We spend a lot of time trying to select the best products to use at our farm. People ask what we recommend, so here is a list. We are not paid or provided with free products from any of these companies.
Outdoor wood furnaces: Central Boiler (link) . We have two e-classics; read about them here (link). They heat our house and give us unlimited hot water. We didn’t buy these, the previous property owner did, but we love them. Our area distributor was great; he came out and taught me how to use them once we closed on the property. They are: Halloran Farms at
Fruit Trees: Adams County Nursery (link). They ship over a million fruit trees a year and have a great selection. Every single one we have bought has thrived, and we can’t say that about any other place where we have bought trees.
Lehmans hardware store: – (link). This is a catalog of non-electric items curated from an Amish community. I love this place and have bought from them for years. They always havehigh-endd quality items that will last for many years. Some of our favorites that you will see in our photos are: We have our stainless steel cider press (link), giant canner (link), apple peeler (link), stainless fruit strainer (link), Aladdin Oil Lamps (link), and more. Their stuff is a bit expensive but very high quality and worth it.
Tractor: and implements. I tried to buy from the local Kubota dealer but after two tries I just couldn’t get any sales support & help. The local John Deere dealer (link) was terrific, and has been great with support after the sale. I think it’s a bit better product as well, so I am really happy we went with a Deere. We went all out and purchased a 3-series compact utility 4WD tractor (model 3046R link) with a front end loader, backhoe, belly mower, tiller, chipper, logging winch, brush-hog, and posthole digger.
Chickens: You might be able to tell we love chickens, not to eat, but for eggs and their beauty. We love to collect unique, sometimes rare breeds. We have two sources we highly recommend.
Mypetchicken.com is a great site for the backyard chicken hobbyist. They have many different breeds, and an easily navigable site displaying birds, eggs, and a lot of helpful information. They also must have a great marketing department, because the descriptions of the breeds make you want them all. Consider yourself warned! The folks who answer the phones are also super friendly and knowledgeable. They all have chickens too, and are always patient and happy to answer questions. While it feels like a small business from the website and customer service, it’s a large hatchery operation, which means they have sufficient scale to have a chicken sexer on staff. This is an actual occupation – and apparently one that is as much art as science, passed down through families, who become quite in-demand specialists in the chicken world. They can tell by looking at the vents of tiny day-old chicks whether they are male or female. Unless you want a lot of roosters, this is quite a boon. We’ve been really happy with the health, looks, and egg laying of our chickens from them, overall. (We had one sad instance where we lost a number of chicks from an order, but they handled it with a lot of TLC and professionalism.)
Greenfire Farms was an amazing find. This is a small farm in Florida that is famous for importing and breeding the best and rarest chicken bloodlines in the world. Their website actually says it the best: “Greenfire Farms raises the world’s rarest and most beautiful chickens. If you count yourself among the chicken-obsessed then this is your home! We invite you to explore our website and learn the fascinating histories of chickens collected from the four corners of the globe. You can become a steward of these rare chicken breeds and join in the fight to save them from extinction.” Josette, who answers the phone as well as apparently doing a million other things around the farm, is just the bomb. I love her. I’ll probably name a chicken after her. Thanks to Greenfire, my rare chicken fetish has seriously intensified. This is where we got our Liege Fighters, Isbars, Black Swedish Hens, and top quality bloodlines of other breeds. It’s all straight-run (unsexed), though – so unless it’s an auto-sexing breed (where you can tell the males and females apart by the feather patterns when they hatch), you don’t know how many hens and roosters you have until a few months later.