|Tom and Vicky now own 268 acres of beautiful Wisconsin farmland. A visit to the farm in June, 2004, gave us a chance to get acquainted with their new property.
There are several buildings on the property, including the large hay barn with 3 silos, a pole shed, two other storage sheds, and the house. Situated between Turtle Lake and Echo Lake, their land includes several watersheds and small ponds.
The property has not been a working farm for about 10 years and some of the fields are overgrown and buildings in need of repairs. Some large fields are rented out to farmers for corn and hay production and there are several stands of trees, from oaks to spruce.
While we were there, one of the projects was to figure out how much new fencing would be needed for planned cattle and horse pastures. Although Vicky took along several dogs, her two young girls and her sister, Val, it was obvious who was actually doing all the work.
Our dog, Peri, adapted quickly to life on the farm, although she had a hard time keeping up with her Rhodesian ridgeback companions. She made full use of the mud wallows in a couple of swampy areas, and was not white again until we gave her a haircut upon our return home.
Another big project during our stay was to clear the old hay out of the loft to make room for fresh bales. This proved to be a tiring and dusty job but Vicky was up to the task.
Although the hay loft is now being used for its original purpose, the silos are currently idle. The large and small ones are mostly empty, but the medium one is half-full of silage. Although it was 10 years old, it smelled as fresh and clean as if it had just been stored.
Silos are quite a lure to amateur climbers who want to get a different perspective. Val made the trek up the big one and the next photo is the view of Turtle Lake from the top.
Not all activities on the farm were work. We took time one night to have a small campfire and marshmallow roast, followed, after dark, by an enjoyable fireworks display provided by Tom.
As soon as the fencing is repaired, Tom and Vicky's horses will move out to the farm. Right now, the animals are boarding at the farm of some friends. The next photo shows Captain, Vicky's horse.
Two of the new horses that Tom just purchased at auction are a Belgian/saddlebred named Nellie and her large three quarters Belgian foal, Arnold.
One pair of horses just purchased are a team of pintos. Their names are Lucky and Patches.
Having been trained to work as a team, Patches and Lucky are inseparable. When the horses needed some vaccinations, Isabella and Lucas helped Vicky distract one of the horses while Tom took care of the veterinary work on the other.
All the new horses needed some routine shots and tests, including the one month old colt, Arnold. Being the strapping lad he is, it took at least four humans and some strategic maneuvering to get him cornered in order to get his shot.
One of the farm cats who lived with the horses was much more cooperative when it came to human contact. Isabella repeatedly picked up the cat and dropped it, but the affectionate feline always came back for more.
We are enthusiastically looking forward to future visits at the farm. It will be interesting to see the improvements that Vic and Tom make over the years. The work is hard, but the rewards are great.