Emily and her husband Dan are the second generation of Stevensons to steward Pleasant Valley Farm, located in beautiful Northwestern Pennsylvania. This blog is a reflection of the many things they do there. The fields and gardens are cultivated using real horse power, namely Dixie and Dolly, mother-daughter Belgian mares both born and trained here on the farm. The fields and gardens are tended using only organic methods, and all of the birds and animals that call the farm home have access to sunshine, pasture, and room to run. At Pleasant Valley Farm, we believe in preserving a real American family farm. Our 50 acres were a land grant for military service in the Revolutionary War, and we are only the third family to call it home in the time since. We love preserving history- our barn was built in 1894 and is not even the oldest building here! We maintain not only the practical knowledge of how to farm with horses, but also utilize a variety of antique machinery as well. Most of the livestock here are heritage breeds, old-time varieties that thrive on small farms but which are actually in danger of becoming extinct because they don't do well in industrial production. We also raise many heirloom vegetables and Emily has become more interested and proficient in saving seeds from season to season. We offer vegetables from our garden and meats from our animals for sale to the public at the farm stand located roadside on our farm. We love giving the public the chance to set foot on a real farm and truly see where their food is coming from, as well as giving them a chance to ask questions directly to the farmers who raised it. Emily preserves excess produce by making jams, pickles, salsas and more. The farm takes pride in being as self sufficient and sustainable as possible. Emily also sells plants in the spring, crafts wreaths and other items from plant material grown on the farm, creates jewelry using feathers from her flocks and has a collection made from recycled seed catalogs and glass. She also paints, does stained glass, and dabbles in a variety of artistic endeavours. Dan is also a blacksmith, using the old-fashioned methods of a coal fire, anvil and hammers to create heirloom-quality metal work in the forge here at the farm.
A Girl and Her Farm
It is my hope that you'll become part of our conversation about food and farming here. If you'd like to learn more about the farm, our products, farming methods, and the animals that call it home, click on over the the farm's website!