taste like a carrot. 🙂
How do you get them to grow in different colors?
Answer: We plant rows of different seed varieties, harvest them at the same time and make these colorful bunches at the washing table.
With some planning your farming season can continue all season long. There are 2 hoophouses on the farm that we use for season extension. We are planning to expand the operation soon, but so far our winter production is only for feeding our family.
We grow a wide variety of produce and when the conditions are just right, an abundance of peaches, apples and thornless blackberries.
In addition to our three Markets a week, we also do a CSA box share program for folks in the small town of Spencer near our farm. The children are a big part of our drop offs. They load the van, unload the bounty, stack the display, meet and greet, accept empty boxes and payments plus generally keep customers smiling.
Courtney, 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 Courtney, Rich and their children a warm welcome in the comments! Be sure to visit their website here.
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Courtney I so enjoyed “visiting” your farm! It is just beautiful and your story is so inspiring. I’m also delighted to meet someone else who loves to grow lettuce. Here in OK we don’t get heads quite as lush looking as yours but I’ve had a lot of fun with it in our garden. Good luck with your animals this year. We’ve had fun with our chickens. 🙂
Jenny I happy to hear you enjoyd your virtual trip to Humble Hill! Truth be told I love eating lettuce, my husband is the lettuce king! The children are so excited about the animals 🙂
I go up to Ithaca all the time! Would love to visit you next time! Great post!