Historic property sees new life as North River Hobby Farm

— Also working on the North River Hobby Farm is Brandi Galusha, of Bakers Mills, who obtained an environmental science degree from Paul Smith’s College. The Galusha family has also helped out by supplying honey and maple syrup, which is sold at the farm stand, and providing two gentle older mules which for entertainment are trained to pull an antique wagon up and down the road.

Today, Leslie is harvesting produce right out of the new garden, and bringing it into the new farm stand kitchen where she creates light squash fritters, salads sprinkled with fresh herbs, potato and scallion pancakes and smoothies from the blackberries which grow wild throughout the property.

“Customers are delighted to find a new local farm which offers beautiful views of Gore Mountain and the surrounding wildflower meadows,” Leslie said. “And I’m enjoying meeting new people and making new friends.”

Visitors can watch a flock of free-ranging chickens and ducks that roam everywhere. For the ducks, Clement built a small pond using a recycled pump as well as hundreds of rocks dug out of the new garden, but for some unknown reason, the ducks won’t go into it. They gladly swim merrily in a small plastic toddlers pond. At night, they all return to their new chicken coop that Leslie built this spring, again using some new materials as well as some handsome 50-year-old pine boards and mahogany flooring from an “odd lot” of miscellaneous materials from Murphy Lumber. The chickens are now laying eggs that Leslie uses for cooking as well as for sale.

The land and the two camps on the property date back to 1905 when Leslie’s great-aunt was sent from Port Washington, Long Island to North River where it was hoped that the young woman would recover from tuberculosis by breathing the fresh mountain air. (She did, in fact, recover and lived into her late 80s).

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