La Ferme Le Tellier is bringing farming back, well, to the land anyhow. Fiona and Michael are excited to start sharing all they're producing from their farm to the Windham community and to preserve a little piece of the agricultural history in the region.
You know it is spring when you walk around La Ferme Le Tellier in June. This little farm in Windham is full of new chicks peeping for mother hen after recently hatching, goat kids bleating from near and far as they socialize among themselves (and look for any milk they can wrestle from a farmer or mom), and lush green grass freckling the property being restored to fields. Fiona and Michael have been slowly building this spring farm dream-starting with just a couple egg laying hens, but adding more over time to become a menagerie of chickens, ducks, goats, ponies, quail, and more.
The land they found themselves on, as animals started to creep into their lives, was old farmland. They've been told the barn and homestead held rich history as a stop on the underground railroad, but also held the history of when it was commonplace for the land to be used for crops and grazing rather than pavement and fenced in backyards. Photos that Michael and Fiona have discovered show proof of this cleared land and agricultural past. But along the way the story got side tracked. Trees started taking popping up in fields, vines and underbrush blocked the way for other plants or grazers to take root on the land.
Windham has changed too- the area became more densely populated, local food grown and raised by your neighbors was no longer the norm. But La Ferme Le Tellier saw the potential for that land to provide for the community once more. Each year, money is put aside to clear new areas- what will become fields for the animals and growing spaces.
In the meantime, the furred and feathered residents don’t seem to mind that much. They have enough land to rotate from pasture to pasture and munch off fresh grass- which makes better eggs, better poultry, and better (down the line) goat’s milk. There is even room for the vegetable production to start in earnest, along with Fiona’s medicinal herbs that she and Michael use to support their health. Fruit trees dot the property that in years to come will produce too much for their family, so they are also preparing a space for a roadside stand.
All this is a labor of patience and time. Michael and Fiona are not just building a business, they are building a place of provision and support. While the community has ready access to chips and soda, the fresh produce, meat, and eggs that carry the care of a neighbor is not the norm in the community. They see their farm as an opportunity to bring something different to their neighbors- food that is imbued with health and compassion for the land and animals on it.
They have just started this journey but you can see the impact in the neighbors that regularly visit for the fresh chicken and eggs. You can see they are doing something right when their animals exhibit a confidence in place and comfort in their caretakers. You can see the land responding to their slow but steady care as they clear the underbrush, let the sun in, and plant new seeds for the change they hope for.