Hi! My name is Stephanie. I am the name behind Appletree Farm but I could not do it without my husband Paul and our children, Romain, Elari and Peter.
I grew up on a large produce farm in the Southwest of France. We also kept Anglo-Arabian horses. As a little girl, my days off school were spent riding in a truck or a tractor, gathering harvested produce, packaging produce, delivering produce, eating the bounty of the farm and riding horses!
Life brought me to the US in my early 20’s and after 10 years of trying to make my way in urban America, I finally came back to my rural roots. My husband and I raised a small flock of Romneys, some meat birds, some layer hens and a dairy cow when our second child, Elari, was born. At the time, my main occupation was still as a teacher and a school administrator, and my husband was a farmer. After Elari was born, my husband went back to school to get his DVM and our little family lived the golden rural life, in a wonderful community until a terrible day in 2010.
In January of 2010, our life was shattered. Within the split of a second we lost Elari. The beautiful life we had been crafting on the homestead got really quiet and sad. I found myself at the edge of a steep cliff where I could die or live, and I chose to live. This farm, a work of love is a legacy to our daughter Elari and our sons Romain and Peter. It represents the work we started together with Romain and Elari, and now continue with Romain and Peter. This farm is my psychotherapy, it is my healer and each animal and each plan represents a daily healing practice. This farm makes my grief bearable, brings harmony to my life, gives me perspective and hope.
For me the experience of trauma brought me to the edge of my own life and had me question what was the purpose of it all, where to go from here, how to conquer grief and sorrow. All the answers brought me back to where it had started, on our family farm in a small rural community, growing produce and raising animals. Over the past 10 years, with a lot of work, determination, support and love, we have been able to move beyond the tragedy that struck our family. Through the work of my hands and in remembrance of my daughter, I now run a small diversified family farm, Appletree Farm.
We acquired a small flock of Gotland sheep in 2012 as a way to raise meat for our family, whilst enjoying a medium size, friendly breed. I completely fell in love with the Gotlands and started educating myself on sheep rearing in general and Gotland sheep in particular. My everyday life is rooted in the care of the farm and I always think about ways of improving my experience on this land, but also the experience of others, including our family, but also our community. I now run a CSA (produce-eggs-flowers and wool), I sell Gotland breeding stock, lamb meat, I also offer workshops, camps for children, I am developing a line of products from our farm and this year we are adding a Farmstay experience.
Thank you for joining us in one way or another!
At Appletree Farm, we are dedicated to producing top quality healthy Gotland sheep. We take pride in the work that goes into producing beautiful fleeces, pelts and other wool products as well as tasty lamb. We are committed to connecting with our customers, and other breeders and shepherds.
We provide an interesting variety of produce, flowers and eggs through our CSA. We source varieties in the US and we have been saving seeds from varieties found in the EU. Through collaboration we are able to diversify our products.
We raise our children passing onto them the love of what the land can provide when it is cared for gently and as sustainably as possible.
In the garden and with the animals we are always learning from our own experiences on the farm as well as from the many mentors we have met and continue to meet along the way. Continuing education is a big piece of the puzzle.
At Appletree Farm, family, community and quality of life are the core of our homestead-business. Our diversified farm offers a range of products from our garden and flock of Gotland sheep including, lamb, wool products and CSA shares of eggs, flowers and vegetables.
We are committed to sharing with our customers and collaborating with other small businesses through on farm workshops, farmstay vacations, camps for children and CSA. Our commitment to organic farm practices is evident through our gentle land management, animal husbandry and sustainable practices
Stephanie takes care of the day to day on the farm. From mucking stalls to taking care of seedlings, irrigating through the summer, planting crops, organizing fleeces, spending time with the Gotlands, processing produce, but also dropping kids off at school and making meals! She teaches French, volunteers at the Montessori school, and spends a lot of time with friends and kids from the neighborhood.
Paul works as a veterinarian during the day most of the week. When he is on the farm he takes care of everything from building to repairs. He moves fences, shears sheep, does all the veterinary care among other endless tasks. In the garden he is particularly attentive to the blueberries, the yearly crop of garlic, potatoes and he always makes sure that we grow watermelons! In the shop he builds many things with our youngest son Peter.
We have three children and each of them is an integral part of this farm.